Ditch chocolate?! How could we even say those blasphemous words?! But don't worry, when it comes to Easter, we are only talking about Easter eggs! Many of us have dogs that can sniff out a snack a mile away and will most definitely eat it once they come across it. Or they might spot it in your child's Easter basket and snatch it right out of it. In this case, curiosity really could kill the cat (or dog) if they wanted to eat up that shiny wrapped, yummy smelling treat.
Pet Poison Helpline has reported a 200% increase in calls about dogs consuming chocolate during the week of Easter. Here are some FAQs about pets and chocolate.
Why is chocolate poisonous to dogs and cats?
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which cannot be broken down in animal's digestive system.
Are all chocolates the same?
No, while they are all chocolate, different types have higher levels of toxicity. For example, if your dog got into white chocolate, they'll most likely be fine. Other the other hand, cocoa powder is extremely toxic and action should be taken immediately.
What if my dog get's into chocolate?
First, determine what kind of chocolate and how much they got into. This makes a difference in how to move forward. As stated above, if they had a bite of white chocolate, then they'll be fine. If it's something else, call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 (fees apply).
How can I tell if they've been poisoned?
The most concerning symptoms of chocolate poisoning are seizures, diaherra, vomiting and rapid breathing to name a few. It can also cause their blood pressure and heart rate to increase significantly.
So back to Easter. What now? For easter eggs, consider safer alternatives that aren't harmful if your dog gets into them or allow your kids to trade in their eggs for the chocolate to be eaten away from the pets later on. Want your dog to be apart? Let him have his own Easter egg hunt! Here are some ideas:
If your dogs aren't major chewers, you can simply stick some of their favorite treats into classic plastic eggs.
Maybe try hiding some real hardboiled eggs out there for them to find! Yes, they can eat the shell, too!
Try baking or buying some egg-shaped treats to hide out but don't too many because you don't want a sick pup on your hands!
You can even give your pup their very own Easter basket so they don't feel left out!
However you decide to do Easter, just remember: keep chocolate AWAY from pets! But have fun!
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