As most of us settle in for a home-based Easter break, RSPCA South Australia is reminding pet owners of the potentially fatal consequences of their animals consuming chocolate.
The cocoa in chocolate contains the compound theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and other pets at certain doses. It is therefore important not to give pets any chocolate and to ensure chocolate is stored in places inaccessible to pets.
Food-motivated dogs are particularly at risk, and owners are urged to be especially cautious if hiding eggs for an Easter egg hunt to ensure no four-legged family members find them.
Vets can usually treat chocolate poisoning by inducing vomiting, but it is critical to seek veterinary attention quickly.
Symptoms of theobromine ingestion include:
- Increased water consumption and urination
- Increased heart rate
If your pet has ingested chocolate – even a small amount – you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible for advice.