Owners should be wary of their pets eating Easter treats as vets prepare for an increase in chocolate poisoning over the holiday.
The advice is to make sure your chocolate is locked away or stored in a high place, says Vet Dan Lewis from Capontree.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant similar to caffeine, which can cause vomiting, increased heart rate, agitation and seizures in dogs.
High quality dark chocolate is said to pose the biggest risk, a small bar of the chocolate could fatally poison a Yorkshire Terrier.
It can also be poisonous to other household animals such as bunnies and cats.
The PSDA says owners should contact a vet for advice immediately if a pet has eaten something it shouldn't.
If your pet has eaten chocolate you may notice they are :
- thirsty and drinking more than usual
- being sick
- has runny poo
- has a sore, tender tummy and doesn’t want to be touched there
- is very restless and won’t settle.
As the poisoning gets worse you might notice you pet is:
- shaking and trembling
- has an unusual and irregular heartbeat
- feels like they have a temperature
- is panting or breathing quickly.
Owners who want to include their pets in celebrations are asked to find an alternative to feeding them chocolate such as pet-safe treats or a new toy.
For more information on how to protect your furry friends from harmful foods this Easter, visit the PDSA website.