With the bank holiday Easter weekend approaching, dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust, is reminding dog owners to keep chocolate out of reach.

The charity wants to raise awareness of the continued risk that the consumption of chocolate poses to canine companions.

The Dogs Trust say you can have a dog-friendly Easter by following these top tips:

  • Never give your pooch any human chocolate as a treat. Ensure that children and visitors understand why and adhere to this rule too.

  • Make sure that bins are dog-proof to prevent them scavenging through rubbish.

  • Never leave any chocolate unsupervised, such as cakes cooling on worktop surfaces.

  • Keep a close eye on your dog whilst out walking, to avoid them scoffing down discarded food that is potentially harmful.

Josie Cocks, Dogs Trust Veterinary Surgeon, said: “Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs, so owners should ensure they keep it out of reach of their four-legged friends. Whilst some chocolate is more toxic than others, any amount is potentially harmful to your dog.

“If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, we would advise owners to contact their vets immediately. Chocolate poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst, excitability, drooling, seizures and potentially kidney and heart failure.”

Tamsin Durston, canine behaviour officer at Dogs Trust offered some other suggestions to keep your dog occupied at home this Easter:

"Taking them on their own Easter hunt around the house that includes dog-friendly treats instead of chocolate is a great way of bonding and giving our dogs lots of stimulation.

"You can also save up your Easter egg boxes and put them to good use by building a small hurdle for your dog and getting them to jump over it, or hide their toys or teats in them for them to sniff out.

"You could even create a twist to last year’s Snoot Challenge by using the egg-shaped hole in the Easter egg box for your dog to pop their snoot through.

“Dog owners could build them their own Easter bunny burrow, or ‘Doggy Den’ so your furry friend has a cosy, comfortable place to sleep.”

  • Let us know what you get up to with your pets this weekend by emailing your photographs to granada.reports@itv.com or tag us on social media!