Easter eggs can kill pets

Give your special pet a healthy treat instead of chocolate.
Give your special pet a healthy treat instead of chocolate.

PET owners are being reminded not to give their dogs and other pets chocolate these Easter holidays.

While some humans can't get enough chocolate, evens small morsels can be lethal; for dogs, according to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Leader Animal Welfare Standards, Angela Thompson.

"Chocolates are for the family and kids to enjoy these holidays however pet owners need to stay firm and not be tempted to give chocolate to their dogs and other pets," Ms Thompson said.

"Chocolate contains a natural compound called Theobromine which can affect dogs' nervous system, behaviour and heart.

Even a medium-sized chocolate bar can be dangerous and large amounts can be fatal.

Ms Thompson said vomiting and diarrhoea can occur two to four hours after dogs ingest chocolate, while other advanced symptoms such as seizures might not be seen for another 24 hours.

"Signs of chocolate toxicity in pets include vomiting, trembling and nervousness, increased urination, diarrhoea, hyperactivity and restlessness.

Ms Thompson said chocolate toxicity can affect a range of family pets.

"While dogs are the most susceptible, the toxin has been known to affect or kill cats, birds, rodents and reptiles as well.

"Most pet owners have well and truly got the message about the dangers of chocolate and it is often children who inadvertently left chocolate within reach of pets.

"A special fresh treat, good-quality pet biscuits or a chocolate substitute such as carob drops are all great ways to celebrate Easter with your pet."

If you suspect your dog has accidently eaten chocolate you should take them to your vet immediately.

Topics:  animal welfare chocolate department of primary industries easter pets

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