Beware the Easter, Halloween & Christmas Chocolates
The Halloween and Christmas season is the time to kick back with family and friends and celebrate the year passed. Indulgent food and drink is all part of the festivities and more often than not, the family dog gets a taste too. Whether fed by the in-laws, scavenged out of a bin, or pulled out of the pantry, dogs and chocolate do not mix.
Chocolate contains toxic compounds called methylxanthines (theobromine and caffeine). The concentration of these compounds increases with the cocoa concentration of the chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous), and toxicity is dose-dependent (a 3kg chihuahua needs less chocolate to cause toxicity than a 50kg great dane).
Once consumed, the toxic compounds are rapidly absorbed by the stomach and intestine to cause clinical signs. Chocolate toxicity can vary from mild signs like gastric pain, bloating and vomiting to severe and life threatening signs such as high heart rate, tremors and seizures.
If any chocolate is eaten, it is always recommended to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. We can calculate if the amount they ate is likely to cause issues based on their weight, and if it is, we may need to make them vomit to remove the chocolate before it is absorbed.
If you would like your dog to join in on the festivities, why not bake your dog or cat some homemade Halloween or Christmas themed treats? There are lots of recipes available for free online which can be fun for the whole family to make, and can help prevent holiday emergencies.