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Dog owners need to learn 8 signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs before Christmas

Country Living (UK) logo Country Living (UK) 16/12/2019 Lisa Walden
a dog sitting on top of a wooden fence: Chocolate can be toxic for dogs this Easter. As well as dangerously speeding up their heart rate, it can cause them to become incredibly sick. © Klaus Vedfelt Chocolate can be toxic for dogs this Easter. As well as dangerously speeding up their heart rate, it can cause them to become incredibly sick.

Chocolate can be toxic to dogs. As well as dangerously speeding up their heart rate, it can cause them to become incredibly sick. But would you be able to spot the tell-tale signs and symptoms that your pet has eaten chocolate? It's important every dog owner learns them – it could be life-saving for your pet.

With many treats lying around the home at Christmas, it can be a challenge to monitor everything your dog has consumed. According to a BBC report, one 14-year-old Parsons Russell Terrier had a dangerous encounter after eating four chocolate Santas hanging from the tree.

Getty © Getty Getty

The pup's owner, Ms Pomroy from Kent, told the BBC: "I'd hung chocolate tree decorations high on the tree, as we do every year, but a few days before Christmas I walked into the sitting room to find decorations and tinsel all over the floor.

"I didn't realise how dangerous it was, but thankfully I'd heard that chocolate can be really poisonous to dogs, so I called PDSA straight away." After being rushed to the vets and receiving medication to help with the toxins, the pup managed to recover.

Now, charities are urging pet owners across the UK to ensure Christmas chocolate is kept well out of sight from dogs.

Read the below and keep a close eye on your dog's behaviour...

What are the signs of chocolate poisoning in a dog?

You might not be able to tell straight away if your dog has consumed chocolate – signs of poisoning may begin to show within six to 12 hours after.

These include...

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Restlessness
  4. Increased urination
  5. Increased heart rate
  6. Seizures
  7. Excessive thirst
  8. Tremors, where your dog will twitch one or more body parts

It's important for owners to pay attention to the signs and to act quickly if your dog consumes any chocolate treats.

Earlier this year, the BBC reported on a Labradoodle from North East Lincolnshire, who ate four chocolate Easter eggs. The report said he is "lucky to be alive" after his owners rushed him to the vets. It could have been life-threatening, but vets managed to take good care of him.

"Having heard the quantity of chocolate he had eaten, it was very important that we saw to him straight away," explained vet Heather Sparks in the BBC report. "Luckily for Bosley, he has got an incredible owner who acted quickly, who knew exactly what to do and within half an hour we were able to provide aggressive treatment that was needed."

a close up of a box: Hatchwell © Amazon Hatchwell

What should you do if your dog has eaten chocolate?

If you do notice any of these signs, ensure you call your vet immediately. Don't wait for them to improve as it could be too late. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) if you are unable to get an emergency appointment.

In older or weaker dogs with heart conditions especially, chocolate poisoning can cause the sudden risk of death. Monitor your home this Easter to ensure eggs or chocolate treats are kept well out of sight.

Give your dog another animal-friendly treat, or get your hands on a dog Easter egg so they still have something delicious to indulge in.

Make sure you...

  • Check your bins are dog-proof and leftover eggs are removed from reach
  • Don't leave chocolate out in the open, especially if egg hunts are taking place
  • Ensure guests and children know not to feed your dog

Gallery: 21 Photos That Prove Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs [Best Life]

Our Christmas Together Appeal proudly supports Age UK and The Children’s Society who are providing vital services to society’s most vulnerable this festive season. Because no one should feel alone. Together we can make a big difference. Join us here.


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