Too much of a good thing can kill your dog...
Candy is dandy, but not for dogs. Chocolate made for human consumption can cause death in dogs. It contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of it can cause: vomiting and diarrhoea. With the holidays coming, it seems an appropriate time to repeat the message, repeat the message, repeat the message...
A recent survey showed that the British were amongst the top nations of chocolate eaters in the whole of Europe. Certainly we appear to be a nation of 'chocoholics.' But what if we are tempted to share our favourite sticky stuff with our beloved dogs.
According to newly released statistics, claims for chocolate poisoning in dogs surge by 235 per cent during the Easter period
New data released by The Kennel Club shows that cases of dog chocolate poisoning more than double during Easter, compared to other months in the year. The new data, collected by The Kennel Club’s insurance partner, Agria Pet Insurance, indicates that claims for chocolate poisoning in dogs peak during Easter, increasing by 235 per cent during the four-week period, causing The Kennel Club to issue a warning about the Easter dangers for our four-legged friends, to avoid a possible seasonal health crisis.
To enjoy this Easter safely with your four-legged friend, The Kennel Club, has some 'impawtant' tips:
Remember to keep any chocolate high up, out of the reach of your dog’s paws when it’s not being eaten and be careful when you are eating chocolate, ensuring your dog can’t get to it. Sadly, despite their strong sniffing abilities, dogs can’t take part in the traditional egg hunt and should be kept away from the activities or remain on lead the whole time.
Chocolate is not the only dangerous Easter treat for dogs, as other traditional foods include ingredients that are poisonous to dogs. Hot cross buns and Simnel cake may contain grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas which are toxic to dogs, so it is important to keep those away from them and out of paws’ reach.
Encountering new people, including children, can be stressful for dogs and especially for puppies who have spent their first and formative months in their small family bubble. An Easter egg hunt and lunch in the garden could be overwhelming for them with new voices, smells and noises.
To make sure Easter celebrations don’t become too much for your dog, make sure their routine isn’t disrupted – take them out on their usual walks and keep dinner time the same – and make sure they still have their usual space and bed so they can retreat and settle in their usual spot as and when they want to.
If Easter weekend is going to be the first time your dog meets family members due to the pandemic restrictions, make sure it’s not too overwhelming for them and that you’ve prepared and socialised them ahead of the event. There’s advice on socialising your puppy at home and tips to make sure they’re ready for the ‘new normal’ available on The Kennel Club’s online training hub: thekennelclub.org.uk/training
The bulbs and other parts of several spring flowering plants can be poisonous to dogs, including daffodils, tulips and spring crocuses. Keep an eye on your dog in the garden and always keep bulbs out of their reach. Don’t try to make your dog sick if you think your dog might have eaten a poisonous plant, but do contact your vet.
Spring is also a time when some creatures become more active including slugs, snails, toads, ticks and adders, and coming across these can be a health hazard. When your dog is exploring during spring, check on them regularly and make sure you know what to do in case your dog is bitten or in contact with one of the creatures. Make sure you inspect your dog for ticks regularly, especially after walks, and always remove any ticks quickly and carefully, speaking to your vet if you are unsure how to do this.
If you and your dog are planning to discover a new route this Easter, make sure you understand how to be responsible when walking in countryside, and around wildlife or livestock, especially during lambing season, to keep your dog as well as other animals and humans safe.
Some areas can have seasonal restrictions around dog walking, such as dogs being banned from beaches during certain months and you should always familiarise yourself with these restrictions ahead of your adventure. When walking around cattle and livestock make sure to keep your dog on a lead and never allow your dog to approach or chase any livestock or wildlife.
Dogs are sensitive to a class of chemicals called methylxanthines. Caffeine and theobtomine are members of that family. Dogs simply cannot metabolise and excrete methylxanthines as efficiently as humans. The half life of those compounds in the human body is in the order of 2-3 hours. In the dog, it is more like 18 hours.
Dark chocolate is at least ten times as lethal. A 25 kilogram dog could die from the methylxanthines in five ounces of chocolate.
Watch for these Symptoms
This article is based on a copy sent in to Agilitynet of a feature which appeared in an unknown publication. If you know the publisher, please let us have details so that we may credit them and obtain their permission. However, we felt that the subject was important enough for us to include on Agilitynet without the usual attributions.
Photo sources: Cadbury Schweppes (top); H. Roger Viollet (left)
Thank you to Joyce Widlake of Epping Green AC for send this article to Agilitynet. She makes sure that every new club member gets a copy of it when joining.
Here are the facts and figures
Last week a reader was inquiring about chocolate being toxic to dogs. My veterinarians gathered the following information for us, and pointed out the timeliness of this topic.
Below is a chart giving the milligrams
per ounce of caffeine and theobromide
Items containing caffeine, but not theobromide (mg/oz)
Here is how to calculate whether or not your dog has had a toxic dose of chocolate or caffeine:-
to give you a point of reference...
Drs. Junk and Waits could not stress enough, 'Just avoid chocolate all together.' You never know when a dog will have an atypical reaction, or when he has eaten more than you think.
From Mandy Love...
Another friend in our group who doesn't have a dog, said that he's brought Reg a packet of chocolate buttons on the Saturday as a treat! I explained the dangers, but they didn't seem convinced - could this have been the cause?
Anyway, please all give your dogs an extra hug and treat tonight, so they know how much you mean to them. (21/01/03)
About Kathy Yata
Kathy lives in Southern California and trains with Nancy Soyster in Camarillo.
From Arlene Phillips
Reprinted with kind permission of the Web Master of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America.
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