Easter Brings Chocolate Dangers to Pets

Many pets join us for holiday festivities, but Easter chocolates are frequent the time of year.  Here’s some information on why chocolate is so bad for our four-legged friends.

Theobromine and Caffeine are two compounds found in chocolate and are toxic to dogs.  Typically, darker and bitter chocolates have higher concentrations of Theobromine and Caffeine.  This means that the darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is to your dog.  Initial toxicity signs would be vomiting, diarrhea and not eating, then effects on the heart – fast and/or irregular heartbeat, then tremors and seizures, and finally death if not treated.

Dogs are more likely to dig into the chocolate if it is less unattended.  While chocolate is still very toxic to dogs, larger dogs are often able to eat some chocolate without serious repercussions.  Small dogs, on other hand, can have permanent damage from as few as 2 Hershey’s kisses.  Cats are less likely to indulge in chocolate since they are unable to taste sweetness, but are even in more danger than dogs if chocolate is consumed.  Chocolate is even more poisonous to cats than to dogs, coupled with their overall smaller stature, results in poisoning happen with even small amounts of chocolate.

If your cat or dog ingests any amount of chocolate, it is best to call your veterinarian ASAP so they can calculate if the amount may be toxic. If you know your pet ate or could have eaten chocolate and they are having any symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, not eating, restlessness or hyperactivity, heart racing, seizures) you should seek immediate veterinary care.

At Emerald Animal Hospital, we have been providing compassionate veterinary care to the Cleveland area since 1976. As a full-service hospital, we offer high quality medicine and surgery.  If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us 216-749-7161 or click on the dog on the right send us an email.  We will discuss the best care options for each individual pet and are happy to answer any questions that may arise.