The RSPCA is warning dog owners to keep chocolate away from their fur babies this Easter.
The animal welfare body said that while many will be enjoying their Easter chocolate in the coming weeks, it was important to remember that theobromine, a compound found in cocoa, is toxic to dogs and other pets at certain doses.
RSPCA Victoria chief veterinarian Dr Rupert Baker said chocolate poisoning was a problem that mainly occurs in dogs, but also in cats or other animals.
“It’s important not to give chocolate to your pets and to make sure they can’t accidentally access any of your chocolate supplies, especially around Easter,” he said.
Dr Baker said symptoms of chocolate ingestion can include restlessness, excitement, hyperactivity, nervousness, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased drinking alcohol and increased urination, increased heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and possibly death.
“The overall effect of chocolate ingestion on the dog depends on the size of the dog, the amount of chocolate consumed, and the type of chocolate consumed,” he said.
“If your dog or pet has ingested chocolate, even a small amount, you should contact your local vet as soon as possible for advice.”
In an emergency, please call Mildura Veterinary Hospital on 0419 353 965 or Benetook and Robinvale Veterinary Clinic & Animal Hospital on 0455 855 400.