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Protect your pets from chocolate this Easter

Easter is right around the corner and for those who are home and stocked up with chocolate goodies, Blue Cross pet charity is asking for pet owners to remember the dangers of chocolate and raisins after seeing numerous pets affected in its animal hospitals every year.

With periods of self-isolation and social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak, lots of people and their pets will be indoors with tempting but dangerous treats lying around. Blue Cross vets are encouraging pet owners to keep toxic chocolate and raisin-based snacks including hot-cross buns well out of reach of cats and dogs to prevent avoidable emergency trips to the vets this Easter break.

Last year, the pet charity reported 20 cases of pets being brought into its London animal hospital for chocolate toxicity from January to June.

Caroline Reay, Head of Veterinary Services at Blue Cross said: “Whilst it is a delicious treat for humans, chocolate can be extremely toxic to cats and dogs and should never be fed to them. It contains a chemical, theobromine, which is a bit like caffeine and is toxic to dogs and cats.

“As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the higher the levels of theobromine become. It really is best to avoid your pets getting access to any sort of chocolate. If you have seen your dog eat something that they shouldn’t, don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Call your vet immediately and ask for their advice.”

A five-month-old puppy called Romie was rushed into the vet with suspected chocolate consumption – vets at the Blue Cross Victoria hospital confirmed chocolate had been eaten and thanks to speedy treatment, Romie made a rapid recovery.

Romie’s owner said: “I just left the chocolate on the side for a moment, I feel awful, but called Blue Cross as soon as I thought he’d eaten it because I knew it was toxic.”

Due to Romie’s owner’s swift action, the puppy was unharmed, but if left, the outcome could have been so much worse. Chocolate can be fatal to pets, so Blue Cross urges owners to be extra vigilant this Easter.

Another dog who came into the animal hospital was Sunshine, a dog who, at Christmas, ate an entire advent calendar. His owner rushed him in for treatment and he too, was able to make a swift recovery.

For more advice on chocolate, visit https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/can-dogs-eat-chocolate

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