Chocs Away! Awareness Drive
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 | D for Dog
Shocking survey reveals dangers to man’s best friend this Easter.
Dogs Trust launches its “Chocs Away” awareness drive.
A shocking new survey (March 2012 with over 1,115 respondents) from Dogs Trust has revealed that over 57% of pet dogs have eaten chocolate intended for humans and over 1 in 10 have become ill from it. Of these, 8% have died due to the effects and nearly a quarter have required urgent veterinary treatment.
To prevent the number of dogs that end up visiting the vet with chocolate poisoning, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is launching a new “Chocs Away!” awareness drive to highlight the tragic consequences of feeding your dog human chocolate this Easter.
Sadly many dog owners are simply unaware of the dangers. Over 39% of dogs who ate human chocolate were given the treat by their owners and 61% found it themselves after it was left in easy to find places in the home.
Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, comments:
“Apart from the risks of obesity and the obvious dangers of eating the foil wrapping, the biggest risk of eating human chocolate is poisoning, resulting in an emergency dash to the vet and sadly even death.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which, although tolerated by humans, is extremely toxic to man’s best friend. The darker the chocolate, the greater the amount of theobromine. Toxic doses vary according to the size of dog and cocoa solid content of the chocolate. As a rough guide, Dogs Trust estimates that 50g of plain chocolate could be enough to kill a small dog, such as a Yorkshire Terrier*, while just 400g could be enough to kill an average size dog.”
So, if you are partial to Easter Eggs and want to keep your dog safe, follow these simple rules:
- Keep your “Chocs Away” – this means hidden out of sight and unavailable to your dog.
- NEVER feed your dog chocolate intended for humans.
- If your egg is missing and you suspect the dog is the culprit, contact your vet straight away.
- Look out for any of the following symptoms; vomiting containing blood, a sore tummy, excessive thirst, excitability, drooling, rapid heart rate. and in severe cases, epileptic-type fits.
- If your dog is displaying any of these signs then take him immediately to your vet.
- There is no antidote for theobromine poisoning with treatment being symptomatic. Therefore the sooner treatment is implemented, the greater the chance of recovery.
- If you want to treat your dog this Easter stick to natural doggy snacks that are kinder to your canine.
*fatal doses of theobromine quoted in the range 90 – 250mg per kg of body weight, from “The Handbook of Poisoning in Cats and Dogs” by Alexander Campbell and Michael Chapman (Blackwell Science). For the average Yorkshire Terrier we have estimated a body weight of 2.5kg and for an average dog we have estimated a body weight of 25kg.
Cases of death by an Easter egg alone are relatively unlikely, most reported cases of death by theobromine are from dogs eating cocoa powder and cocoa mulch in the garden, so please be vigilant if your dog is also exposed to these products.