As Easter approaches, children - and adults, let's be honest here - are looking forward to stuffing their faces with chocolate eggs. However, dog owners should always make sure to keep all chocolate, and other Easter treats, well away from their dogs' paws.
Rebecca Davidson, Insurance Specialist at NFU Mutual, says, "It is well known that chocolate is poisonous to dogs and can even prove fatal but pet owners may be unaware that raisins, currants and sultanas, found in hot cross buns or Simnel cake, are also toxic. Add to the ingredients some foil packaging or cake decorations, and you are looking at a recipe for disaster.”
Chocolate, sultanas, currants and raisins can cause rapid kidney failure in dogs and even death, depending on the amount ingested. Other risks around the home at Easter include traditional spring flowers, such as daffodils and tulips, which are toxic to pets.
Basset Hound Star, from Belfast, learned as much two years ago after eating her family's Easter eggs.
Owner Stephanie Berkeley recalls, “The children and I heard rustling coming from upstairs only to discover an array of cardboard and foil scattered across the landing. I had hidden the family’s Easter eggs in the spare bedroom but somehow Star had got in. She looked so unwell and was drooling chocolate from the sides of her mouth."
Star was immediately rushed to the vet's, receiving prompt treatment that saved her life. Without it she would have died, leaving her family heartbroken.
According to NFU Mutual data, in 2016, the average vet’s bill for dogs who had eaten the wrong thing was around £600. Nearly one in four claims involved chocolate and one in ten dried fruit or grapes.
Rebecca adds, “Dogs will eat almost anything and swallowing toxic substances and foreign objects takes place all year round. Stones, socks, skewers and even half a doormat were on the list of ingested items that made dogs unwell last year.”
Easter treats are not the only Spring danger for your dog: several plants and flowers can be toxic as well, so always keep an eye on what plants your dog approaches in the garden or on a walk!
Image courtesy of NFU Mutual.