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Merseyside pet expert warns of Easter dangers for dogs

3 weeks ago

Merseyside pet expert warns of Easter dangers for dogs
Picture - Shutterstock

A Merseyside pet expert is warning dog owners to be careful this Easter weekend and keep their furry friends safe from the dangers of the season.

For many, Easter means a feast of chocolate, hot crossed buns, and a celebration roast dinner. Extra friends and family in the house can also bring added stress and temptation for dogs and even the humble bunch of daffodils can be dangerous.

Neil Pullar, founder of Merseyside animal nutrition specialists PetExx, said Easter is one of the most dangerous times of the year for dogs.

He said: “I think most owners are aware of the dangers of chocolate to dogs but it worth remembering just how dangerous it can be, particularly if they eat a full Easter egg for example. 

“Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine and the general rule is the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine. So, if you like dark chocolate then you need to be even more aware of its potential toxicity to your dog. 

“Generally, people know you should never give chocolate to dogs and if you think they have eaten it you should contact your vet straight away. Of course, over a bank holiday weekend you are more likely to end up at the emergency vet and that will be expensive, so our advice is don’t risk it. Keep all chocolate on the highest shelf in the kitchen and if you are expecting visitors warn them to be extra careful, particularly if they aren’t used to being around dogs.”

If your dog eats chocolate, they may experience a range of symptoms. They could suffer from restlessness, vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid breathing, an increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and in severe cases, cardiac arrest, or death. The severity of symptoms depends on factors such as the amount and type of chocolate consumed, as well as the size and health of your dog. If you contact your vet after your dog eats chocolate, they will ask you how much they have consumed, the type and the weight of your dog. Don’t assume a big dog will be okay and always talk to your vet as soon as you become aware your dog has eaten chocolate.

If you realise quickly that your dog has eaten chocolate, the vet may give your dog an injection to induce vomiting. They may also give your dog activated charcoal to absorb the toxins. Supportive care such as intravenous fluids and medications to manage symptoms may also be necessary. A probiotic paste like PetExx Stomach Settler may be recommended to help re-balance the gut bacteria.

In the same way, hot crossed buns can also be dangerous for dogs.

PetEx Stomach Settler

Neil said: “While most people know about chocolate, owners might be less aware of the dangers of raisins and currents, which are found in hot crossed buns. Just like grapes, they are toxic for dogs and in serious cases this could lead to kidney failure. So never be tempted to give your dog a bit of your hot crossed bun, no matter how much they beg.

“Again, if you suspect your dog has eaten raisins, currents or grapes, contact your vet immediately and take all precautions you can in the kitchen to prevent them getting anywhere near a hot crossed bun this Easter.”

Daffodils are synonymous with spring and Easter, with gardens, parks and vases full of seasonal displays. Many people don’t realise they can be toxic for dogs if they eat the flowers or bulbs, or if they drink water from a vase with daffodils inside. 

The bulbs are often the most poisonous part of daffodils, as this is where the toxins are most concentrated. Symptoms of daffodil poisoning can include and up an upset tummy, vomiting and your dog may also appear sleepy and a bit unsteady on their legs.

Neil said: “In extreme cases, daffodil poisoning might also cause a dog to have a fit. Most dogs will just ignore flowers but there are some who will eat anything so the best advice we have is to watch your dogs if they go near daffodils outdoors and keep vases of flowers out of reach. Tulips, which are also seasonal to Easter, can also irritate a dog’s mouth and tummy.”

The Easter roast dinner can also present a danger for dogs. Don’t be tempted to feed your pooch cooked bones, they can snap and cause choking or a blockage in the digestive system. The best advice is to keep your Easter joint well out of the reach of your dogs and if you are tempted to treat them to their own roast dinner then make sure it is all lean meat with no bones.

Neil added: “Our advice generally is to be vigilant around all these seasonal dangers. You don’t want to end up in the emergency vet when you should be enjoying your Easter weekend.”

You can find out more about PetExx and their range of natural supplements here.

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