18th April 2019


We all know that with Easter comes chocolate, cakes, roast dinners and lots of deliciousness…but that’s not the case for our dogs, unfortunately. There are certain foods that are not only unhealthy for our dogs, but are dangerous to them. Here are a few to watch out for this Easter, and all year round:

CHOCOLATE, COCOA & CAFFEINE– The darker and purer the chocolate, the more toxic it is for dogs. Cocoa, caffeine and chocolate contain the ingredient theobromine which they can’t metabolise as quickly as we can, so it builds up to toxic levels and in some cases can be fatal. Danger levels depend on the size and health of your dog, the amount consumed and the purity of the chocolate. But no matter what, please keep chocolate out of reach of your dogs at all times. If you suspect they may have consumed any, take them to your vet immediately. Signs of theobromine poisoning are hyperactivity, muscle tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhoea and a racing heart rate.

GRAPE FAMILY– Grapes, sultanas, raisins and currants are all toxic to dogs. Again, the severity of danger to your dog depends on their size and health. As few as four or five grapes could kill a 5kg dog. Signs of poisoning are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst and urination and if untreated, it leads to kidney failure. Make sure you keep your hot cross buns, fruit cake and the likes out of their reach.

ONIONS – The effects of a dog consuming a large amount of onion whether cooked or raw can ultimately lead to haemolytic anaemia, which is the bursting of red blood cells. Signs of onion ingestion are lethargy, weakness, lack of muscle coordination, pale gums, red or brown coloured urine and hypersalivation. Sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea may occur.

XYLITOL – Any products containing xylitol (sweetener) will cause liver failure to your dogs. Xylitol can be found in sweetener for your tea or coffee, chewing gum, some toothpastes, and in some brands of peanut butter. In fact, lots of processed foods contain it. Early symptoms to watch for are Lethargy, lack of muscle coordination and vomiting.

MACADAMIA NUTS – These nuts contain a toxin that affects your dog’s muscles and nervous system. The symptoms display as panting, swollen limbs and overall weakness of the body.

RAWHIDE CHEWS – Ingredients: LEATHER. It is not dehydrated meat, but a heavily chemically treated by-product of the leather industry. The leather has a chemical bath to help preserve the product. Some of the chemicals used throughout the process that showed up when tested include sodium sulphide liming, bleach, ash-lye, hydrogen peroxide, glue, titanium oxide, lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium salts and formaldehyde. Avoid at all costs!

COOKED BONES – Giving a raw, uncooked bone to your dog is fine under supervision, but if the bone has been cooked it becomes brittle and can break and splinter. If your dog consumes a cooked bone and it breaks or splinters inside them, it could perforate the gut, which can be fatal. Carrots are a safe and healthy alternative – and perfect for Easter!

All these foods to be aware of sounds rather scary, but in reality, it just involves a little common sense, a certain amount of investigation and a bit of awareness to avoid any harm coming to your dogs. So kick back, play safe and enjoy your Easter break!



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