From chocolate bunnies to Easter eggs: Why you should keep these out of range of your pups!

From chocolate bunnies to Easter eggs: Why you should keep these out of range of your pups!

Authored by Allianz

With Easter right round the corner, we’re all undoubtedly tempted by our sweet tooth, however with recent data from Petplan, the UK’s leading pet insurer, showing that emergency trips to the vet for cases of chocolate poisoning are at a record high, dog owners are urged to think twice about where they keep their chocolate eggs.

Last year Petplan paid out £717,215 for 2,524 incidents where dogs were seriously unwell after eating chocolate, compared to £637,069 for 2,289 cases in 2022. That’s a 10% uptick in cases.

Over the Easter bank holiday weekend in 2023, with more chocolate around the house for everyone to indulge, daily incidents of chocolate harming dogs increased by 157% compared to the rest of the year.

Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs and can lead to symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhoea to seizures and, in rare cases, fatalities.

In 2023 almost a third (31%) of dogs taken to the vet for chocolate poisoning were under two years of age.

Bella Von Mesterhazy, Trading Director at Petplan commented “We urge dog lovers to be cautious this Easter. Many people don’t realise that dogs digest food differently to humans, and so not all food is safe for our four-legged friends. As we enjoy time with our families over the Easter break it’s easy to take your eye off your dog who may undertake an Easter Egg hunt of their own! Why not use one of the dog-friendly recipes on our website to make your dog their own safe Easter treat they can enjoy as part of your celebrations.

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“Pet owners should contact their vet immediately if their dog has eaten chocolate, as the severity of symptoms will depend on the quantity and type of chocolate consumed. The darker the chocolate, the more harmful it can be. Vets can use a toxicity calculator to determine the likelihood of symptoms and will let you know if your dog needs to go into the surgery. Having Petplan insurance can help you get your dog the best care should they need treatment.”

Thankfully, the old adage of teaching an old dog new tricks seems to be true. Over a five year study from 2019 to 2023, 91% of dogs who were ill after eating chocolate did so only the once. But some had an insatiable sweet tooth, with one dog seeing the vet five times!

Educating the whole family on what dogs should and should not eat is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Petplan have a range of dog-friendly recipes on their website so you can safely treat your pet this Easter. Four homemade puppy treats | Petplan

To find out more about chocolate poisoning and what to look out for, visit Signs of poisoning in dogs | Petplan