As a vet, Easter means two things. Chocolate AND lots of questions about pets eating chocolate. So I thought I’d remove the wrapper on everything you need to know about the sweet stuff. It’s not quite as scary as you might think…
While it should never be given as a treat, one piece of chocolate won’t kill them.
Chocolate contains a compound called ‘theobromine’. It’s similar to caffeine and is what makes dark chocolate give you a buzz. Dogs and cats don’t handle that buzz well and if they have too much, their nervous system becomes overstimulated.
The type of chocolate is crucial. White chocolate is not toxic. While dark chocolate is far more dangerous than milk chocolate.
The amount pets need to eat to encounter a problem is surprisingly high but not impossible for a dog to eat.
For a 35kg dog (Labrador size), it’s 1.4kg of milk chocolate or 7 regular blocks.
For a 5kg dog (Poodle size), it’s 250g of milk chocolate or 1 ¼ regular blocks.
Interestingly, the fat, sugar or even the foil will often make them sick before the chocolate does.
Because cats don’t generally have a sweet tooth, it’s rare for them to eat it.
Obviously, if you don’t know how much they’ve eaten or you, get them to the vet as soon as possible.