Nelson Bay vet Dr. Kathryn Staldert reminds pet owners to keep a close eye on Easter eggs when pets are around

WITHOUT a doubt, Easter is a time that we all enjoy indulging in the sweeter things – chocolate and hot cross buns!

It’s important to remember that these seasonal delights are potentially deadly for our pets.

Cocoa contains several compounds that are harmful to pets.

When ingested in adequate doses, these substances affect pets’ hearts and nervous systems, resulting in serious harm.

The concentration of these compounds varies in chocolate and is directly related to the amount of cocoa that it contains.

This means that a pet would need to ingest more milk chocolate to cause toxic effects than dark or cooking chocolate.

Smaller pets are especially susceptible as the amount they need to eat to affect them is less.

Hot cross buns are another potential danger to dogs at Easter time, as they contain raisins and sultanas which when ingested can result in potentially fatal kidney disease.

Some dogs are more susceptible than others.

To prevent harm to your pet this Easter:

– Keep all chocolate and hot cross buns out of reach for pets.

– Bear in mind that wrappers are no deterrent for dogs with their excellent sense of smell, and they will gladly ingest chocolate wrappers and all.

– Act fast: If your pet accidentally ingests chocolate or hot cross buns, seek help as soon as possible.

– If veterinary attention is sought within the first few hours, the outcome is likely to be far better than if a ‘wait and see’ approach is taken.

– Bear in mind your regular vet may have altered hours over the Easter Long weekend.

– If your dog does ingest chocolate, make sure you advise the veterinary team when, what type and how much your dog has eaten, as this can influence their recommendations for management.

– A single raisin, sultana or grape is enough to cause potentially fatal kidney failure.

– Seek help immediately.

For further advice contact the Australian Animal Poisons Helpline on 1300 TOX PET or visit

By Dr. Kathryn STALDER BVSc

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