- Insurance claims for dogs eating chocolate double at Easter, study shows
- Chocolate is dangerous to animals – and can kill a dog
- Many also cause diarrhoea, dehydration and vomiting in the creature
The number of pets that are poisoned by chocolate doubles over the Easter break, according to new research.
Owners have been warned to be vigilant over the holidays when chocolate eggs and sweet treats are more likely to be offered to household pets.
Research by LV = pet insurance shows that twice as many claims for chocolate poisoning are made around the Easter and Christmas holiday periods, compared to the rest of the year.
Thousands of animals are treated each year for reactions to theobromine – a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean which affects the central nervous system and heart and can kill a dog.
The danger depends on the animal’s size and the type of chocolate. Darker and more expensive chocolate contains more theobromine.
While humans have the metabolism to cope with the stimulant, it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration in pets.
Pet insurance manager Julie Constable said: ‘As the Easter weekend approaches and people have more chocolate in the home than usual, we’re reminding those with dogs and cats to keep it well out of their reach.
‘If a pet does get hold of some chocolate and eats it, then their owners should contact a vet for advice straight away.’