Advice for dog owners on how to protect their pet this Easter as suggested by dog welfare charity Dogs Trust
Dogs Trust veterinary surgeon, Josie Cocks, said: “Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, so owners should ensure they keep it out of reach of their four-legged friends. Whilst some chocolate is more toxic than others, any amount is potentially harmful to your dog.
“If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, we advise owners to contact their vets immediately. Chocolate poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst, excitability, drooling, seizures and potentially kidney and heart failure.”
The charity advises:
- Never give your dog any human chocolate as a treat. Ensure that children and visitors understand why and adhere to this rule too.
- Ensure that bins are dog-proof to prevent them scavenging through rubbish.
- Never leave any chocolate unsupervised, such as cakes cooling on worktop surfaces.
- Teach your pooch to move away from something when you ask them to ‘leave it’. This important life skill will be very useful if your dog reaches for something they shouldn’t have.
- Keep a close eye on your dog whilst out walking, to avoid them scoffing discarded food that is potentially harmful.
Canine behaviour officer at Dogs Trust, Charlotte Huggins, said: “There are plenty of exciting things we can do with our pets over the holiday weekend. Taking them on their own Easter hunt around the house or garden, that includes dog-friendly treats instead of chocolate is a great way of bonding and giving our dogs lots of stimulation.
“You could also use the front of Easter egg boxes to teach your dog to do the snoot challenge or use the boxes to hide their toys or treats for them to sniff out. If you want to have a go at something a little bit different, get a couple of boxes set a little distance apart and holding your dog’s treat or favourite toy in one hand, slowly start to guide them in a figure of eight around the two boxes. Then reward your dog.
“Dog owners could also build them their own Easter bunny burrow, or ‘Doggy Den’ so your furry friend has a cosy, comfortable place to sleep undisturbed in the house.”