Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - WHAT’S ON -

EASTER is al­most here and while that can be an ex­cit­ing time for people, it’s a haz­ardous time for pets lured by choco­late and other Easter treats.

PET­s­tock vet­eri­nar­ian Dr Rod Sharpin said pet own­ers should be aware of the dan­gers as­so­ci­ated with feed­ing pets choco­late and other toxic foods dur­ing their cel­e­bra­tions.

“Easter is a time for fam­ily gath­er­ings, food and fes­tiv­i­ties and the age-old favourite Easter egg hunt,” he said.

“As a pet par­ent, it can be very tempt­ing to sneak our furry fam­ily mem­bers some choco­late eggs or even a hot cross bun.

“Although de­li­cious to hu­mans, choco­late, along with a va­ri­ety of food and drinks pop­u­lar at Easter, can be ex­tremely dan­ger­ous and po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing to an­i­mals.”

The dan­ger is in ca­cao, which con­tains the com­pound theo­bromine. It is highly toxic to cats and dogs, even in small quan­ti­ties.

“Symp­toms of tox­i­c­ity, which range from vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea to rapid breath­ing and seizures, will usu­ally oc­cur within a few hours but the ef­fects can last days or longer, depend­ing on the amount of choco­late that has been eaten,” Sharpin said.

“Grapes (and the raisins found in hot cross buns) are toxic to dogs and cats, with the po­ten­tial to cause kid­ney fail­ure. Onions, leeks and gar­lic also con­tain tox­ins that can make your dog or cat se­ri­ously ill.”

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