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Keep Pets Away from the Treats this Halloween

29 October 2014

ANALYSIS - What may seem like a harmless treat could spell disaster for your pets this Halloween, if they get their paws on the chocolate, writes Gemma Hyland.

As well as being high in calories, chocolate can prove fatal if eaten by dogs as it contains theobromine.

Despite the dangers, research by PDSA shows that around 468,000 dogs are fed human chocolate by their owners.

Owners in the North East are the biggest culprits, with more than a fifth (22 per cent) owning up to feeding their dogs the toxic treat, while owners in the South West are best behaved – only one per cent admit to this.

Regional Breakdown

Owners who admit to feeding their dogs human chocolate:

North East 22 per cent
West Midlands 10 per cent
North West 7 per cent
Yorkshire & The Humber 6 per cent
London 6 per cent
Scotland 6 per cent
East of England 4 per cent
Wales 4 per cent
South East 3 per cent
East Midlands 2 per cent
South West 1 per cent

High quality dark chocolate poses the biggest risk to dogs. A small bar of dark chocolate contains more than enough theobromine to fatally poison a small dog such as a Yorkshire Terrier.

PDSA vets and nurses see more than 400 cases of chocolate poisoning in dogs every year and often see a surge in cases around Easter and Christmas when chocolate is more prevalent in people’s homes.

The signs of chocolate poisoning due to the theobromine toxicity include:

  • Increased urine production (diuresis)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Muscle tremors
  • Death

If you think your pet has theobromine poisoning, consult a vet straight away.

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Top image via Shutterstock

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