Can cats and dogs eat chocolate? Absolutely not. This is the short and firm answer! And if you think we’re being a tad melodramatic, consider this: a mere 30 g of dark chocolate could kill a 20 kg dog.
That’s not a risk that you want to take with the beloved furry member of your family! But the good news is that there are still ways that you can include your pet in your 2019 Easter festivities, sans chocolate. In this article, we look at how you can create a safe environment for your dog or cat this Easter, and why it’s important to leave chocolates to human consumption only.
Why chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs
One of the main ingredients in chocolate is theobromine, which is incredibly harmful to cats and dogs. If your pet eats chocolate, the theobromine will trigger a release of adrenaline. This can result in an accelerated heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, hyperactivity, seizures, vomiting, excessive urination and diarrhoea. In particular, when a dog or cat consumes large amounts of dark or cooking chocolate, they are at serious risk of dying. It’s imperative that your pet is not given any form of chocolate!
Other foods that are unsafe for cats and dogs
Chocolate isn’t the only food that is toxic to cats and dogs. A few ingredients and snacks that are everyday favourites for humans can cause your pet to become seriously ill. These include:
- Macadamia nuts
While you may like to share your dinner with your dog or cat, just remember that many human meals contain ingredients like onion and garlic. It’s always wise to scrutinise what’s in your dish before scooping a few spoonfuls into your pet’s food bowl.
Want to know what other foods you should avoid feeding your dog? See our blog article here!
Keeping your pet safe this Easter
If you love celebrating Easter, the chances are that you will have a lot of chocolate around the house over the Easter long weekend. So it’s essential that you put procedures and rules in place for your family, to ensure that your dog or cat cannot access these tasty, yet toxic, treats. Here are a few tips that will help you to create a safe environment for your pet during the chocolate-centred festivities:
- If your dog or cat is an outdoors pet, restrict chocolate to indoors only.
- If you are organising an Easter egg hunt, make sure you secure your pet in a chocolate-free zone while the hunt is happening. Afterwards, triple check all the hiding spots to ensure that no chocolate is left unfound before releasing your pet.
- Make sure all chocolate is secured in containers and cupboards, out of reach of investigative noses and excitedly wagging tails.
- Remind everyone in your home to place all empty chocolate wrappers straight in the bin and not to leave half-eaten chocolates lying around.
- If you’re playing chocolate-based games or cooking with chocolate, secure your pet away from the enticing smell and give them a pet-friendly treat to keep them occupied, such as a raw bone or Kong filled with kibble.
How to include your pet in Easter festivities, without chocolate
There are a wide variety of chocolate-free Easter activities that can include your pet! Remember that you’ll have a whole long weekend free to spend with your furry friend, so you can go to the park, have a splash at the beach or attend a BBQ with friends and family. You could even organise a chocolate-free easter egg hunt for your pet! If you have a small dog or cat, consider placing their favourite pet-friendly treats inside plastic eggs and hiding them around the house and yard for them to find. Carefully poke a hole through the top of the egg so that your furry friend has more success sniffing out your hiding places. For bigger dogs prone to cracking or swallowing plastic eggs, try hiding a few boiled eggs (shells off!) around the backyard for them. Make sure you supervise and assist your dog or cat throughout the hunt. They may need a few hints with the hiding spots and a helping hand opening the eggs to reach the yummy treats inside!
Going away for the Easter long weekend? If you’re travelling somewhere lacking in pet-friendly accommodation, you can book your furry friend in at Samford Pet Resort for their own little vacay! Spots fill up fast at this time of the year though, so get in quick to secure a place for your dog or cat by contacting us today! Do you live over the northside of Brisbane? Check out our sister pet resort, Northshore Pet Resort.