Dogs Trust is appealing dog owners to be vigilant and keep the chocolate out of reach of their pets.
With the bank holiday weekend approaching, Dogs Trust are aiming to raise awareness of the continued risk that the consumption of chocolate poses to canines.
Lauren Price, from Gloucester, recently had a close call with her dog Minnie, who required emergency veterinary treatment after sneaking into a hidden stash of chocolate at home.
Price said: “My husband I received two large bags of chocolate as part of a birthday gift, which Minnie managed to find one morning when she was left alone in the house. When we returned there were tiny pieces of purple packaging all over the floor, her water bowl was licked bone dry and she had been sick in her food bowl.
“She had torn the packaging, taken the chocolate out and eaten both bars. Minnie was in the garden being sick everywhere and I could feel her heart rate was up and her ears were burning hot. We rushed her to the vets and they kept her in overnight. She received a charcoal flush to make her sick and lots of tests.
She added: “We were so worried I honestly didn’t think she was going to make it, especially being an older dog. The next day we were allowed to go and collect her and she was a funny shade of grey for a few days. She is back to her usual self and we are more conscious than ever now about keeping food out of her reach.”
Josie Cocks, Dogs Trust veterinary surgeon said: “Chocolate can be 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 would 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 news comes as the BVA warned that strict Covid-19 measures mean that vets are only able to see emergency cases, follow strict social distancing measures and have restricted services to emergency and urgent cases.
The renewed warning comes after the BVA revealed that eight in 10 vets (80%) working in companion animal practice saw at least one case of chocolate poisoning over the 12 months leading up to Easter last year.