Easter: why and how to protect your dog or cat from chocolate?

Illustrative photo

The arrival of Easter is, for us, good news in more than one way: long weekend, chocolate treats… It is less so for our dogs and cats, who risk falling on these tempting treats, but so dangerous. for them.

As Easter weekend approaches, veterinarians fear an increase in the number of cases of animal poisoning by chocolate. They urge owners to be particularly careful in the days to come.

Chocolate is, in fact, one of the dangerous foods for dogs and cats. If we humans love it and can enjoy the benefits of cocoa, the situation is quite different when it comes to our 4-legged friends.

Eggs, chickens, rabbits and other chocolate bells eaten at Easter are all poisons for them, hence the need to ensure that they do not have access to them. The best thing to do, therefore, is to hide them well to prevent any poisoning.

Theobromine, this molecule so dreaded by canine and feline owners

The danger associated with chocolate is theobromine. This caffeine-like molecule has a devastating effect on the health of dogs and cats. It affects the heart rate and gives rise to a variety of symptoms. Ingesting chocolate can even be fatal for the pet.

Without forgetting the sugars and fats present in varying proportions in chocolate-based products, which are also very bad for our companions.

From what dose is chocolate dangerous for my animal?

The dangerous dose of chocolate for an animal depends on multiple factors: the type of product (cocoa content), the size of the dog or cat, its state of health, its age … In general, it is estimated that from 20 milligrams of theobromine ingested per one kilogram of body weight, symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and restlessness may appear. From 40 mg / kg, cardiac disorders are manifested. At 60 mg / kg, tremors and convulsions are likely to start.

The lethal dose for a dog is between 100 and 200 mg / kg. Concretely, therefore, a medium-sized dog becomes poisoned by eating 30 grams of dark chocolate or 250 grams of milk chocolate.

For a 5 kilogram cat, a dose of 25 to 75 grams of cocoa (70/150 grams of dark chocolate) is sufficient to cause death. Again, these figures are indicative and vary from animal to animal.

What if my dog or cat ate chocolate at Easter?

If the dog or cat ingests chocolate, the latter must be seen by the veterinarian immediately. It is important to specify, as far as possible, to the specialist the time at which the animal ate it, the amount swallowed, as well as the type of chocolate.

Read also: Many shelters have refused this dog, abandoned by his owners, because of his breed

The veterinarian will thus have all the information in hand to administer the appropriate treatment. Depending on the case, he may use an emetic (never try to make the animal vomit yourself), activated charcoal to prevent the intestinal absorption of theobromine, infusion or other solutions.

In summary, despite the restrictive measures imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, let’s enjoy the festive atmosphere of Easter and its tasty traditions, but let’s be careful about the health of our pets. Let’s try to keep them away from chocolate treats, and everything will be great! </p

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