Easter should be a time for celebration, but unfortunately every Easter we see at least one or two dogs suffering from chocolate toxicity- (in fact, we even had one last Halloween!). Mind you, it's often due to accidental ingestion.

Just like us, dogs love the taste of chocolate and dogs seem to have a particularly keen nose for finding chocolate in the house if left unguarded. Kids are particularly good at leaving their Easter eggs where they can easily be scavenged out.

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffine, both of which are toxic to dogs. The dogs most commonly affected are usually puppies and young adults, as they are most likely to indulge and rapidly consume large amounts. Also, the effects of chocolate are dose related, so the smaller the dog the less he needs to eat to be affected.

It is safe to say that chocolate as a whole is not recommended for pets, however cooking or dark chocolate contain higher levels of theobromine and so are proportionally more toxic.

Signs may not be seen for a few hours and death can occur within 12- 36 hours of an overdose.

There is no antidote for chocolate toxicity, however if we see your dog within the first two hours after eating the chocolate we can induce vomiting to reduce the amount absorbed into the body.

So all family members can enjoy a safe and happy holiday, please refrain from giving your dog chocolate eggs this Easter. What about a nice meaty bone instead?