This time, when Fluffy begs, you can't succumb to that pathetic expression and loving face. As cute as your precious pup may be, and as much as Easter may put you in a giving mood, don't give it chocolate if you can avoid it.
Why? Because, warns the PDSA, the leading veterinary charity in the United Kingdom, feeding your pet chocolate could have adverse consequences. Even potentially fatal ones.
Crazy as it sounds, inordinate amounts of chocolate and other sweets can poison dogs and other pets, thanks to the toxic effects of theobromine. A component of chocolate, theobromine may lead to poisoning in dogs and will usually appear within 4-24 hours of ingestion. The unpleasant effects can last as long as 72 hours, with symptoms including vomiting, abdominal pain, hyperactivity, increased (or dramatically decreased) heart rates, among others. In very severe cases it can even result in death.
Of course, every animal will react differently, and certain chocolate types contains more theobromine than others. Plain chocolate, for instance, will pack a much bigger punch, or approximately 500-1,000 times more theobromine than white chocolate. Cocoa powder is a particularly bad culprit, as it can contain around six times more theobromine than plain chocolate. Regardless, a Veterinary Surgeon Elaine Pendlebury urges people against sharing their Easter chocolate gifts with their pets at all cost.
"Easter and chocolate go hand in hand. But where pets are concerned, people should avoid feeding it to them," she said. "Not only is there the issue of chocolate toxicity for dogs and many other pets, but it is also worth bearing in mind that the high sugar content of chocolate wont do anything for you pets waistline or teeth either!"
So, in order to make your Easter experience worthwhile for both you and Fluffy, be sure to keep the chocolate at bay. Think of the years of companionship you could miss out on if you don't. Give Fluffy a treat that's meant for dogs, and leave the chocolate goodies to the two-legged species.
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