Toxic food

Just 50g of chocolate can be toxic and kill a dog. Once again this is the Easter warning from the RSPCA Queensland’s Chief Veterinarian, Dr Anne Chester.

“The problem is that the systems of cats and dogs cannot tolerate theobromine, one of the key ingredients of chocolate,” says Dr Chester.

Theobromine can cause a range of problems in domestic animals because it triggers the release of adrenaline, which can lead to a greatly accelerated heart rate and an irregular heartbeat.

Some signs your pet may have ingested chocolate:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Excessive Urination
  • Hyperactivity

In serious cases, pets can become depressed, enter a coma, have seizures and die.

If you think your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t, take them to your nearest vet without delay.

But chocolate isn’t the only potential hazardous food for pets. Some others include: hot cross buns, raisins, grapes and sultanas, onions, corn cobs, cooked bones, fatty barbeque foods.

“Fatty foods in barbeque left overs can affect the animals’ pancreas and lead to pancreatitis. Cooked bones can also cause major problems. They’re brittle and the sharp slivers can either lodge in the throat or pierce the stomach lining.”

Dr Chester emphasized that she was not trying to be melodramatic.

One recent patient treated at the RSPCA had a corn cob removed from the dog’s intestines.

“We see this far too often. It was touch and go for Nova the dog, sometimes these obstructions can be very tricky to remove and if not found early enough, can be fatal.

“We want everyone to enjoy the Easter break. But please! Think carefully before you feed your pets food designed for humans - especially chocolate!” warns Dr Chester.

Safe travel with pets

If you’re planning on holidaying with your pets this Easter, remember their safety!

RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Emma Lagoon says, “Never leave your pets unattended in or on vehicles, and please appropriately restrain your dogs on the back of utes when travelling. We don’t want to see dogs flying from vehicles again this holiday season.”

If you can’t take your pet on holiday, consider booking a reputable pet sitter through someone like PetCloud and register your pet’s details with the RSPCA’s Home Alone service. More here.