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Easter Feast

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 1:46:57 PM EST by Cam Day

Easter eggsEaster is just a few sleeps away with all the fun of the feast and, if your house is like mine, there will be chocolate eggs a plenty. And with every scrumptious egg being unwrapped, there will be a pooch or a puss with a 'Me too, please' expression on its  face.

Now, on occasion, you have to be cruel to be kind, and this is such an occasion. Chocolate and pets are not a good combination. Now a small piece will not cause any damage, but some impatient pets will plan a seek-and-destroy mission and will discover the stash of Easter eggs.  That's where problems will start.

Large amounts of chocolate can be dangerous for pets. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.

If your dog eats too much chocolate, it could become over-excited and hyperactive. Due to the diuretic effect, it may pass large volumes of urine and it will be unusually thirsty. Vomiting and diarrhoea are also common but it is the effect of theobromine on your dog's heart that is the most dangerous.

Theobromine will either increase your dog's heart rate or may cause the heart to beat irregularly. Death is quite possible, especially if your dog exercises after the binge.

It is possible for a pet to eat a large quantity of chocolate and not show the effect for some hours afterwards. Death can occur within 24 hours.

Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous.


Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate.

Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

The good news is that there are many other ways to help your pet celebrate Easter that don't rely on chocolate and that are a lot more fun for Pooch and Puss.

An Easter Bon-Bon

Easter bon-bon

Use a toilet roll core as an Easter bon-bon. For dogs, fill the core with sensible food treats, fold the ends over and wrap it in colourful paper. Let Pooch do the unwrapping because for dogs, that most of the fun.

Cats are a bit more restrained in their gluttony so rather than wrapping the bon-bon, fold just one end over and place some flavoursome treats inside. Allow the furry paw to explore the toiler roll core.

You can achieve the same with a tooth-paste carton and for big dogs, hide a raw, meaty bone inside a wrapped cereal box.

Frozen Gloup

For another Easter delight, start with an empty margarine container. Fill this will nutritious snacks such as dry food, some liver treats, maybe a chicken wing or an ox tail or a even a lump of teeth-flossing tough steak. Now the finishing touch - poor some vegemite broth or lactose-free milk (pets don't tolerate cow's mBeagle_puppy_whiteilk well) over the whole lot and freeze it!

Present that to your pooch for its Easter surprise and, while you might think the Gloup is revolting, your Pooch will love the puzzle of working out how to remove the goodies and the bone from inside the ice puzzle.

Chocolate Meat Balls

For those of you that cannot resist the temptation to give Pooch or Puss a small amount of chocolate, try this safe delight.

Roll a dessertspoon of raw mince into a ball and freeze it.  Now cover the whole frozen rissole with the milk-chocolate version of Ice Magic and when it sets, give that to your pets!!

They will think all their Christmases have come at Easter!  This small amount of chocolate is quite safe.

But if you want to be really safe, there are many carob-flavoured dog treats that your pooch will love.

Keep yourself safe over Easter!

More information

To Pet Nutrition Pet Pick

Other Poisonous Foods

Easter bon-bon

Comments

Comment by: Paula Fortune
Mar 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM
My Indie loves chopped carrot and apple !! Now and then we get the dog chocs from the supermarket but only sparingly.
Comment by: Rosemary
Mar 21, 2013 at 10:22 PM
All our little dog wants is as much plain, steamed broccoli and zuccini as we allow him! That, to Mungo, is a FEAST!
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