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Chocolate Poisoning: The Dangers of Christmas for dogs

Chocolate Poisoning

Chocolate Poisoning: what are the numbers?

Here at Dogly we know that dogs are considered part of the family, and its almost irresistible to want to give them a treat or two. Pet insurance companies are expecting around 2,000 dogs to be taken to the vets with chocolate poisoning over the Christmas period.

During this year alone there are been around 6600 cases of dogs with chocolate poisoning, which is about a 140% increase on the 2014 figures and 25% up on last year!

Just over 25% of chocolate poisoning in dogs occurs in December closely followed by the Easter period. These are obviously the most common time for people to have chocolate lying around the house.

What are the effects?

Chocolate can cause a variety of problems which are extremely dangerous to your dog, the average vet bills for these cases are in excess of £300

The quantity of chocolate plays a large part in the danger posed to the dog, a small amount of chocolate and the dog may just have some vomiting or diarrhoea a couple of hours after. The vomiting is a good thing for the dog, but maybe not your carpet, as it means your dog is removing the poison itself. Even if this is the case its still advisable to take your dog to the vets so they can assess for any further poisoning or damage.

If your dog has eaten a large amount of chocolate, you may notice them become restless and have increased energy, this is usually followed by shaking, fatigue and balance problems.

Getting your dog to the vets as soon as they have eaten chocolate is very important providing you know they have eaten it. Dogs can be very sneaky and opportunistic so it can be crucial that you keep an eye out for any symptoms. Chocolate poisoning can also cause comas, spasms and seizures in extreme cases, so keep chocolate high up well out of reach of hungry dogs.

Christmas bring many other dangers to dogs, So here’s a quick run down on what may be lurking around

  • Cooked Bones– When cooked, animal bones can become brittle and splinter, and can cause severe internal issues for your pets. So don’t toss the dog a turkey leg as a treat,chocolate-poisoning and make sure you don’t leave the turkey to close to the edge of the table or worktop.
  • Mince Pies– While us humans love them there are dangers within, mince pies contain fruit such as raisins, which are toxic to dogs and can make them ill depending on the quantity and size of dog. They are also pretty high in fats which is never a good thing for your dog (or you, but its Christmas)
  • Nuts– . Small dogs can be at risk of stomach upsets or blockage if they consume some nuts like walnuts and haven’t chewed them up completely.
  • Christmas trees– If you have a playful dog you may find you need to fasten your Christmas tree down in case it gets knocked over which could cause injury. Also the fairy light wires may be an exciting new thing for your dog to chew.
  • Pine needles– If you have a real Christmas tree the pine needles will eventually drop on the floor. These can in some cases work their way into your dogs paws and if they go unnoticed for to long can cause irritation or infection.
  • Seasonal plants– Plants like holly and mistletoe are often found around peoples houses at Christmas and can be a danger to dogs. If they are consumed they can cause abdominal pain and intestinal problems

On this cheery note we hope everyone has a great Christmas, and keep your eyes open for those naughty dogs

If you need pet insurance ( we hope you don’t) we have some of the top rated ones in our insurance section

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