Sweet poisons

Most of us know that chocolate, grapes and raisins have all sorts of wonderful properties for humans, but this is certainly not the case for our pets.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant similar to caffeine, found in the cocoa bean.  It is not effectively broken down in our pets' bodies and affects their central nervous system and heart muscle. Depending on how dark the chocolate is (how much cocoa it contains), how much is eaten and the size of the animal (the smaller the dog, the more dangerous it will be), chocolate can kill your pet.

Dark chocolate
100g will be toxic for every 13.5kg of body weight
This means that if a 6kg Jack Russell eats 100g of dark chocolate, this is serious

Milk chocolate
100g will be toxic for 1.5kg of body weight
This means that if a 6kg Jack Russell eats 400g of milk chocolate, this is serious

White chocolate
Only contains a minimal amount of cocoa butter, if any, but will still give your pet a sore tummy due to the fat and dairy content.

However these are only guidelines and toxicity will depend on other factors such as the dog's general health, when it last ate, its sensitivity to theobromine and its size.  In cases of suspected poisoning, we will make your dog vomit as soon as possible, before the chocolate is completely digested.  The sooner this is done, the less theobromine will get into the bloodstream and the sooner any potentially dangerous wrappers can be brought up.

Grapes, raisins and sultanas can also poison dogs.  They contain toxins that can cause kidney failure and death.  In some cases, very small dogs have died after eating only a handful of raisins or grapes.  As sensitivity to the toxins seems to vary so much from animal to animal, it is just best not to feed your dog ANY grapes or raisins or food that contains these ingredients. 

Remember to store or display your chocolate safely, well away from prying noses.  Ensure your fruit bowl is well out of reach and don't let family members use raisins as treats. 

If your dog does get hold of one of these sweet poisons, please ring us immediately for help before it's too late.