Pet owners across Hull are cautioned to be vigilant about everyday foods that could cause serious harm to dogs and other four-legged friends this Easter.
A UK pet emergency service has highlighted the treats that could potentially harm dogs.
The warning was issued before Easter Sunday, with chocolate in particular being a well-known no-no for dogs as it can cause upset stomach, dehydration, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
In fact, veterinarians across the country are expecting a massive spike in 911 calls this Easter from owners whose pets have been poisoned by chocolate Liverpool Echo reports.
Concerned pet owners receive nearly 20,000 calls a week across the country, according to Vets Now, a branch on Park Street in Hull. But that number is expected to double this Easter weekend.
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Despite numerous campaigns to alert owners to the dangers of chocolate for pets, thousands still manage to get their paws on, especially during the holiday seasons.
There are fears that the increase will be even greater this year due to the number of puppies purchased during the year Curfew and the fact that we are staying at home longer.
Dave Leicester at Vets Now Video veterinarian Service said, “Unfortunately we are seeing a sharp spike in chocolate toxicity cases around Easter and it shows that owners can never be too careful, especially those with greedy dogs who will go out of their way to eat. Our advice is to keep chocolate treats away from your dog.
“As long as it is treated early and there is no kidney damage, the prognosis for chocolate toxicity is generally good.”
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Chocolate contains a toxic chemical called theobromine, which is highly toxic to both dogs and cats.
The level of toxicity depends on the amount and type of chocolate swallowed, with dark chocolate and cocoa powder being the most dangerous. Small dogs and puppies are at greatest risk of theobromine poisoning because of their size and weight.
Dave added, “The effects of chocolate poisoning in dogs typically occur within 12 hours and can last for up to three days. The first signs may be excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and restlessness.
“These symptoms can then develop into hyperactivity, tremors, abnormal heart rate, hyperthermia, and rapid breathing. In severe cases, dogs can experience seizures and irregular heartbeats, and in some cases, coma or death can result. “
It’s not just chocolate that poses a threat. Here is a list of the other everyday foods, household items, and beverages that can also harm pets.
Chocolate Easter eggs should be kept out of your dog’s reach. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine – a bit like caffeine – which is toxic to dogs. The amount of theobromine depends on the type of chocolate, with dark chocolate being the most toxic.
Hot buns contain dried fruits like raisins, currants, and sultanas, which can cause kidney failure in dogs. It’s not clear what causes these toxic effects, and some dogs are more affected than others. Experts agree that there is no such thing as a “safe” dose of grapes and raisins, so it is best to avoid them altogether.
Spring flowers and plants
Spring flowers and plants can be found in many homes and gardens during Easter. Unfortunately, some are poisonous to dogs, with the onions posing the greatest risk. Daffodil, lily, and spring crocus bulbs are all highly toxic. Symptoms of plant or onion poisoning can include vomiting, stomach, heart, and kidney problems.
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If you’re baking a cake for Easter, watch out for xylitol. It’s an artificial sweetener used in home baking and found in many products, including sugar-free gums and diet foods. It can also be found in some Easter eggs. Dogs are very sensitive to xylitol and even small amounts can cause toxicity.
Packaging and plastic toys
It’s not uncommon for dogs to swallow things they shouldn’t, and plastic toys, such as those found in some Easter eggs and silver foil for wrapping eggs, can be a risk if swallowed. Some objects can become lodged in the intestines or, worse, in the esophagus.
Ham and lamb can be staples in a traditional Easter meal. However, these fatty foods can cause vomiting, gas, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, weakness, lethargy, and fever in dogs if consumed in large enough quantities. In more severe cases, life-threatening pancreatitis can also occur.
Onions, leeks and chives
These common ingredients can cause stomach and intestinal irritation, potential red blood cell damage and anemia. Onions are particularly poisonous, and signs of poisoning often don’t appear until a few days after your dog has eaten the vegetables.
Remember that alcohol is far more toxic to dogs than it is to humans. Even small amounts of alcoholic beverages and food, when consumed, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, blood changes, coma, and even death.