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March 2024

Easter Dog Treats & How to Recognise Chocolate Toxicity

Health & Nutrition

Easter is just around the corner and for dog owners everywhere, this usually means a state of high alert due to the many chocolates and sweets in the home. Instead, we want you and your dog to enjoy the Easter break, without a vet visit in sight.

If you want to really get creative, why not put together an Easter treat package or create some DIY treats of your own? Easter doesn’t need to be just a chocolate fest – it’s also an excuse for all your favourite sweets and savouries.

We’ve curated some of the best dog-friendly treats that can be decorated to your heart’s desire– plus, we've also included some key information on chocolate toxicity and a DIY dog treat recipe. It’s going to be an Easter to remember. No stress allowed!

Treats Your Dog Can Safely Eat This Easter

Just because your dog cannot eat chocolate, it doesn't mean they have to miss out on the Easter fun! Petstock have a range of fun and festive products available at Easter time and year 'round. We're talking hot cross buns, bunny tail biscuits, yoghurt and carob drops, chicks and bunnies.

Why not scatter dog-friendly products through the yard and have your very own pet-friendly Easter hunt! Make sure you do this well before or after human festivities so there's no risk of your dog ingesting chocolate.

Interactive Toys for Dogs

Technically not edible, but interactive toys are a great way to keep your dog busy over Easter. Consider some of the above tasty treats that can be paired with an interactive food-dispensing toy. Or you can pick out a problem-solving toy that will keep your dog amused while you enjoy Easter festivities with the humans. Not only will these interactive toys keep your dog busy, but they’re perfect for mental enrichment (not just the tasty kind) while you’re at work or away from your pup.

Hot Tip

Always follow the recommended portion sizes and instructions when feeding your pet any treats or food. Have a careful look at the packaging for these details. ## Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

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For those still feeling like they want some ‘just in case’ advice around chocolate toxicity, here’s some PETstock vet-certified facts and advice.

If you’re concerned your dog has ingested any amount of chocolate, you should always contact your local vet for direct help and guidance.

Signs of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Dogs can take up to 6-12 hours before they show signs of chocolate toxicity, so please don’t wait for these signs if you already know your dog has eaten some chocolate. Some of the signs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Nervousness
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Twitching
  • Tremors

DIY Easter Treat Recipe: Muffins

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If you want to create your own Easter dog treats, it doesn’t need to be complicated – and can also be healthy. These muffins avoid the use of peanut butter, which often contains sugar substitute xylitol, which can be toxic for dogs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked, finely diced chicken
  • ½ half cup of cooked rice, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons of rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 egg
  • A couple of carob buttons to decorate the tops of the muffins

Note: Always purchase dog-friendly carob from a pet store, and limit intake to packet instructions.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

  2. Find a mixing bowl and mix all ingredients together

  3. Spoon into silicone muffin tray

  4. Bake for 20-30mins until the tops are golden brown

  5. Allow them time to cool, then release from moulds

  6. Let your dog/s enjoy!

FAQs for Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

How much chocolate is too much for dogs?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive answer to this, but it can be estimated and worked out by your local vet. Toxicity levels all depend on the type of chocolate your dog has eaten (dark chocolate being the worst, white chocolate being harmless from a toxicity point of view) the weight of your dog and how much chocolate is consumed. Without question, it’s always best to get in contact with your vet to discuss all these details – even if symptoms are yet to appear.

My dog has eaten chocolate - what should I do?

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to panic immediately if your dog has eaten some chocolate - if they've just found one stray chocolate egg in the backyard it's not yet cause for alarm. If you're sure your dog has ingested chocolate, but are unsure how much, you should take them to the vet to be on the safe side. Smaller dogs are at greater risk of chocolate toxicity, and the chocolate becomes more dangerous the purer the percentage of chocolate (100% cacao being of particular concern).