Chocolate and dogs do not go together. The toxic compounds in chocolate for dogs are theobromine and caffeine, and their level of toxicity depends on the size of the dog, how much they ate and what type of chocolate is eaten.
- White chocolate contains low levels of caffeine and/or theobromine and therefore is not as toxic. However, dogs can still develop an upset stomach or diarrhoea.
- Milk chocolate does contain caffeine and theobromine and is more toxic than white chocolate, but less toxic than dark chocolate.
- Baking chocolate contains the highest level of toxic compounds and is the most lethal of all. If you're thinking of baking chocolate hot cross buns, make sure they stay out of reaach from your dogs!
While eating chocolate in dogs is rarely fatal, the potential for life-threatening poisoning still exists. It does depend on the amount and type of chocolate eaten as well as the size of the dog.
Hot cross buns should also be kept away from dogs and cats. All grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas that can be found in hot cross buns can be poisonous to dogs and cats too leading to upset stomachs. The dried versions of the fruits are more frequently associated with severe symptoms such as kidney failure. Some hot cross without dried fruit may also contain chocolate chips which is also toxic as mentioned above.
Instead, grab some dog treats and a treat stuffers or interactive toy to keep your dog busy in their crate, play pen, or separate room while you bake your hot cross buns and have an egg hunt.
Other sweets contain Xylitol, an artifical sweetner that is very harmful to dogs even in the smallest amount. Keep all sweet Easter treats away from dogs, and ensure they are locked away before letting your dog out.