Submitted by Steve on 09:31, 9th Apr, 2020 | 0

With tens of thousands of us at home this Easter across the Bailiwick of Guernsey you could be putting your pet at risk at if you feed your pet chocolate intended for people or they manage to find those carefully hidden from the children, as many of us might be planning our home Easter Egg Hunt as with the Coronavirus restrictions hunts are cancelled across the islands.

Across the Bailiwick we are all stocking up Easter eggs and chocolate as gifts for family and loved ones, but the GSPCA has an important message for pet owners.

Chocolate is highly poisonous to many pets, with dogs being most commonly affected. and many pet owners are still not aware of the risk.  Chocolate contains theobromine, which is similar to caffeine and highly toxic to dogs and other pets. High quality chocolate poses the biggest risk to pets and an average bar of dark chocolate (30-45g) contains enough theobromine to fatally poison a smaller dog.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said: "Due to the Coronavirus restrictions and with so many of us at home this Easter you might be planning an Easter Egg Hunt in your house or garden but please ensure if you are your pets are safe.”

“Dogs as well as humans love the taste of chocolate and with their keen sense of smell they will sniff out hidden Easter eggs putting them at risk."

"In households with pets, chocolate should be stored safely and securely and well out of the reach of paws and children’s hands as they may try and feed it to the pets in the household."

"If you would like to get your pets an animal safe Easter treat please contact your pet retail store where they are likely to have a selection on sale and where you can also get appropriate advice."

“It is fantastic news that the States of Guernsey has classed the Easter Bunny as an Essential Worker, as are we here also at the GSPCA working 24/7 caring for over 300 animals and although we are open only for essential activities such as the rescue and care of animals please do help donate to our #GuernseyCoronavirusCrisisAppeal to give the animals an Easter gift if you can via or call us on 01481 257261.”

 Lorna Chadwick GSPCA Animal Welfare Manager said "Every year, vets in Guernsey see cases of chocolate poisoning in animals and sadly, for some, the poisoning can be fatal."

“With so many at home this Easter with the States of Guernsey restrictions in place we have to all take extra care.”

"It is important to feed all of our pets a healthy balanced diet and very important that pet owners are vigilant this weekend with the many chocolates that will be around households across the Bailiwick."

"If you are wanting to treat your dog or pet this Easter then there are a wide variety of treats and specifically manufactured dog chocolates that you can buy from a range of retail outlets, but please ensure moderation as an overweight pet is an unhealthy pet."

On average the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), a national resource which provides information to vets about poisons and associated treatments, receive 150% more calls about chocolate poisoning in the month of Easter than in the following month.  To see more information by the VPIS go to

How to spot chocolate poisoning –

The effects of chocolate poisoning in dogs usually appear within 12 hours and can last up to three days. Initial signs can include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea, a tender tummy and restlessness. These symptoms can then progress to hyperactivity, tremors, abnormal heart rate, hyperthermia and rapid breathing. In severe cases there are fits, heart beat irregularities, coma or even death. 

Any dogs showing these signs the GSPCA advises you get in touch with your vet immediately for advice.

Another common food item in the house to avoid feeding dogs is onions, xylitol (a sweetener found in food), small bones (such as chicken and turkey), grapes and raisins as these too can be toxic or cause health risks to dogs.

If you are a cat owner then please be aware that some cats cannot digest the sugar lactose which is found in cows milk and it is best to feed an alternative.

Each year we hold a number of Dog and Cat First Aid Courses and although they are currently postponed due to the Coronavirus Pandemic please keep an eye here when the restrictions are lifed -

We will be posting a short video later today with Easter related advice.

In line with States of Guernsey advice please DO NOT visit the GSPCA if you are over 65, have an underlying health condition or have any symptoms of Coronavirus and only visit us if your visit is essential but before doing so please call us on 01481 257261 or email before your trip to the GSPCA to see if we can help without you coming to the Shelter. For the latest information and advice please visit

With huge challenges on our resources and a drop in income from boarding and donations please help us help animals in Guernsey with our #GuernseyCoronavirusCrisisAppeal by donating online via -

During these difficult times help us help animals in need. From donating to Sponsoring a Pen, Buying a Brick for the much needed Wildlife Hospital to our Amazon and main page Wish List, holding a mufti day to a sponsored Christmas dip, here are some of the ways you could help give animals joy.

For lots more ideas on how you can support the shelter and the animals in our care then please visit our fundraising page

To see a list of our volunteer induction evenings which we hold each month and for more information please visit or call 257261

To find out more on trips, talks and our education work please email or call 01481 257261



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