Submitted by Steve on 10:28, 21st Apr, 2019 | 0

Be aware this weekend you could be putting your pet at risk at Easter if you feed your pet chocolate intended for people or they manage to find those carefully hidden from the children.

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: "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 pop into the Shelter where we have a selection on sale or your local pet retailer where you can also get appropriate advice."

Lorna Prince 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."

"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 now hold a number of Dog and Cat First Aid Course with the next ones being held in May and to book your place and find out more please click on -


Find out about our Animal Welfare Seafront Sunday

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