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Easter Pet Advice

Easter time brings the Easter Bunny and with him comes all those sweet treats we love! Although we humans love Chocolates, Lollies and Hot Cross Buns, these items and many more can be harmful to our beloved pets.


As many pet owners know animals will eat just about anything they can find. So we’ve complied information for you about the kinds of items that may be potentially dangerous and also on the main Easter worry chocolate toxicity.


Things to Watch Out for Over Easter

  • Chocolate – Can be highly toxic to pets.

  • Hot Cross Buns  - The sultanas in hot cross buns can cause kidney failure.

  • Sugar Free lollies – May contain the artificial sweetener xylitol which is toxic to pets.

  • Easter Grass – Like tinsel this can be of great interest to cats and if ingested can cause an obstruction in the digestive tract.

  • Easter Toys – May be a choking hazard or if ingested may cause an obstruction in the digestive tract.

  • Wrappers – Either from chocolate or lollies if wrappers are ingested they too can cause obstruction in the digestive tract

  • Easter Lilies – Lilies are especially toxic to cats causing kidney failure and in severe cases death.

  • Fatty Foods – Such as Ham or Pork can cause stomach upset or pancreatitis

Tips & Tricks to Keep Your Pets Safe & Happy

  • Count eggs before your Easter Egg Hunt and write down where you hide them so none are left for pets to find.

  • Keep chocolate in the fridge or in high closed cupboards so pet don’t sneak a bite!

  • Say no to Easter Grass and Lilies if you have cats.

  • Skip giving your pets table scraps that might make them unwell.

  • Create safe, quiet spaces for your pets to escape from the noise and stress if you plan a get together with family.

Chocolate Toxicity


What makes chocolate toxic?

Chocolate made from beans of the cacao tree contains a compound known as Theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and stimulates both the cardiovascular and central nervous system. In large doses Theobromine can cause toxicity, as pets are unable to successfully breakdown the compound quick enough.

What are the symptoms of chocolate toxicity?

Signs most commonly occur within 12 hours of ingestion of chocolate and include the following:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Trembling and muscle spasms

  • Increased excitement, nervousness or irritability

  • Increased heart rate

  • Excessive thirst or urination

  • Seizures

How much chocolate is too much?

A number of factors, including type and amount of chocolate, the size of the animal and the sensitivity of the individual, will influence how much chocolate your pet can have and the degree to which and they are affected.

Generally speaking the concentrations of different types of chocolates are:

  • Cooking or Baking chocolate (dark) – 16mg per gram

  • Dark Chocolate – 5.5mg per gram

  • Milk Chocolate – 2.4mg per gram

  • White Chocolate 0.01mg per gram (such small amounts are unlikely to cause toxicity)


The amount of theobromine that is fatal to dogs is usually between 100-250mg/kg of the dogs bodyweight, however occasionally problems are observed at as low as 20mg/kg.

What should I do if I suspect my pet has ingested chocolate?

If you suspect your pet has ingested even a small amount of chocolate it is best to call the clinic on (02) 9452 3155 to get professional advice.


If it is after hours we recommend you call Northside Emergency Veterinary Service on (02) 9452 2933 they are open 24/7 over the holiday period for all emergencies or enquires.

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