Friday, 3 April 2009

Egg-citing Easter Pooches

Bunnies, eggs, daffodils and that magic word...chocolate! That’s what Easter is all about, but don’t forget that whilst chocolate is harmless to us, it is like poison for our four legged friends.

Be sure to remind friends and family about the dangers of chocolate to your dog this Easter and ask everyone to take extra care to keep all those tempting treats out of your dog´s reach.

If you are organising a kids egg hunt make sure that pooch is kept on a lead and well away from any tempting hidden chocolate eggs.

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is a stimulant related to caffeine and it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, restlessness and hyperactivity, excessive thirst and increased urination, a rapid heart rate and excessive panting. If ingested in large quantities it can even be fatal.

Although it takes larger dogs longer to be affected by a helping of chocolate the severity of it depends on the dogs's weight, the type of chocolate and the amount consumed. For more information about chocolate and dogs see Chocolate Toxicity - Toxic Amounts of Chocolate.

We thought we would lend a paw at keeping those powerful noses in check over Easter and giving you a few ideas about other things you can do to distract your pooch from all that chocolate mania!

Hide n’ seek - once you have enjoyed your human egg hunt your dog can join in the fun later on Easter Sunday, try hiding a few dog treats from him/her around the garden and let your mutt do the sniffing!

Dog friendly Easter treats – Present your mutt with a rawhide easter egg treat or check out the latest doggy gadgets to distract him/her from all that egg-citement – Top ten pet gadgets. You could even get a Carob Dog Easter Egg, a healthier alternative to chocolate. If you’re feeling very generous or guilty perhaps, Holly and Lil is offering Pooch and Mutt fans 10% off its ranges of colourful and egg-travagant collars. Visit Holly and Lil and enter ‘poochandmutt’ on checkout to get your discount.

Easter Fairs and dog days - If you fancy getting out for the day you can visit the Easter Fair and Dog Show at Gables Farm in Plymouth on 11th April. The Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter is also holding an Easter Fun Day on Easter Monday 13th April at their Benton Farm Shelter. The Americans never cease to amaze us with their crazy love for dogs, check out the Long Beach Pet Parade which takes place in California this Easter.

Take a day trip out to Norwich and visit the Pooch & Mutt stand at the East Anglian Game & Country Fair which takes place 25 and 26th April. You can enjoy displays of Dog Docking and even meet the Horse Whisperer, Gary Witheford!

Take your dog on holiday - You don’t have to leave your dog home alone this Easter why not take your pet with you? Check out the Dogs Trust listing of dog friendly cottages. A percentage of your holiday will also go to the charity. Go to or have a look at the Mirror’s guide to taking your dog on holiday here.

What to do if your dog does swallow chocolate! - If you think your dog may have eaten a harmful amount of chocolate, call your Vet or take your dog to an emergency animal hospital immediately! Symptoms will usually begin within two hours but sometimes it could also take as long as 24 hours. Delaying treatment could be a fatal mistake. Contact the PDSA for advice or contact your local vet via

Delaying treatment could be a fatal mistake. Contact the PDSA for advice or contact your local vet via

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