Easter hazards: from chocolate to daffodils

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Easter and chocolate are a match made in heaven, but while the sweet stuff is non-negotiable for us, when it comes to our pets, we need to proceed with caution. With sweet treats and certain plants more likely than ever to be in the house, here’s how pet parents can take extra care.

Why is chocolate dangerous to pets?

While rarely fatal, the chemicals in chocolate can make our pets very ill. This is down to theobromine and caffeine: two toxic components to cats and dogs. The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of these. And while you shouldn’t give your furry friend white chocolate either (as it’s full of sugar and fat), the milk and dark varieties are far more dangerous.

Depending on the amount ingested, symptoms may range from relatively mild (like restlessness, diarrhoea or vomiting) to severe, like tremors and fits. Smaller dogs are at a higher risk of experiencing complications since their body weight is lower.

Any other things I should be mindful of?

Yes, the dried fruit in some cakes and pastries (like hot cross buns) is very toxic to our furry friends. So much so that even a few raisins, currants, sultanas or grapes can cause kidney failure, especially in dogs.

Some spring flowers like daffodils, hyacinths, bluebells, lilies and tulips are also highly poisonous to pets. Good to keep this in mind if your dog likes to dig around the garden or chew on random things (don’t they all?).

What should I do if my pet has eaten any of those?

While cats don’t normally have a sweet tooth, dogs’ love of sweets is well-known! Prevention is key here, so make sure you store chocolate treats and dried fruit away from curious pets.

If your dog has ingested a few chocolate drops or a bit of chocolate biscuit, this is unlikely to cause any harm. But be sure to monitor them closely for any unusual signs.

For larger quantities of chocolate, any amount of dried fruit, or the spring bulbs mentioned earlier, your pet could be in danger, so we recommend seeing a vet immediately. Again, smaller dogs are more susceptible to toxicity (just 25 grams of chocolate could be enough to poison a 20-kg dog).

Are there any pet-friendly alternatives?

Lots! Cat and dog snacks abound, with ingredients carefully selected for their texture, nutritional value and aroma, so our furry pals are instinctively drawn to them.

We have a great selection of cat treats here, as well as dog treats here. And if you’d like to give your canine friend a homemade treat, try our recipe below.

★ Carob chip cookies for dogs ★


  • 1.5 cups brown rice flour
  • 1.5 cups oat flour
  • 3/4 cup carob chips
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup water


Preheat your oven to 180°C. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use a spatula or large spoon to fold over the dough until moistened throughout. Continue until you have a stiff, dry dough.

Roll and shape your little biscuits (you can use cookie cutters to create fun shapes). Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

With treats now sorted for all the family (furry members included), there’s no feeling guilty that someone in the group is missing out. Happy Easter!

Our articles are not a replacement for face-to-face vet advice. It’s important to consult with your vet regularly to raise any pet concerns that you may have.

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