Valentine chocolates can be fatal for pets
AS the sweet smell of roses fills the air on Valentines Day, be mindful that those chocolates you bought your loved one can be lethal to your pets.
Pet Insurance Australia spokeswoman Nadia Crighton said the rate of chocolate poising skyrockets around Valentines Day each year.
"Chocolate can be very toxic to animals, in particular dogs," she said.
"Many of them simply love a box of tasty chocolates, including ingesting the entire box along with the foil wrapping."
Hiding your chocolate from your pets may not prevent them eating it, Ms Crighton said.
"All dogs and cats, young and old, have a sensational sense of smell," she said.
"So hiding that delectable box of choccies behind the sofa cushion will not be enough to deter an eager pet to investigate."
Chocolate contains two toxic properties for pets, caffeine and theobromine.
"Ingesting these properties can be fatal," Ms Crighton said.
"Baking or compound chocolate seems to be the worst as it contains more caffeine and theobromine, however even milk chocolate can cause severe toxicity.
"So also be aware of chocolate cakes and other sweet treats."
In 2015, Pet Insurance Australia had 341 claims for poisoning and toxicity, with 42 claims during February and March.
"The fact is; companion animals die from ingesting chocolate, and owners need to be diligent, particularly with dogs as they are natural scavengers," Ms Creighton said.
If you suspect your pet has injested chocolate, seek veterinary advice.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in pets.
- High temperature
- Rapid breathing
- Abnormal behavior
- Muscle rigidity
- Increased heart rate
Top poisons for pets
- Toxin Exposure
- Grapes or Raisins
- Macadamia nuts