Top Tips for keeping your dog safe over Easter

As many of us prepare to bring out the chocolates and hot cross buns this coming Easter long weekend, don’t forget to keep your pooches away from some of the toxic goodies they may be inclined to grab if they are left in easy reach.

Chocolate contains both theobromine and caffeine that are toxic to dogs and it can speed up the heart rate and stimulate their nervous system to quickly become a medical emergency. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is, so preventing them from having any kind of access to the Easter goodies this weekend is really important.

Raisins and sultanas are also another toxic food that should not be given to dogs. So, with Hot Cross Buns being a popular Easter treat, care should be taken to ensure dogs are not given any that contain fruit, likewise with alcohol which can be fatal to dogs.


  1. During an Easter egg hunt hide chocolate eggs above the ground out of reach from your dog. Alternatively, take notes of where you hide them so that after the hunt you can collect the eggs that weren’t found.
  2. Monitor your kids secret chocolate stash and encourage them to keep it away from the family dog.
  3. Keep dog treats around this Easter so your pooch feels the love.

Symptoms of toxicity:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rapid breathing and seizures

These symptoms will usually occur within a few hours, but the effects can last days or longer. Always call your emergency vet if in doubt.

Prevention is much better and safer than cure, but just in case… check out Dr Melissa Meehan’s First Aid Tips article, and her video in case you suspect your dog has eaten some chocolate or other toxic treats and need to induce vomiting before getting them to a Vet emergency hospital.

It will be a different kind of Easter for many of us this year.  We may not be able to celebrate it as we have in the past, but no doubt our furry friends will keep us company and bring us some comfort and joy in these tough times.

Stay safe, Lara & Darcy x

About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog training, minding and walking business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.

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