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Dog owners warned about chocolate

Tuesday October 19th 2010

Pet owners have been advised to buy tailor-made healthy snacks for their dogs, instead of giving them potentially harmful chocolate or other sweet treats at Halloween.

Dogs can suffer vomiting, diarrhoea, panting and excessive thirst and urination if they eat chocolate, because of the methylxanthines contained in the food.

Health risks are increased in line with increases in the coco content. It can even be fatal for dogs to eat chocolate. Other severe effects can be seizures, tremors and hyperactivity.

The danger chocolates and sweets pose to dogs' health proves how important it is for owners to get pet insurance, without which their beloved animals' lives could be at risk if the cost of medical treatment is high.

Other treats meant for humans can also be dangerous, and even those that are not can quickly lead to obesity in animals.

US vet Nigel Smith said the problem has been a major issue in the States, where pets are often included in the Halloween festivities and dressed up along with children to go trick or treating.

He said medical centres across the country have dealt with numerous cases of extreme illness caused by dogs eating sweet treats meant for humans.

Kansas State University veterinarian Susan Nelson also said other pets such as cats, ferrets, birds and rats can be made seriously ill by sweets.

Sugarless sweets sweetened with xylitol can cause liver damage and death in some dogs.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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