Easter's just around the corner which means that it's the season for tiny chicks, frolicking lambs and copious amounts of chocolate.
But while we'll no doubt be indulging in chocolate eggs aplenty over the next couple of weeks, pet owners are being warned to keep their pooches away from the tasty stuff and to stick to healthy dry dog food this Easter.
A recent survey conducted by the Dogs Trust has revealed that more than ten per cent of dogs who are given chocolate by their owners have become unwell as a consequence, with the consumption proving fatal for eight per cent of this number.
In response to these worrying figures, the charity has launched the Chocs Away! Campaign to raise awareness of the risks of feeding chocolate intended for human consumption and to keep our four-legged friends safe this Easter.
Veterinary director for Dogs Trust Paula Boyden said: “Apart from the risks of obesity and the obvious dangers of eating the foil wrapping, the biggest risk of eating human chocolate is poisoning, resulting in an emergency dash to the vet and sadly even death."
With 57 per cent of owners admitting that their pooch has munched down chocolate, it is vital that people are made aware of the risks the food can pose to their pooches.
"Chocolate contains theobromine, which, although tolerated by humans, is extremely toxic to man's best friend," Paula explained.
"The darker the chocolate, the greater the amount of theobromine. Toxic doses vary according to the size of dog and cocoa solid content of the chocolate."
The Dogs Trust estimates that just 50g of plain chocolate could be enough to kill a small pooch such as a Yorkshire terrier, while 400g could potentially be fatal to larger breeds.
To keep your canine companion safe this Easter, the charity advises keeping all chocolate eggs out of reach of your pup and if you suspect that your pet has consumed chocolate contacting the vet immediately.
Written by: Hannah