Warning over dog chocolate poison cases at Easter

We see two spikes of chocolate poisoning every year. One of these is at Christmas and the other during the Easter period - during which we see a staggering 235% increase in claims for chocolate poisoning than we do at other times of year.

It’s one of the best times of year, the weather’s a bit warmer, we have a much-needed four-day break, and there’s lots of chocolate around! What’s not to love?

Well, one thing that would make the Easter break far from lovely would be if your dog ate some chocolate. It contains a chemical called theobromine that dogs can't process and so, being careless around chocolate could have very serious consequences.

Agria’s Senior Veterinary Advisor, Robin Hargreaves, says, “Chocolate can be very toxic to dogs. It varies how toxic, but the better quality the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Quite simply, if your dog has any chocolate at all, do not take a risk - you’ve got to take it very seriously.”

Don’t wait for symptoms of chocolate poisoning to appear before contacting your vet - it can take up to 24 hours. But if you spot your dog with any of the following and suspect they may have eaten some chocolate, 

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Drinking more than normal
  • Peeing more than usual
  • Being unusually excited and restless
  • Stomach pain

After these initial symptoms, your dog may then:

  • Start panting or breathing rapidly
  • Shake or tremble
  • Have a high temperature (fever)
  • Experience a seizure
  • Have an increased heartbeat
  • Suffer heart failure, coma and even death

Always take chocolate poisoning seriously and always seek immediate veterinary advice.


If you have an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.