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.

Other notes:

Easter is a popular time to head away, so be sure to watch my video with some key road safety tips to help keep your best mate safe on the roads.    And, if you are travelling long distances and your pet suffers from a little motion sickness, here’s another video on how to help them.

If you’re a last minute planner like me and want to see if there are some pet-friendly places still available, check out  Or, if camping’s more your thing, here are some tips to help with that as well.

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.