A Northampton vet is warning dog owners about the dangers of their pets snaffling chocolates this Easter.
Elissa Tennant-Brown, from Spinney Lodge Vets, has spoken out to highlight how toxic chocolate can be for family pets.
She is urging all dog owners to be extra careful where they leave Easter eggs and other chocolate treats during the holiday period.
Elissa warned: "All chocolate and ciocoa products should be kept well out of reach of our pets, especially dogs, as they can be very harmful to them. In extreme cases, they can even be fatal.
"Dark chocolate is the most dangerous because it has a higher cocoa content but milk chocolate is also a threat, as just a couple of small pieces can be enough to cause a problem."
Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance which is extremely harmful to dogs as they struggle to metabolise it, so it builds up in their bodies to toxic levels.
If a dog or cat is suffering from chocolate poisoning, they can display symptoms including hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhoea and fits.
Elissa said: "Information is the key and know the type of chocolate, the amount eaten and even keeping the chocolate wrapper can all help, as the wrapper should tell us the amount of cocoa content in the treat.
"The first two hours after eating the chocolate can be vital for your pet's recovery, so if your pet has eaten any chocolate or similar treats containing cocoa, it's essential to call a vet immediately. The sooner your dog is seen and treated the better."
Spinney Lodge Vets has an RCVS-approved hospital in Kettering Road, Northampton, along with practices in Wootton Fields and East Hunsbury.