So you may have seen our recent post about 4 ways to protect your dogs at Easter. As chocolate can be poisonous for dogs, one of the tips was to keep your dog away from your Easter Eggs. Unfortunately some dog parents are still unaware of the dangers of them. Is it any wonder about the confusion though, when I see something sold in the shops and advertised online, more and more each year? That’s right, I’m talking about Easter eggs…for dogs!
So my question today is, Easter eggs for dogs: A bit of fun or potentially misleading and dangerous?
EASTER EGGS FOR DOGS: FUN OR MISLEADING?
First things first! I want to make it clear, Easter eggs specifically made for dogs are clearly not dangerous for dogs health (although they may not be the healthiest thing your dog could eat, but then neither are Easter eggs for us humans!) The Easter eggs for dogs are made using ingredients which are not toxic, unlike normal chocolate which contains theobromine (discover why this is dangerous further along in the post). This post isn’t a vendetta against those who make them, sell them or buy them either. It is, however, a platform to question whether or not such Easter eggs could cause confusion.
Dogs are becoming more and more a part of the family, so many people don’t want their dogs to miss out on joining in celebrations. A special Easter egg for dogs could therefore be seen as a pawfect way of enabling them to join in and receive a treat too. But what about those who don’t realise Easter eggs for humans are potentially toxic? With similar packaging & marketing, could pet parents innocently not realise and share some of their own chocolate with their dog too / instead? Surely it wouldn’t hurt? You’d be very much mistaken…
WHY IS NORMAL CHOCOLATE DANGEROUS FOR DOGS?
Normal chocolate / Easter eggs contains a chemical known as theobromine. Our metabolism means we can easily metabolise it but the same can’t be said for our dogs, unfortunately. The end result means theobromine builds up in our dogs system. What happens? Depending on the amount eaten, this creates toxic levels in their system. This can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting and potentially worse. Examples include tremors, fitting & even life threatening heart conditions. Generally speaking the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains.
I never claim to be a perfect dog mum and this is proven, as I speak from experience about the dangers of chocolate. Not too long ago, Millie managed to find a stash of dark chocolate we thought she wouldn’t be able to reach. To our horror, she could. We spoke to our Vet who told us to bring her immediately so her stomach could essentially be pumped, via the use of charcoal. The end result was far from pleasant! I share this experience to show it can happen to anyone. Be extra vigilant around Easter time, when more is readily available. *Should your dog be exposed to human chocolate this Easter, always consult your Vet to be on the safe side.
Also worth noting, should you opt for some Doggy Easter Eggs, I’d recommend feeding in moderation. This is always best when feeding something new. (I should remember this advice for myself when I’m scoffing my own Easter Eggs this Sunday!)
SO COULD EASTER EGGS FOR DOGS BE CONFUSING?
So what if owners don’t know human Easter eggs (& chocolate in general) is potentially toxic for dogs? Whilst you may know this, there are so many who don’t. If they see special Easter eggs for dogs in shops or online, could they then be slightly misled & assume it’s ok? Are the labels clear enough? Do people even read the labels? Whilst some are clearer than others, using wording like “the healthy alternative to chocolate” is likely to imply thoughts about weight, rather than truth about toxicity of real chocolate. My main concern though relates not necessarily to those purchasing a doggy Easter egg, but those who see them & think:
“I’ll just give my dog some of my Easter egg rather than buying his/her own.”
I think there’s a real possibility of this potentially happening, especially given the similar packaging & marketing. It’s easy to see how confusion could arise. I could of course be completely wrong! I’d be intrigued to know if the number of vet visits increase over Easter? I also wonder whether the dogs who do eat it ‘helped themselves’ or were fed it unwittingly.
WHAT OUR FOLLOWERS THINK
So as well as my opinion, I decided to get you lovely Twilight Barkers involved (& it has proven to be a topic which has raised a few debates). This is brilliant, as it’s important to consider all sides & I am genuinely interested and intrigued by your opinions. I reached out via Twitter, Instagram & Facebook over a 24hr period & asked if doggy Easter Eggs were just a little bit of fun or potentially misleading?
As the pie charts show below, all of my followers who voted thought Easter Eggs for dogs were potentially misleading. Twitter had the strongest reaction against Easter Eggs for dogs, closely followed by Instagram. Whereas Facebook was a closely fought match!
Comments ranged from utter disbelief pet brands would market such a thing, given the dangers of real chocolate. Others seemingly concluding it’s a personal choice. The one common conclusion was more needs to be done to educate dog owners about the dangers of human chocolate. If this is improved upon and more awareness is generated, then perhaps there isn’t an issue?
Personally, I won’t be buying an Easter egg for Ted & Millie (such a scrooge!) Instead, they will be treated to scrambled eggs, which is their absolute favourite (& still keeps to the ‘egg’ theme!)
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
So what do you think? Is it simply another fun way to include your dog in family celebrations? Or do you think it could cause some confusion about serving chocolate to dogs? I’d love to hear what you think. Pop a comment below.
Whatever you decide is right for your dog, we hope you have a wonderful Easter.
Sarah, Ted & Millie xxx