Keep chocolate eggs away from pets at Easter: RSPCA

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SYDNEY, April 11 AAP - It could be death by chocolate if chocolate eggs are not kept from pets at Easter, the RSPCA warns.

While eating chocolate is a guilty pleasure for people, the ingredient theobromine, a stimulant found in cocoa beans and all chocolate, is a toxic danger for pets.

"Dogs are unable to metabolise theobromine quickly and its accumulation, combined with the caffeine, leads to chocolate intoxication," RSPCA veterinarian Dr Magdoline Awad said in a statement on Saturday.

If consumed by pets, the high fat and sugar content of chocolate can cause symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating and restlessness.

More serious symptoms can include hyperactivity, excessive urination, cardiac arrhythmia and seizures.

"If left untreated the effects of eating chocolate, depending on the size of the dog and the amount ingested, could lead to death," Dr Awad said.

She advised not feeding pets any chocolate.

"It sounds so simple, but people have no idea what the effect is going to be and how much is safe," she said.