Chocolate sales boom, but no Easter treats for Fido

They might be part of the family, but Easter can be a challenging time for dogs and puppies wanting a piece of your chocolate.

Each year local vet clinics are called on to give urgent treatment to dogs or puppies who fall victim to chocolate toxicity, either caused by them snaffling the treat autonomously or inadvertently having it fed to them.

The warning comes as central Victorians can expect a bumper chocolate haul this Easter, with many shops reporting a thumping increase in egg and bunny sales this year.

Sam Schultz from Passionate Vetcare is one vet who urges dogs and chocolates do not mix - even at Easter.

"We generally see one or two each year, and we are more mindful than ever about the dangers chocolate can cause to pets at Easter," Ms Schultz said.

Ms Schultz said it was compounds in chocolate that made the treat that's often considered indulgent or calming to humans quite the opposite to dogs and puppies.

"Chocolate contains compounds that do not react well with the nervous system of dogs, it's quite toxic to them.

"The lethal dose is quite small and I suggest owners err on the side of caution and resist the urge to give their dog or puppy chocolate treats at Easter."

While even the smallest amount of chocolate could be lethal to a dog, puppies were more at risk because of their mischievous behaviour and keenness to try anything left laying around the home or office.

"If your dog or puppy does eat some chocolate call your vet and get their opinion as the type of chocolate doing the damage can vary,'' she said.

''For example, while cooking chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate it doesn't mean milk chocolate is safe to give them.

"It's best to be vigilant with chocolate around your pets."

Meanwhile, Hayley Tibbett from Indulge Chocolates said the past week had been "absolutely crazy".

As the lone chocolate maker at the Bendigo store, Ms Tibbett, said she would work round the clock if she had to to ensure people received their chocolates for Easter.

"I have five girls packing, wrapping and serving - it hasn't stopped here," Ms Tibbett said.

People were travelling from across the state to buy her store's chocolate, including Melbourne.

"We have a complete range of chocolate, including a diabetic one.

''It's hard for me to estimate how much we have sold, but I think it would be about 50 to 60 kilograms so far, and we still have three days to go."

Eaglehawk Pharmacy manager Caroline Marsh said the store had sold out of its range of Darrell Lea eggs.

She said boxed treats and rocky road and peanut brittle bars were the only items left for Easter.

"Sales are going really well,'' Ms Marsh said.

''Darrell Lea is a little more expensive than the average chocolate but obviously customers think it's worth it.

"It's a happy Easter."

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