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Last Updated: Tuesday December 11 2007 13:12 GMT

Don't feed dogs Christmas choccie

Chocolate can harm dogs

Most of us tuck into chocolate at some point over Christmas, but vets are warning animal-lovers NOT to share their treats with their dogs.

Choccie contains a chemical called theobromine, which can be REALLY harmful to pooches.

If your dog swallows it, it can cause sickness, a sore tummy, drooling and fits. It's even been known to kill.

Usually, dark chocolate has higher amounts of theobromine and should be especially avoided.

Obviously, the smaller your dog, the bigger the chances that it might get poorly.

Chocolate treats
Chocolate treats

Animal campaigners are particularly concerned at this time of year because there's usually more choccie around the house and in places where dogs can reach it - like hanging from the Christmas tree.

Last year, the Veterinary Poisons Information Service had 790 calls about chocolate poisoning.

Out of reach

This year, that figure has already reached 844.

Animal charities are warning owners to keep treats out of reach and to get your pet to a vet if you are worried about what it's eaten.

Special doggy choccie - which does not contain theobromine - is available from pet shops too, so you can buy this without fear of harming your pet.

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