As we approach the Easter holidays, the Damory small animals team provide a seasonal reminder about choosing rabbits for pets, and on chocolate for dogs.
With Easter approaching, it might seem like a great time to buy an ‘Easter Bunny’. While rabbits make lovely pets it is always important to do your research before getting a new animal to care for.
Your main considerations when deciding whether to take on a pet rabbit should be whether you can provide enough space and suitable housing, the right kind of company (rabbits are very social animals and should be kept in pairs or small groups), the correct diet and suitable healthcare. It is always an exciting time to get a new pet, but it is important that you can commit to being able to care for them lifelong; the current estimate from the PDSA on the cost of owning a rabbit ranges from £6,500 up to as much as £30,000 for their lifetime – and they can live up to 10 years.
Choosing the right bunny for you should be well thought through, and ideally we would always recommend rehoming from a reputable rescue centre, such as Margaret Green Animal Rescue based in Church Knowle in Dorset. If you are thinking about getting a rabbit, check out the PDSA website for more information on caring for them and recommended suitable housing.
During Easter the amount of chocolate in your home will most likely be on the rise. This is great for you – but not so great for your dogs.
Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine; this is hard for dogs to digest, allowing it to build up to
toxic levels in their system very quickly. Different chocolate has different levels of theobromine:
Cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate have the highest levels of theobromine, whereas white and milk chocolate have the lowest. This is why it is very important to know what type of chocolate your pet has eaten so the vet can assess the toxicity correctly.
The amount that is fatal to your pet depends on its size. For example a St Bernard could eat more chocolate
than a Chihuahua before it would become ill, whereas the Chihuahua wouldn’t need much at all to make it poorly. In large doses chocolate can be fatal to dogs – it can cause seizures, irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding and heart attacks.
To try and reduce the risk of your pet getting hold of any chocolate try and keep any chocolate out of reach of your dog, securely stored away from them and sealed. If your pet has ingested chocolate we advise you
call your vet immediately. The usual protocol is to induce vomiting within two hours of the consumption to
ensure there is no chocolate left in the dog’s system.
By Damory Veterinary Clinic