Easter and the tradition of Easter candy and chocolate Easter bunnies is upon us. I want to take the opportunity to remind everyone of just how toxic chocolate is to dogs. In fact, chocolate is reportedly the top Easter danger to dogsCats face similar risks for chocolate poisoning.


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Chocolate is Toxic to Dogs!


Why chocolate is toxic to dogs

The reason chocolate is poisonous to dogs is because it contains Theobromine (aka xantheose), which is toxic to dogs. If the chocolate also contains raisins, macadamia nuts or other substances that are also toxic to dogs, the effect can be compounded.  Chocolate is made from the cocoa bean, which is a natural source of Theobromine.

The general rule is that the higher the amount of Theobromine, the more toxic the chocolate is for dogs. And Dark chocolate can contain as much as 10 times more Theobromine than milk chocolate!  

According to the ASPCA, Chocolate is number one on their list of the Top 5 Easter Toxins for pets

How much chocolate is toxic to dogs?

Chocolate toxicity in dogs could occur if a dog ingests as little as 1.8 ounces of milk chocolate for a small dog, 1.5 ounces for a medium dog and 2 ounces for large dogs.

Chocolate Easter bunnies can be hollow or solid milk or dark chocolate, of varied sizes so the amount of chocolate they contain varies. The typical chocolate bunny contains anywhere from 2 ounces to upwards of 14 ounces! 

There are other Easter pet toxins such as Easter Lily plants and other substances.  But today I wanted to focus on chocolate, because chocolate is so toxic to dogs. It's considered the most common toxic substance for dogs at Easter and other holidays.  It is also extremely plentiful in most homes, and unfortunately easy for dogs to inadvertently get into.

The Merck Veterinary Manual (Merck Pharmaceuticals) contains a great Chocolate Toxicity Calculator. You can input your dog's weight and the amount of chocolate your dog has ingested, in ounces or grams, and the calculator will make a treatment recommendation.  It will recommend "No Treatment Necessary", "Emergency Treatment Advised" highlighted in Amber, or "Emergency Treatment Advised" highlighted in Red.

Merck Veterinary Manual, Chocolate Toxicity Calculator

I entered my Husky's weight of 50lbs, and when I got to 7.25 ounces ingested the calculator went from "No Treatment Necessary" to "Emergency Treatment Advised". So now I know that if my dog ingests over 7 ounces of milk chocolate it will put her in an emergency medical situation. When I switched the Type of Chocolate from milk chocolate to dark chocolate on the calculator, the Emergency Treatment Advised notification came on at only 3.25 ounces of dark chocolate ingested!

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

Eating a toxic amount of chocolate can lead to pancreatitis in dogs, and in severe cases it can cause seizures, heart failure, seizures, and even fatal kidney failure, if they ingest enough of it.  

Typical symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs are:


☠ Diarrhea

☠ Increased thirst

☠ Excessive urination

☠ Panting

☠ Restlessness

☠ Racing heart rate

Two Stories of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

While at the emergency Vet with my dog Phoebe last year, a frantic couple brought their dog in on an emergency basis. 

It was Valentines Day and their Labrador Retriever had gotten into a chocolate Valentine heart and eaten most of the candy in it.  

The Vet examined the dog and decided to pump her stomach to get as much of the toxic chocolate out of her stomach as they could. 

This poor couple was so distraught worrying about their dog. It must have been awful for the dog to have to go through the process of having his stomach pumped. But they were lucky, they realized quickly enough what had happened and rushed their dog to the emergency Vet.

If the family hadn't noticed in time that their dog had gotten into the chocolate candy, it might have ended very badly.

Sadly, that wasn't the case for a small dog whose owner had been given a large bar of chocolate by a friend returning from vacation. She placed the chocolate on her bed and left the room.  Her dog found the chocolate and ate it - all of it! By the time the dog's mom realized what had happened and rushed her dog to the Veterinarian, it was too late. Her sweet little dog did not survive ingesting the large amount of toxic chocolate.  It was totally devastating for the woman and her family.

I don't share stories like this to scare you, but to remind you of dangers like these to our dogs. Things we normally don't even think twice about.

Please keep all Easter candy, especially chocolate Easter bunnies, well out of reach of your dog and other pets. The tragedy of dogs being poisoned by chocolate can be avoided if you stay aware and take important dog safety precautions. Inform your children of the dangers of chocolate to dogs too!

There's no need to leave your dog out of fun Easter Activities. For years I've hosted a Dog Easter Egg Hunt for my two dogs!  Sometimes it's just been with my dogs, and other times we've invited neighbor dogs over to participate. It's a super fun and Safe Easter activity for dogs!

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Keep Dogs Safe this Easter!

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Do you have Easter plans that include your dog or other pets?  Tell us about it in the comments, we always Love hearing from you!


March is PET POISON PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH, but in our house every month is Pet Poison Awareness Month! We do our best to be aware of products that can be toxic to dogs all year round. It's scary but there are actually many household items that can be toxic to dogs. These are things we see and use every day in our homes, things we don't think twice about.


My Siberian Husky, Icy, is 13 years old now and has been experiencing some arthritis. Several months ago we noticed she was very stiff when she got up in the morning and after napping or laying down for awhile. She was limping intermittently as well, especially first thing in the morning. I started considering joint supplements for dogs.

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My senior dog was experiencing stiffness and poor mobility


We love the New England area, particularly New Hampshire and Vermont. Vermont is one of the most dog friendly states I've been to. However, our carefully planned Vacation with the dog to Vermont and New Hampshire didn't turn out as spectacularly as we planned! 

This particular Winter holiday with the dog had a few bumps, and I don't mean in the roads. Our experience just goes to show that you need to carefully plan for a successful vacation with dogs, but you also need a plan B in case life throws you a curve ball and your carefully planned dog vacation goes off the rails!

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When your dog friendly vacation bites back!

We had planned a wonderful week-long ski vacation. Vermont is super dog friendly, and we brought our Husky along on the road trip from Florida to New Hampshire and then Vermont. We couldn't wait to hike with her through the snow and engage in some fun dog friendly activities with her!

Waterville Valley, New Hampshire is a favorite spot of ours, especially in Winter. The Waterville Valley resort area has a fabulous cross country ski trail that happens to be dog friendly!  Our dogs have always loved long hikes on this trail. It's beautifully groomed and runs parallel to a charming stream. There are also two picturesque foot bridges you can hike over.

We started with a 4 day stay in Waterville Valley and planned to visit Vermont right afterwards. After the first day everything was going along according to plan, until this happened......!

Our Vacation With The Dog to Vermont

Because I downhill ski and my husband cross country skis, we take turns skiing. I had the first day to ski, my husband had the second. 

I skied the first day and it was glorious!  The second day was my husband's turn to ski. While I was resting in the hotel room with my dog that day, I got a call from my husband. He'd been skiing for 2 hours and was having the time of his life! 

My husband mentioned he was feeling a bit tired but that he wanted to explore another trail. He planned to ski out another half hour and ski back a half hour - that's another hour of skiing, which is quite taxing if you're already feeling tired!

Knowing how driven my husband can be with any and all physical activities, and knowing how accident prone he is, I strongly suggested that he "end the day on a high note" and just come back to the hotel. We had a few more days left to ski and I didn't want to risk one of us getting injured on the second day. Of course, my stubborn hubby insisted he was fine and that he could easily ski another hour.

The next phone call I got from him went like this.....

"Honey, can you come down to the lobby, and bring a chair that has wheels?"   I said "What? Why do you need a chair with wheels? Why do you need a chair at all??  I should have known.

Of course, he fell and got injured. No doubt because he was tired and insisted on continuing to ski.

Actually, he couldn't walk at all.  He had fallen and hit his hip and thigh area hard. That was the end of his ski vacation - and the start of me having to do everything myself. It was also the end of us having a great Winter vacation planned for our dog. Images of her romping around on long, snowy hiking trails with the two of us quickly faded. 

My husband didn't really need a doctor, he just needed to say off his feet completely and rest. For how long, we weren't sure.

VACATION WITH THE DOG TO VERMONT AND NEW HAMPSHIRE.  Dog friendly vacation. Pet friendly travel
My dog Icy sleeping in her bed in the hotel room

My poor Husky ended up spending most of the time in the hotel room with nothing to entertain her and No Snow to play in!  I ended up having to walk her three times a day, including late night potty walks around the hotel parking lot.  I did all the dog feeding, and I had to go out to get food for my husband and I day and night as well. None of the romantic restaurant dinners we had hoped for.  No room service in the pet friendly hotel we were staying at either! 

Two days later I had to drive 200 miles to the second, resort hotel we had planned to stay in. Canceling that part of our trip barely 48 hours before arrival would have resulted in losing 100% of the money we paid for that hotel, and it wasn't cheap!

Oh well, for better or for worse, right? So I played caregiver for both my husband and my dog for the next 5 days, and then drove much of the 1,200 miles home.

We live in Florida, so I was Determined to give our snow dog some fun in the snow. I managed to get her on to a dog friendly trail that we have always loved, about 21 miles from our hotel. John agreed to stay in the car while I took her out on the beautiful snowy trail for about 30 minutes. Here's a short video of Icy enjoying the Winter Wonderland!

In retrospect, I should have been better prepared for a possible injury, illness or other mishap.  

* I wish I had researched dog walkers in the area
* I wish I had researched doggie day camp in the area 
* I should have looked into how I could get some help, and possibly one more day of skiing in.  
*I shouldn't have booked the second hotel, which had NO refund policy if you cancel within 2 weeks of your stay. We could have gone home 4 days earlier.

But I didn't do any of that.

I was so blindsided by my husband's injury and complete inability for him to walk, I just did everything myself and gave in to the idea that we were stuck there even though our vacation was technically over. 

I try to hang on to the snippets of fun and beauty we did get to experience. And the times I was able to bring Icy out in the snow, which was so much fun for her!

What about you? Have you ever had a major mishap or disappointment when travelling with your dog? Leave us a comment and share your experience!

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We've travelled extensively with our dogs for nearly 13 years. I'm one of those dog moms that feels a family vacation isn't much of a vacation without our precious furry family members! We've learned a lot and made more than a few mistakes along the way trying to create a fabulous holiday with the dogs.  At this point we have planning a great vacation with the dog, and the dog travel essentials that go with it down pat! We know exactly how to plan and prepare for a fabulous Vacation that's dog friendly. 

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Dog Travel Essentials for a Vacation With Dogs

In this post, I share all my dog travel essentials. I'll talk about my dog travel kit, including all the essential dog travel accessories and dog travel gear you need to pack for a fabulous vacation with dogs.


Should I adopt a dog? The short answer is YES! You should adopt a dog from an animal shelter or dog rescue. In my opinion, it's best to Adopt Don't Buy if you can.  Adopting a dog saves two lives; the life of the dog you're adopting and the life of another dog that your adoption enabled the shelter or rescue to make room for. However, you should adopt a dog from a reputable animal shelter or dog rescue!  But how do you know if a dog rescue or animal shelter is a reputable one?

Jessie, our newly adopted Silky Haired Terrier dog

Do some research online, and if possible in person at the facility, to ensure the animal shelter or dog rescue is reputable. 


Thinking about adding a Siberian Husky to your family? There are 10 Siberian Husky Dog Facts you should know before you buy or adopt a Husky. It's important to research the breed of dog you want before you actually bring that dog home. It can determine whether or not the dog you've chosen to share your life and home with will be a great fit, or a potential failure.

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Siberian Husky Dog Facts

Huskies are easy to fall in love with. They are strikingly beautiful, resemble their wolf ancestors, and their personalities are delightful! But I've said it many times, a Husky is not for everyone. This is especially true for first time dog owners.