Easter is this week and we asked Nicole Petran to talk to us about an awful day when her pooch, Snuffy consumed chocolate. Here is her story.
1. Firstly, how would you describe Snuffy?
Snuffy is one of the most placid, happiest, loyal dogs I’ve ever met. He always needs to be in my shadow and when I come home, whether it’s been 5 minutes or 5 hours, there’s always a face waiting for me at the gate. He doesn’t bark when I come home, instead he cries and whimpers of excitement. Every morning as soon as the alarm goes off, even at 5am, he brings himself up for a quick cuddle and a kiss. Snuffy is the kind of dog that will warm up to anyone and give them a kiss when they’re feeling down. Snuffy is happiest when he is at the beach, off the lead running around with his best buddy. The smile he wears doesn’t leave the whole time we are there, and when we get home he lays there looking at me with his tongue hanging out, smile on his face and a gentle pant. Snuffy has taken on the the role of being a big brother to puppy, Ernie. He will always let Ernie cuddle into him, rest his head on him, and pull his ears. The easiest way for me to describe Snuffy would be our baby.
2. Snuffy became very sick after consuming chocolate. What kind of chocolate did Snuffy eat?
Snuffy decided that he would be nice and healthy and consume 70% cocoa chocolate one morning.
3. Although you didn’t see Snuffy eating chocolate, how did you realise he had?
Sunday mornings are usually our favourites. No one is running off to do anything, there’s no alarm set. We usually get woken up to a kiss from a puppy. This particular Sunday morning, I got woken up from a nice sloppy, chocolatey kiss from my baby. I woke up straight away and nudged Ryan awake because I could smell chocolate on Snuffy’s breath. We quickly remembered we had left chocolate out last night. We blankly looked at each other not knowing what to do. I knew dogs weren’t supposed to eat chocolate because it makes them sick, and Snuffy was kissing and running around just like any other morning, he didn’t seem sick at all. We tossed and turned as to whether it was something we needed to be concerned about since he didn’t seem sick, maybe he was fine? I thought maybe it would be a good idea to ring the local vet to see what they thought but they were closed. The next step was going to our local vet which is 30 minutes away. The problem was, they weren’t open yet, not for another 15 minutes or so. Instead I did some Googling. I very quickly educated myself on the fact that there is an ingredient in chocolate that is fine for humans, but not so much for dogs. Also, the darker the chocolate the worse it is for dogs. I also read that it’s all about how long the chocolate has been absorbed for and that the longer it’s left, the worse the outcome. We couldn’t be sure as to when Snuffy had consumed the chocolate, we were hoping he had just ate it before waking us up. As soon as our vet opened we phoned them to explain what had happened. Almost before I finished explaining, she told me to bring him in ASAP so they can get him induced.
4. What happened once you took Snuffy to the Vet?
Taking Snuffy into the vet is never a pleasant experience, but this was the worst trip I’ve done with him. Once he got the injection the vet left the room and told us she would be back soon, and not to worry as he will almost immediately become groggy and sick. She wasn’t wrong. The injection threw him right off. I’ve never seen him so sad and tired. The thought popped into my head, ‘my dog was so happy and normal before he got the injection…this injection is apparently supposed to make him better?!” All of the sudden it had begun, up came what looked like a pile of melted chocolate. Not only did it look like chocolate, it smelt like chocolate! This whole vomiting scene went on for almost an hour. He vomited more than 30 times, and sometimes he was so tired he would rest his head in the vomit, or slip in his vomit. It was by far the most upsetting moment we have had with Snuffy. Once the ordeal was over, Snuffy was fine, even that afternoon he gained back a lot of energy.
5. Has this experience made you more conscious of the food you leave out?
This event has totally changed the way we leave food around the house, especially chocolate. Imagine if Snuffy wasn’t a kissing type of dog, it would have taken a while, maybe too long for us to realise what had happened. This year we’re being extra cautious and having a doggy Easter…no chocolate!
^ A very sick Snuffy at the vet.
^ Snuffy, happy and healthy, today.