We are being urged to be selfish this Easter and keep our chocolates to ourselves instead of sharing with our pets.

Unless you want to spend the holiday in animal emergency.

Chocolate contains a caffeine compound which stimulates the nerves and heart, which is fine for a human, but too stimulating for our dogs.

If dogs consume chocolate it can cause tremors, vomiting, diarrhoea, and in extraneous circumstances, even death.

Managing director at the Newcastle Animal Referral and Emergency Centre David Tabrett, is urging pet owners to be careful and hide the Easter eggs out of reach from their pets.

“Remember that dogs are more sensitive to these compounds. Make sure that you provide an alternative for dogs if you are going to involve them in those celebrations and be particularly careful if you’re doing Easter egg hunts that dogs don’t find the Easter eggs around the house.”

Dark chocolate tends to be the most toxic to dogs as it contains a higher amount of cocoa, and therefore caffeine. For instance a 70% dark chocolate Easter egg is very toxic.

To save your dog, and to save them missing out on some Easter treats, dog treats containing carob is the perfect alternative.

“If you’re using a safer compound like a carob type chocolate, that’s actually much safer for dogs and avoids all of the problems we see when dogs find the Easter egg stash,” said David.

If your dog does start to show any of the symptoms over this long weekend, make sure you seek advice and head straight to your vet or nearest animal emergency.