Today day started with some the unplanned purchase of an expensive loaf of organic bread - just so we could free a wasp trapped inside the plastic packaging. Things quickly went downhill when, whilst chatting to a friend about yesterday's NR KungFu Pandas event, we discovered my dog (sat beautifully at my feet) had somehow stolen a dark chocolate brownie and proceeded to eat it.

As a self confessed worrier I can be guilty of overreacting at times, but I know from experience that chocolate is one of several foods which can highly toxic or poisonous to dogs. High vet bills and a moment of paranoia that I was about to overreact briefly ran through my head, but I knew given the size of the brownie and the strength of the chocolate used, that the risk was too great to ignore, so I called the vets who advised I get my dog to them ASAP.

On arriving at the surgery 20mins or so later, I was greeted by a poster titled 'Pet Killers' (see images below), which both scared me and reassured me that I'd probably done the right thing by erring on the side of caution. The vet further reassured me that the really important thing was that I'd not waited to see how things progressed before bringing my dog in to see them. Apparently even if your dog has eaten chocolate before and been fine, doesn't mean the next time won't be different - there are many variables that come into play, and we recommend you do your own research (or better still speak to your vet).

Several hours, an injection, LOTS of vomiting, and a few scary wobbles later, my dog had recovered to the point of being able to sleep fairly peacefully in my arms. She couldn't hold herself up properly yet, but when hugging her I could tell she was now relaxing and was seemingly on the mend. A scary and unpleasant few hours, but much better outcome than it could have been.

When sharing the events of the day to several friends later, it was interesting that in general people didn't seem too aware of the risks of food poisoning for pets - in particular chocolate for dogs and cats. This note is to try and increase awareness (at least of the possible risks) and to invite pet owners to do their own research. Sometimes a little background info applied quickly, and an emergency veterinary contact number programmed into your phone, can make all the difference.

I certainly couldn't have asked for better care for my dog today, and I feel our vet

did us proud.

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