Easter is not for dogs, pet owners warned

Dogs easter
This is a very bad idea, if you like your dog. Photo credit: File

Dog owners are being urged to keep their eggs away from their pets this Easter.

More than 400 dogs were treated for chocolate poisoning last year. The long Easter weekend usually sees a big spike in the number of vet trips.

Insurance claims totalled more than $22,000 last year.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance says simple measures can prevent dogs being poisoned.

"Keeping the chocolate in cupboards, keeping it out of reach, and keeping rubbish bags secure," general manager Anthony McPhail told Newshub.

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs because it contains theobromine and caffeine. A small dog weighing 10kg would only need to eat 60g of dark chocolate to be at risk of death.

And don't give your dog hot cross buns as a substitute - they're also deadly.

"Being Easter... people like to just toss their dog a bit of raisin toast or a hot cross bun at breakfast, but even one raisin could be lethal," BrisbaneĀ Animal Referral Hospital's Dr Emily Cook told 7 News.

"We're not sure exactly why."