DOG owners are warned their haul of Easter eggs could prove poisonous to curious pets.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has stressed chocolate can prove toxic to pets - and dogs are the most likely to suffer.

Chocolate is dangerous as it contains theobromine, a naturally occurring chemical found in cocoa beans which dogs excrete less effectively than humans.

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The level of toxicity depends on the type of chocolate with dark varieties most dangerous. Smaller dogs and puppies are also more at risk than bigger animals.

Robin Hargreaves, BVA president, said: “Every year vets treat thousands of cases of chocolate poisoning in pets and sadly the poisoning is sometimes fatal."

The signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs usually occur within 12 hours and they can last for up to three days.

Details on the subject can be obtained from bva-awf.org.uk/pet-care-advice/pets-and-poisons