Dear PDSA Vet: How can I keep my pets away from our leftover Easter chocolate treats?

Chocolate contains something called theobromine which is life-threatening for pets - especially dark chocolate or anything coated in it. We recommend that you store chocolate the same way as you’d store medicine – well out of paw’s reach! It usually takes 4 to 24 hours after eating chocolate for your pet to display symptoms and signs to watch out for include excessive thirst, vomiting, a tender tummy, drooling and restlessness. If you want to show your pet how much you love them, we recommend a low-fat treat like a small piece of carrot. Alternatively a new toy, a nice long walk or even an extra-long play time are great ways to show your pet some love.

Dear PDSA Vet: I like to let my rabbit run around the garden sometimes so he can get out of his run, but I’m worried he might eat some of my flowers. What can I do?

You could plant some suitable vegetation especially for your rabbit, but it might be a good idea to fence off any plants and vegetables you don’t want him nibbling at. By nature, rabbits love to dig, chew and graze, so ensure that any plants he can access are safe for him to eat. Some rabbit-friendly vegetation includes camomile, lavender, yarrow and sunflowers - or if you’re good at growing vegetables, they also enjoy munching on cabbages and herbs. Avoid using any harsh chemicals such as pesticides and weed killers if you’re bunny is spending time in the garden, as they can be very dangerous to our furry friends.

Dear PDSA Vet: I want to start going on long walks as the weather gets warmer, but how can I protect my dog from the sun?

Heatstroke is a serious problem for our pets and can even be fatal. Any dog can develop heatstroke, but flat-faced dogs are most at risk because they struggle to cool themselves down easily. Try to avoid going on walks during the hottest part of the day, and always bring a water bottle and bowl to keep them hydrated. It’s a good idea to use a harness, especially if your dog is flat-faced, but remember they legally still need to wear a collar and tag outside the house. Never walk your pooch on a surface that is too warm for you to place your hand on comfortably for seven seconds. If your dog has a heavier coat, you could consider having it clipped in the warmer months to help them regulate their temperature.

Dear PDSA Vet: My cat, Rupert, seems to get recurrent bouts of fleas, what is the best way to treat them once and for all? Should I see a vet?

Fleas are a common problem that most pet owners have to deal with at some point. To treat them most effectively, consider a prescription product from your vet as these will be much stronger than over-the-counter alternatives - but if this isn’t possible, use an NFA-VPS product. Don’t forget to treat your home with a household flea spray too, as 95% of an infestation is in the home and they can survive for up to a year. Check out the PDSA pet store or ask your vet for recommendations – just make sure your cat doesn’t access the room after spraying until fully dry as household flea sprays often contain permethrin, which is extremely poisonous to our feline friends. Fleas can also transmit worms, so your cat should be treated for both at the same time. For more information, please visit

PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity providing a vital service for pets across the UK whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.