Chocolate is one of the favorite snacks in the world, but what to do if your dog eats chocolate? Chocolate contains a chemical known as theobromine that is toxic for your dog’s health. We, as human beings, can easily digest theobromine. But a dog’s body takes too long before that substance can be digested, thus reaching toxic levels. The larger the amounts of chocolate consumed the more toxic it will be for them. The dark and baking chocolates have higher amounts of theobromine. Although purer varieties of chocolate have more theobromine, it is also present in milk chocolate.
Some people are not aware that chocolate is dangerous for their dogs. This sweet delicacy can cause death or major illnesses for them. In fact, veterinarians say that it is one of the leading threats in dog poisoning. The rule of thumb in chocolate poisoning is that the darker and bitter the chocolate the higher its toxicity.
Some of the common products that contain chocolate are food products such as:
- Ice cream
- Chocolate milk
- Chocolate bars
- Baking chocolate bars
- Chocolate peanut butter
During the Easter and Christmas holidays, dog chocolate poisoning is more likely to occur. The reason for this occurrence is that during such festivities friend and family share chocolate with guests and children.
Most children may not be aware that they are not supposed to leave chocolate where a dog can reach it. If you realize that your dog has consumed chocolate, please do not panic. But act quickly to make sure and help save your puppy. Follow these important steps if your dog eats chocolate.
Why Dogs Should not Eat Chocolate
Once again, chocolate contains theobromine and is a chemical that is poisonous to your pet. Chocolate poisoning normally affects the dog’s kidneys, heart, and the central nervous system. Theobromine acts as a vasodilator which means that it widens the blood vessels in their body.
It also causes them to urinate a lot because it is a diuretic. Because of these effects, (vasodilator and diuretic) consuming large quantities of chocolate is very harmful to them. The amount of theobromine poisoning from chocolate depends on the quantity of chocolate consumed and the breed of your pet.
Dogs do not have the ability to break down theobromine fast. It is unlike our body that has the ability to digest and excrete theobromine more easily.
Symptoms that Show Your Dog has Eaten Chocolate
If it is unknown that your pet has consumed chocolate, symptoms will take around six to twelve hours before they show up after a dog has consumed chocolate. Therefore, do not wait for symptoms of chocolate poisoning to appear if you know they have eaten foods they shouldn’t.
Taking too long before taking the necessary action after chocolate poisoning may put your dog at the risk of death. This will also affect the procedures needed and the veterinary charges will be higher.
However, let us look at some of the symptoms of chocolate poisoning dogs because your dog may consume chocolate without your knowledge. The symptoms include:
- Elevated heart rate
- Heart rhythms
- Extreme thirst
- Hyperactivity because of too much energy
Steps that You Should Take if Your Dog Eats Chocolate
Find out the type and quantity of chocolate that the dog has consumed. Check the kind and quantity of chocolate that your dog has eaten. If it is a small quantity then there is no cause for alarm. However, this should depend on how knowledgeable you are about chocolate poisoning, their age, and also the size of your pup.
Check the weight of your dog and compare that with the amount of chocolate eaten by your dog. For instance, if your dog weighs around 40 lb and it eats 4 oz of milk chocolate, then the chances of them being ill are lower. However, the same quantity of chocolate can kill a 10 lb dog.
Before taking your pet to the vet, take precautionary measures, such as persuading your dog to puke.
Contact Your Veterinarian for Advice
After gathering all the necessary information needed, contact your vet. The veterinarian will advise you on what you should do. They will tell you either to take the dog to their office or perform some first aid assistance at home.
Besides, your vet will also be able to recommend the best drugs and actions necessary in case of a chocolate overdose. They have a variety of drugs that assist in getting them to vomit.
If you do not have a way and means of seeing or contacting a vet, then you should try to induce vomiting. Some dogs start throwing up immediately after consuming chocolate, but if your pet does not, assist in getting them to do this.
It can be disgusting and emotionally difficult for one to make the dog vomit. But nevertheless, you need to do it to prevent the negative consequences.
Give your dog a teaspoonful or two of hydrogen peroxide. The best way is to mix it with equal amounts of water and administer with a syringe to prevent spillage. After that, take your dog for a walk for fifteen minutes as this may induce vomiting.
Alternative or Natural Remedies if Your Dog Eats Chocolate
One can also give the dog some grass. Dogs like to eat grass after consuming things that cause disturbances in their digestive system. Grass will help make the dog to vomit the chocolate.
Finally, one can use activated charcoal as it helps in preventing the absorption of theobromine from the intestines. This can be purchased at stores or online in many different forms for consumption. Chocolate poisoning is dangerous and can even lead to the death of your pet.
Be on the safe side by contacting your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog eats chocolate. Provide useful information such as the type of chocolate eaten by your dog and the dog’s weight.
Thanks for stopping by our blog and please leave us a comment,
Founder Of LoveEachPet.com