Today, the topic is on why chocolate is toxic to dogs, and what you should do if your pupper eats some.
Chocolate is a delicious and universally loved treat. When we think about chocolate, we usually think about milk chocolate in the form of bars. But, there are lots of ways we consume chocolate. Hot cocoa, chocolate milk, cake, pie, sprinkles, cookies. Chocolate is yummy and because we love it so much, we might think it would make for a nice treat for our puppy, but it definitely is not. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and many other common pets. Their digestive systems are not set up to handle some of the chemicals in chocolate and it can make them very ill, and in some cases chocolate can kill your pet, so never give them chocolate. Depending on the size of your dog, different amounts of chocolate can cause more or less harm.
Why does chocolate make dogs sick?
Specifically there are two chemicals in chocolate that are toxic to dogs. Theobromine is the main chemical in chocolate that is bad for dogs. Caffeine, a more commonly known chemical, is also found in chocolate and is not good for your pupper. A dog’s metabolism isn’t able to process those two chemicals quickly enough to avoid building up toxic amounts in their bodies.
How much chocolate is poisonous to a dog?
The total amount that can be deadly to a dog depends on the type of chocolate consume. The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of theobromine and caffeine. Baker’s chocolate, for instance, is much more harmful than milk chocolate, and white chocolate has very little of the toxic chemicals. Don’t imagine that white chocolate is safe for your pet, the high levels of fat and sugar in the products are still bad for their digestion and can lead to illness. For an average 50 lb dog, a single ounce of baker’s chocolate can be poisonous. With milk chocolate, it is typically an ounce for every pound your dog weighs. Of course, dogs can still become ill with smaller amounts, so don’t assume your dog is safe just because they didn’t eat a lot of chocolate. Many dogs will be just fine if they consume small amounts, but it’s always better to be safe than to risk your pupper becoming ill from the toxic effects, smaller dogs do not need to consume a lot of chocolate before becoming sick.
What are the signs of chocolate poisoning in a dog?
The signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs can vary depending on the amount of chocolate consumed. The most common side effects are diarrhea, increased heart rate, panting, excessive thirst, vomiting, excessive urination, and panting. In more severe cases, symptoms can include muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure. Sometimes, it is possible for your dog to develop pneumonia cause from the vomiting.
What should you do if your dog ingests chocolate?
The first thing you should do, if you suspect your dog has eaten a toxic amount of chocolate is contact your vet or the pet poison hot line. They can guide you through the steps to keeping your dog safe and healthy. If neither of those options are available to you, and you cannot visit your vet immediately, there are some steps you can take to ensure your dog’s well-being in an emergency situation. If the dog has only recently ingested the chocolate within the last hour or so, inducing vomiting can release a lot of the chocolate from the dog’s digestive system. This should only be done under the guidance or supervision of your vet as there are many things to consider. Various breeds may have complications when vomiting is induced, and if the chocolate was eaten more than an hour before you try, it may be ineffective. Do not induce vomiting if your dog is having seizures. The most common and safe product for causing your dog to vomit is 3% hydrogen peroxide. The common recommended dosage is one teaspoon for every five pounds that your dog weighs. Three tablespoons is the highest recommended amount for dogs weighing over 45 lbs. It should be administered orally with a feeding syringe or turkey baster.
Activated charcoal is also helpful for treating chocolate poisoning in your dog. It can neutralize the poisons in the chocolate by binding them to the charcoal to be released safely in their stool. The amount administered should be 0.5-1.5 grams per pound of body weight. It can be administered by mixing with baby food or another of your dog’s favorite treats. As with the hydrogen peroxide, it is always recommended to administer with the guidance of your vet or the pet poison hot line.
In conclusion, the best way to keep your dog from getting sick from chocolate is to keep your dog from ingesting it in the first place. But, accidents do happen, and if your dog gets a hold of chocolate, it is best to seek expert help from your vet or the pet poison hot line. If for some reason those are not available to you, inducing vomiting shortly after ingestion by using 3% hydrogen peroxide, or if the chocolate was eaten more than an hour before, using activated charcoal to neutralize the poison effects can be very helpful. Take your dog to the vet as quickly as you can, and try to keep your chocolate in a place where your dog cannot reach.
Thanks for reading, and as always, keep your puppers safe and healthy. If you found this to be helpful, be sure to like the article, follow the blog, and share it with your friends.