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What to do if your dog eats chocolate

Chocolate is very attractive to dogs, mostly because it has sugar in it and it tastes good. However, don’t assume that dark chocolate isn’t dangerous too even though it can be less sweet. In fact the more Cacao in the chocolate the more deadly it is for your dog.  The severity of the toxic reaction is tied to both the quantity the quality of the chocolate.

  • Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine and can kill your dog.
  • Chocolate and any cocoa products are poisonous to dogs.
  • The toxic component in chocolate is called theobromine
  • Different types of chocolate contain different levels of theobromine; milk and white chocolate have the lowest levels, while cooking and dark chocolate have the highest.
  • Weight matters: it will take much less chocolate to poison an 8 lb Yorkshire Terrier than a 70 lb Labrador Retriever.

Your dog ate the chocolate…

If you catch your dog in the act, remove any available chocolate and try to retrieve any remaining chocolate from your dog’s mouth. Just one (1) ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight could still cause serious problems, so it’s important to prevent as much consumption as possible.

Because dogs are smart and sneaky the likelihood of you witnessing any chocolate consumption is minimal here is what you should do if you discover your dog has already eaten the chocolate.  Determine what kind eaten and how much, I am not referring to the brand name, but if the chocolate was white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate and how much consumed.  Also try to solve the mystery of how long ago the chocolate was consumed.  Stay calm and call your vet with all this information any time your dog consumes chocolate. Remember! No amount of chocolate is ever safe for a dog to eat.

What to do if your dog eats chocolate: Dog covering his face with his paw

As we mentioned before, milk chocolate typically has lower levels of that nasty theobromine, so if you have a larger dog who eats a small amount of milk chocolate your vet can be the one to decide the course of action.

Dark and semi-sweet cooking chocolate should be regarded with increased urgency when consumed by dogs. In more severe instances, your veterinarian may advise you to induce vomiting immediately versus rushing them to the vet as time is of the essence for your dog to survive.

The easiest way to do this at home is to have your dog ingest hydrogen peroxide. Note: this MUST be a 3% solution of Hydrogen Peroxide- do not confuse this with the 6% or stronger you could also find in your grocery store or beauty supply – using too concentrated a formula may harm your dog further. You should use 1ml of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide for every pound of body weight, at a maximum dose of 45mL for your larger furry friends. (You can typically find an oral syringe for easy dosing amounts at your local pharmacy, or ask your vet if you can keep one on hand in case of emergencies.)

Typically, it takes about 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide per 20 pounds of body weight to induce vomiting.

Symptoms or chocolate poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Shaking
  • Panting
  • Increased urination
  • Seizures
  • Shaking
  • Increased water consumption

What can the vet do?

If you are close to a veterinarian it is always better to take your dog to the vet for chocolate toxicity treatment.  The vet has much more powerful life safe options at had to help your dog.

IV fluids: These help to flush the stomach and further remove any remaining toxins.

Activated charcoal: Ingestion of activated charcoal prevents the harmful substances found in chocolate from getting into your dog’s blood. little bottle of

As a dog owner it’s important to understand your own dog’s behaviors, and keep any troublesome foods well out of reach. Chances for a full recovery are increased when you know what to look for and act fast.

 



Alexa Diaz
Alexa Diaz

Alexa graduated from University of California, Davis with a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior in 2002. She also has a background at a veterinary technician. She is currently the head behaviorist at the K9 Training Institute. Her passion is helping pet owners understand the body language of their pet to strengthen the human-animal bond. Alexa enjoys spending time in nature with her husband and playing with her kitties. She says her proudest moment was graduating the first group of service dogs she trained for children with disabilities.



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2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Healing Tomato-Reply
    November 21, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    A birthday party for dogs is such a good idea! Dogs need birthday parties too. That cake for the dog looks so delicious.

    • Avatar
      Aimee Stock-Reply
      November 21, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

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