Dogs and chocolate

Dogs and chocolate don’t go together but that doesn’t mean they won’t eat it if found. Chocolate is toxic to dogs. With the holidays underway, it’s important to keep your dog’s away from any chocolate you have in the house. Sometimes a wrapped gift under the tree can be hidden danger for your pet. Make sure to ask any gift givers if there may be chocolate or other foods that might harm your pets in their gift.

If an accident should happen and your dog eats some, here are some things you should know:

  • A little chocolate will not bring instant death to a dog, so don’t panic if your dog eats a chocolate chip cookie or a few pieces of chocolate candy. It would take a large quantity of chocolate to cause real danger, but even small amounts can cause some symptoms to arise. The smaller the dog, the less chocolate it takes to cause serious problems.
  • Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate and baker’s chocolate are the biggest dangers. B sure to take extra caution in keeping these types away from your dog. The chemical theobromine is the culprit. It is found in higher amounts in dark, semi-sweet chocolate.
  • If your dog ingests baker’s chocolate this should be considered an emergency and you should call a veterinarian immediately. With other types of chocolate, especially in small amounts, don’t panic. Just be on the lookout for symptoms of chocolate poisoning. Vomiting and diarrhea are common after ingestion of small amounts of chocolate. More severe symptoms include agitation, rapid or abnormal heart rate, tremors, seizures and collapse.
  • Most dogs can survive chocolate poisoning with proper treatment.  Activated charcoal to decontaminate and may include antacids, heart medications, IV fluids and cauterization. Dogs that are very young, very old or that have other health problems are at greater risk.

Dogs and Chocolate

In general, you should keep your dog away from chocolate entirely. However, if he or she manages to eat some anyway, don’t panic, but be aware of the symptoms. Keep Dr. Whitworth’s  phone number handy at all times. You can visit the website of Whitworth Animal Clinic for more information on pet health.

For other things that can be poisonous to dogs: