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What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

Dogs and Chocolate

What to do if your dog eats chocolate | Whitworth Animal Clinic

With Valentine’s Day coming up make sure to keep any chocolates out of your dog’s reach.

Dog owners know that dogs seem to be endlessly on the lookout for snacks and will eat just about anything they are given or can get their paws on. Unfortunately this includes chocolate, which is toxic to dogs. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s important to keep your dogs away from any chocolate you have in the house. 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, so be sure to take extra caution in keeping these types away from your dog. The chemical theobromine is the culprit, and 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, but be on the lookout for symptoms of chocolate poisoning. Vomiting and diarrhea are common after ingestion of small amounts of chocolate, but more severe symptoms include agitation, rapid or abnormal heart rate, tremors, seizures and collapse.

Most dogs can survive chocolate poisoning with proper treatment, which can include activated charcoal to decontaminate and may include antacids, heart medications, IV fluids and catheterization. Dogs that are very young, very old or that have other health problems are at greater risk.

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