Chocolate is a great treat for yourself after a long day. Like many things in your life, you may want to share chocolate with your dog, but low and behold you do not want to give your dog chocolate. Dogs can die if they eat chocolate and the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs. However, some pet owners ask questions about the safety of chocolate due to its expanding use in various confections. 

There are many alternatives to feeding your dog chocolate and any chocolate products. Fruit and vegetables are the best alternative to feeding your dog chocolate. Ask your vet and Pet Poison Helpline® before feeding your dog any new food. Your vet can help with any dietary questions. 

Clinical Signs of Chocolate Poisoning

Theobromine is a chemical in chocolate and is toxic to dogs. Theobromine primarily affects the central nervous system, with secondary effects on the heart and kidneys. A dog’s symptoms may appear from four hours to a full day after eating chocolate, depending on the amount of theobromine in the chocolate. Theobromine is not the only dangerous ingredient in chocolate. The high contents of fat and sugar can lead to negative health effects. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include: 

  • Tremors in the muscles and limbs
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • Increased heart rate

Chocolate Poisoning Treatment 

It is essential to consider how much and what kind of chocolate a dog consumes when treating them. When administered quickly, decontamination, such as inducing vomiting and giving with activated charcoal, may reduce the likelihood of theobromine absorption. Ask your vet any questions if your dog is exhibiting any strange behaviors. Vets commonly see chocolate poisoning instances and will have the knowledge to treat them the right way. 

Pet Poison Helpline® is available 24 hours a day, so when you need them, they will be there to give a helping hand. If you think your dog has eaten chocolate and is suffering from poisoning, call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661.