Imagine a world where you can enjoy chocolate without any consequences – until now. Your pup just scarfed down the last of that leftover dessert bar from last night and, suddenly, all the warnings about dogs eating chocolate flood your thoughts immediately. Don’t panic just yet, there are steps you can take to help ensure the safety and health of your dog. Continue reading to learn about how chocolate can affect dogs and what you can do to prevent any damage from being done.
How Does Chocolate Affect Dogs?
Chocolate poisoning is common and can be severe, but what exactly causes the toxicity? Chocolate contains stimulants, theobromine and caffeine, that negatively affect dogs. Dogs cannot effectively metabolize these compounds, leading to a buildup in their system resulting in harmful symptoms. The darker the chocolate is the more theobromine it contains. White and milk chocolate have high amounts of fat and sugar leading to stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea if consumed. If your dog has eaten a large amount of chocolate, they can experience damaging symptoms if treatment is not sought out.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can cause a poisoning emergency if your pup eats it. Signs of poisoning typically appear within 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. The amount ingested and the kind of chocolate will determine the severity of the symptoms. Common signs of poisoning include:
- Tremors in the muscles and limbs
- Irregular heartbeats
- Increased heart rate
If you’re concerned that your dog has eaten chocolate, act immediately and contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661. Take your pup to the veterinary clinic so your veterinarian can determine the correct course of treatment. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to bind the toxins. If needed, IV fluids, anti-diarrhea medications, and more may be given. If you have further questions about chocolate poisoning and pets, do not hesitate to call Pet Poison Helpline.