It’s hard to resist those big puppy dog eyes, begging for just a taste of chocolate. Your furry friend wants to enjoy every bit of food that you eat. While you may think that it’s harmless to let your pup indulge in treats meant for humans, the truth is that chocolate can be incredibly dangerous and even life-threatening for dogs if they eat it. Read more below to learn the specific reasons why chocolate is dangerous for dogs.  

Why is Chocolate Dangerous for Dogs? 

Chocolate is one of the most potentially dangerous foods for dogs. There are high rates of chocolate poisoning because chocolate is highly accessible in most homes. All types of chocolate and chocolate products pose a danger to dogs. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate are the most dangerous, as they contain large amounts of theobromine and caffeine, which dogs cannot metabolize quickly. Ingesting these types of chocolate can cause poisoning and some symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. Milk chocolate and white chocolate are not as dangerous, but can still cause stomach discomfort and vomiting due to their high fat and sugar content. If your dog has eaten any amount of chocolate, it is essential to contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® immediately. As a dog owner, you can still enjoy chocolate, but savor it in a safe way!  

Clinical Signs of Chocolate Poisoning 

Ingestion of small amounts of chocolate may cause stomach discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea. Larger dosages may cause more severe symptoms listed below: 

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

Treatment for Chocolate Poisoning 

If your dog has gotten into some chocolate and is showing signs of poisoning, it is important to monitor them closely and seek immediate help. Contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian right away. You may need to take your dog to the vet clinic or animal hospital if their symptoms worsen. Decontamination may be necessary to reduce the amount of chocolate in their system. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to bind to the remaining chocolate. Other therapies may include IV fluids to help with excretion, sedatives to calm the dog, specific heart medications to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, anticonvulsants for seizures, and antacids for stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Now you know the risks associated with dogs that eat chocolate. Now its up to you to keep your furry friends safe and healthy.