If your dog has the misfortune of eating chocolate, it can be a serious health hazard. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is toxic to dogs in high doses. Consuming chocolate can cause a range of symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death in dogs. As a pet owner, it is important to be aware of the dangers of chocolate and to take steps to ensure your pup’s safety. Read on to learn more about the potential risks to your dog if they consume chocolate.
The Dangers of Dogs Eating Chocolate
Different types of chocolate have varying levels of toxicity for dogs. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine, making them the most dangerous to your pup. Theobromine is toxic to dogs because they cannot metabolize it effectively. Consuming large amounts of baker’s or dark chocolate can be fatal to dogs. Even milk chocolate and white chocolate, which are not as dangerous, can still cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain if ingested. If you suspect that your dog has eaten any type of chocolate, it is essential to seek medical attention from your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline® immediately.
Clinical Signs of Chocolate Poisoning
Consuming even small amounts of chocolate can lead to stomach pains, mild vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. Ingesting larger amounts of chocolate can cause a range of more serious symptoms, such as:
- Tremors in the muscles and limbs
- Irregular heartbeats
- Increased heart rate
Treatment for Chocolate Poisoning
Dogs are naturally curious and may be tempted to eat chocolate if they find it. If your pup has gotten into some chocolate and is exhibiting signs of poisoning, it is essential to contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661, as well as your veterinarian, for immediate medical help. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, you may need to take your dog to the vet clinic or animal hospital. Decontamination may be necessary to reduce the amount of chocolate in their system by inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal. Other treatments may include IV fluids, sedatives, heart medications, anticonvulsants, antacids, and more. Now that you know the potential dangers of dogs eating chocolate and how to respond in an emergency, you can take steps to ensure your pup’s safety and well-being.