It can be a serious health hazard when a dog consumes chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is toxic to dogs in high doses. Eating chocolate can have a range of adverse effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and in severe cases death. As a pet owner, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of chocolate and take the necessary steps to ensure your pup’s safety.
The Hazards of Dogs Eating Chocolate
The toxicity level of chocolate to dogs varies depending on the type. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine and can cause severe signs or fatality if ingested in large quantities. Even milk and white chocolate, which are not as dangerous, can still lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain if consumed. If you think your pup has ingested any type of chocolate product, it is important to contact a veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® right away. Time is of the essence when dealing with canine health issues.
Clinical Signs of Chocolate Poisoning
Eating small amounts of chocolate can cause abdominal pain, mild vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. Consuming larger amounts of chocolate can lead to more severe symptoms, including:
- Tremors in the muscles and limbs
- Irregular heartbeats
- Increased heart rate
If your pup has gotten into some chocolate and is showing signs of poisoning, it is important to contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian right away for medical assistance. Depending on the symptoms, you may need to take your dog to the vet clinic or animal hospital for further treatment. Decontamination may be needed to reduce the amount of chocolate in their system, which could include inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal. Other treatments may include IV fluids, sedatives, heart medications, anticonvulsants, antacids, and more. Knowing the potential risks of chocolate poisoning and what to do in an emergency can help you protect your pup’s safety and well-being.