It can be scary if your dog eats some chocolate. Questions may be rushing into your head like, “what’s going to happen to them?” and “what should I do now?”. Everything you need to know and what steps to take is shared below:

Why Is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Chocolate can stimulate dogs’ nervous systems and raise their heart rates due to its theobromine and caffeine content. Theobromine and caffeine are common ingredients in chocolate. Dogs cannot metabolize these chemicals as quickly as humans can, therefore it builds up in their system and has negative effects on dogs’ health. If your dog eats chocolate, the risk of getting sick depends on the type and amount of chocolate and the dog’s weight. Chocolate can affect the biggest and smallest dogs. Each batch of chocolate contains a different amount of these potentially harmful compounds. An important note to remember is the darker the chocolate the higher concentration levels of theobromine it contains, making it more toxic to dogs. 

Symptoms of Eating Chocolate 

The most common symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs vary depending on the type of chocolate consumed. Tremors, convulsions, and even heart failure can be caused by extreme stress. There may be complications associated with chocolate poisoning, such as aspiration pneumonia. If a significant amount of chocolate has been consumed, a visit to the veterinarian clinic is highly recommended.

Chocolate Poisoning Treatment  

The treatment your dog receives will depend on the amount and type of chocolate your dog ate. If your dog ate a small piece of chocolate, the trip to the vet may not be necessary, but if your dog consumed an excessive amount, seeking medical help is required. Vets may use IV fluids and induce vomiting to reduce the amount of theobromine in your dog’s system. Once fully accessed, your vet will continue the correct course of treatment. 

Who to Contact if your Dog is Experiencing Chocolate Poisoning 

Even if your dog unintentionally ate a small piece of chocolate, call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661. Your concerns will be answered, and you will be advised on how to help care for your pup. If you have concerns about your dog’s health and are seeing signs of poisoning, immediately take them to the vet clinic.