If your beloved furry friend managed to get their paws on chocolate, it’s important to act quickly. While chocolate is a tempting treat for humans, it is highly toxic for dogs. Symptoms can range from mild stomach upset to severe health complications. Understanding what to do if your dog ate chocolate can help you ensure their safety and well-being. From assessing the situation and seeking medical help to identifying any potential risks and monitoring your dog’s symptoms, there are crucial actions to take in order to minimize the impact of chocolate ingestion on your pet.
Understanding The Dangers of Chocolate
Chocolate poisoning is common amongst pets, and it can quickly become life threatening. Many people know not to give chocolate to dogs, but they may not know why chocolate is so dangerous for their furry friend. Chocolate contains two stimulants—theobromine and caffeine—that negatively affect dogs. Dogs cannot effectively metabolize these stimulants like humans can, which leads to a buildup in their system. The darker the chocolate is, the more theobromine it contains. Additionally, white and milk chocolates contain high amounts of fat and sugar, causing stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. If your pup has consumed a large amount of chocolate, they could experience severe symptoms if treatment is not given.
Symptoms of Chocolate Toxicity
If your dog eats chocolate, they can experience adverse effects. Signs of poisoning can be seen within 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. The dosage and type of chocolate will determine the severity of the signs of toxicity. Common signs of poisoning include:
- Tremors in the muscles and limbs
- Irregular heartbeats
- Increased heart rate
If you suspect your dog has consumed chocolate, you must seek treatment right away. Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for medical help. Transport your dog to the veterinary clinic so your veterinarian can administer treatment. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to bind the toxins. IV fluids and anti-diarrhea medications may be given. If you have further questions or concerns regarding chocolate and pets, give Pet Poison Helpline a call.