Who doesn’t love a chocolate treat such as brownies? As much as people enjoy a brownie every now and then it’s not crazy to think that your dog might even love them more. While most dogs wouldn’t turn down a brownie, it’s important to know that chocolate is very dangerous to dogs. Dogs can be poisoned from eating chocolate with symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening. Never give your dog a brownie as a treat, but what should you do if your dog accidentally eats a brownie without you knowing?
Why is Chocolate Toxic to Dogs?
The stimulants found in chocolate, theobromine and caffeine are toxic to dogs. These substances have similar chemical structures and affect a dog’s nervous system and heart rate. The darker the chocolate is, the more theobromine it contains. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans can which allows the stimulant to build in their system, resulting in negative effects. The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate is the more theobromine it contains. That doesn’t mean white chocolate is safe for dogs, though. White chocolate contains elevated levels of sugar and fat content that can make your dog feel sick. To ensure the safety of your pup, keep all chocolate products away from them.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning
Several factors can determine the severity of poisoning in your pet. Your dog’s past medical history, weight, and dosage consumed can all affect the clinical signs of poisoning. Watch out for poisoning symptoms such as:
- Body tremors
- Irregular heartbeats
- Increased heart rate
It is important to recognize the symptoms of chocolate poisoning quickly to give your dog the best chance of recovery. Contact Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian may utilize various treatments. This could include administering heart medication, providing IV fluids to flush theobromine from the body, inducing vomiting, and giving activated charcoal to stop further chocolate absorption. If the clinical symptoms are not severe and you start treatment in a timely manner, your pup should make a full recovery.