If your dog happens to eat chocolate, it can be a serious health hazard. Theobromine, a compound found in chocolate, is toxic to dogs and can lead to a range of symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and even death. As a dog owner, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers of chocolate and take the right steps to ensure your pup’s safety.
The Hazards of Chocolate
If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, it is extremely important to seek medical attention right away. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate are particularly dangerous, as they contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine which dogs cannot metabolize effectively. While milk chocolate and white chocolate are not as toxic, large dosages can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. No matter what type of chocolate your dog has ingested, it is important to contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® to ensure your dog’s safety.
Clinical Signs of Chocolate Poisoning
Ingesting chocolate, even in small amounts, can lead to stomach pains, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. Eating larger amounts of chocolate can cause a variety of more severe symptoms, including:
- Tremors in the muscles and limbs
- Irregular heartbeats
- Increased heart rate
Treatment for Chocolate Poisoning
In case your dog has ingested chocolate and is showing symptoms of poisoning, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical assistance by contacting Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661, as well as your veterinarian. Take your pup to the veterinary clinic or animal hospital if they ingested a large amount and symptoms are worsening. If your dog has ingested chocolate, decontamination procedures may be required to minimize the amount of chocolate in their system, such as inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal. Additional treatments may involve administering IV fluids, sedatives, heart medications, anticonvulsants, antacids, and other interventions.
Steps to Prevent Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
To avoid any accidents with chocolate, it’s essential to take the right steps to keep your dog safe. First, inform your family, friends, and peers that chocolate is not a safe treat for dogs and to keep it out of reach always. Next, if you have chocolate or cocoa products in your home lock them away where your dog cannot get to them. If you have any further questions or concerns or needs recommendations for healthy treat alternatives do not hesitate to reach out to the experts at Pet Poison Helpline®.