If you’re a dog owner you know that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but do you know why that is? Some ingredients in chocolate can poison your pup. To keep your dog out of harm’s way, you need to take preventative measures to avoid chocolate poisoning. We all know that accidents can happen though, so everything you need to know about your dog eating chocolate is shared below.

What Are the Toxic Ingredients in Chocolate? 

Theobromine and caffeine are the main ingredients responsible for the toxicity in dogs. These substances can elevate a dog’s heart rate and stimulate the nervous system. Dogs cannot metabolize these substances at the same rate humans can, so they build up in their system and in return, cause health problems. 

Evidently speaking, every type of chocolate has these two compounds. However, depending on the type of chocolate determines the concentration levels of these chemicals. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Don’t think your dog is out of the clear after eating milk chocolate though! The elevated levels of sugar can cause your dog to get sick and have discomfort. 

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can be affected by several factors such as how much chocolate was consumed, the type, and the size of the dog. The symptoms include: 

  • Tremors in the muscles and limbs
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • Increased heart rate

You should immediately take your dog to the veterinarian if they have consumed a substantial amount of chocolate. Time is of the essence in an alarming situation such as this. 

Treatment For Chocolate Poisoning

The amount of chocolate a dog ate, and the timeliness will determine the kind of treatment and the span of it. Preventing theobromine absorption into the body can be accomplished through early decontamination methods such as inducing vomiting and giving activated charcoal. Dogs can be stabilized, and theobromine excreted through IV fluids. It is vital to monitor your pup for any clinical signs of poisoning and seek treatment immediately. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate a Piece of Chocolate? 

You must dial Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian if your dog ate chocolate. You will receive proper instructions to move forward to help your dog. If the symptoms worsen, take your dog to your vet clinic to avoid possible life-threatening conditions. Dog owners know that accidents can happen, and your pup can get into things that they are not supposed to. When situations arise, take the safe bet and call Pet Poison Helpline® right away to keep your dog healthy and happy.