Our canine companions love sweet things, just like we do. In fact, they have a penchant for ice cream, candy, and almost anything sweet, including chocolate. However, chocolate can be toxic for dogs.
Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?
Chocolate contains two substances that are poisonous to dogs. These are theobromine and caffeine. These ingredients can cause neurological disorders, liver problems and more. Signs and symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include:
- Abnormal heart rate
- Muscle spasms
- Increased urination
- Excessive thirst
It may take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours before you see any symptoms in your dog. And symptoms can last up to 72 hours after he ate the chocolate.
The risk of your pup becoming sick from eating chocolate depends on how much he’s eaten and what type of chocolate, too. Here’s a list of chocolate types, starting with the worst for your fur baby:
- Cocoa powder
- Unsweetened baker’s chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
You can figure that about one ounce of chocolate per pound of body weight is enough to make your dog sick. Keep in mind that a smaller dog will have a higher possibility of more symptoms for this amount of chocolate than a larger dog.
What to Do if Your Dog Has Eaten Chocolate
Call the vet right away and if possible, tell him the type of chocolate and the approximate amount your fur baby’s eaten. Based on this information, the vet will either advise you to monitor your dog for any signs & symptoms of chocolate poisoning or they will ask you to bring him in right away. It just depends on your dog’s size, weight, age, and how much chocolate he’s eaten.
The vet may induce vomiting if your pup ate chocolate within the last 2 hours. He may also give your fur baby activated charcoal, which helps the body remove toxins. Depending on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, the vet may need to add other treatments and your canine companion may need to be hospitalized overnight.
Avoid giving your fur baby the occasional piece of chocolate. Instead, he can enjoy some carob chips or doggie treats made with carob chips. He’ll enjoy the flavor of chocolate without the danger of being poisoned.
JulieJulie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.
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