What’s yummier than a nice glass of chocolate milk? It goes with everything. Well, just about anything! But what happens if your dog accidentally drinks chocolate milk?
Can Dogs Drink Chocolate Milk?
The short answer is no. Chocolate in any form is toxic to dogs, even chocolate milk. This is because chocolate milk contains substances called methylxanthines, which are similar to caffeine. These substances are toxic to dogs.
Another reason dogs should never drink milk of any kind is that some of our canine friends are lactose intolerant. And chocolate milk contains sugar, which is also bad for dogs.
Did you know that chocolate toxicity is one of the most common problems vets see? Pet poison helplines also receive the most calls about dogs who have eaten chocolate.
The problem is that pet parents and other people are not aware that chocolate is so bad for dogs. Because we enjoy it and it’s safe for us, we assume it’s safe for our canine friends, too. But that’s just not the case.
Symptoms of Chocolate Toxicity
Here are some symptoms you may notice if your dog has eaten chocolate or had access to chocolate milk:
- Excessive drooling
- Increased thirst
- Racing heart
- High blood pressure
- Heart arrhythmias
- Cardiac failure
- Muscle rigidity
These symptoms are listed from in order from the less serious to the most serious. If your fur baby has only a lick or sip of chocolate milk, chances are he will be OK. However, he may have diarrhea and vomiting from the chemicals in the chocolate.
But if your dog has had quite a bit of chocolate milk, then you’ll need to call the vet right away. This could be a medical emergency.
Try to determine how much the milk your dog has had, and take the milk carton with to the vet’s, too. The information on the milk carton could be helpful to the vet when it comes to treating your dog.
Treatment for Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
Treatment depends on the amount of chocolate milk your dog has ingested. If he had a small amount, then the vet may induce vomiting with activated charcoal. This works to keep more of the chocolate from being absorbed into the body.
Some dogs may need to have IV treatment to flush their kidneys; the IV also helps to keep the dog hydrated if they’ve been vomiting or experiencing diarrhea. Anti-nausea medications may also be given.
In those instances where a dog has had a large amount of chocolate milk, the dog will probably have to stay in the hospital. The vet may want to monitor the dog’s symptoms, heart rate and rhythm, etc. The dog may also need IV fluids and doses of activated charcoal.
The prognosis is excellent for those dogs who receive prompt medical treatment. The main thing is to remember to keep all forms of chocolate out of your dog’s reach. This includes something that appears harmless such as chocolate milk.