The smell of baked goods brings so much comfort. The soft dough and melting chocolate in a chocolate chip cookie is difficult to resist for both humans and dogs. Although the difference is a human can eat chocolate chip cookies, and a dog cannot.
But do dogs know what’s good for them? No, they will eat and eat until they fall ill. As a dog parent, it is imperative to deal with any crisis. In this article, you will learn how to determine the extent of chocolate toxicity and how to treat it.
Toxicity prognosis –
You don’t have anything to worry about if your dog eats a crumb of your chocolate chip cookie fallen on the ground or just a teeny-tiny bite of a Hershey’s chocolate bar. You may concern yourself only when your dog ate 7 – 8 cookies or 40 to 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
Chocolate toxicity has an excellent prognosis. It is possible to calculate the toxicity by the symptoms visible in a dog. The dog is generally treated according to the clinical signs observed.
- More than 20 milligrams of theobromine per kilogram result in vomiting and diarrhea symptoms.
- 40 milligrams per kilogram shows signs of cardiac toxicity and show symptoms like tachycardia and hypertensive
- 60 milligrams per kilogram in a dog’s body leads to seizures and loss of brain activity.
In the table below, you will find an estimation of theobromine and caffeine contents in different types of chocolate.
|Type of chocolate
|Amount of theobromine
|Amount of caffeine
|0.25 mg per ounce
|0.85 mg per ounce
|44 – 60 mg per ounce
|6 mg per ounce
|135 mg per ounce
|20 mg per ounce
|Unsweetened bakers’s chocolate
|390 – 450 mg per ounce
|47 mg per ounce
|Dry cacoa powder
|400 – 737 mg per ounce
|70 mg per ounce
|300 – 1500 mg per ounce
|Cocao bean mulch
|56 – 900 mg per ounce
You can also measure toxicity extent with a calculator available on the Petmd website. All you need is information like your dog’s body weight, type of chocolate, and amount of chocolate.
AUTHORS NOTE – The half-life span of caffeine in a dog’s system is about four and a half hours, whereas the half-life span of chocolate is seventeen to eighteen hours.
What to do if your dog eats a chocolate chip cookie?
Although all the ingredients in a chocolate chip cookie like sugar, wheat, and chocolate are harmful to a dog, the amount of cookies ingested is crucial for determining how severe the circumstances are.
If you are not sure that your dog ate a cookie or chocolate, look out for symptoms like hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, etc. that is when your suspicions are correct.
If your dog has eaten a cookie, the first thing you have to do is get it out of its stomach. If you get your dog to vomit within an hour or two of the consumption, you are reducing significant risk immediately. It takes about 2 to 8 hours for symptoms to appear. Monitor your dog constantly to make sure the symptoms lower.
How to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide?
- Give your dog one teaspoon of 5% hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds of body weight.
- Wait for 15 minutes if your dog vomits, you are in the clear, but if your dog does not vomit, you can give a total of three doses per hour.
How to use activated charcoal?
- The activated charcoal acts as a mop-up agent. You must give 1 gram of activated charcoal per 2 pounds of body weight.
- You can buy activated charcoal in the form of powder and capsules. You will have a tough time making your dog take charcoal in the form of powder. Hence, it is easier to give the dog a mess-free capsule.
- It is essential to give the dog charcoal, which is in a powder form, combined with a liquid, as feeding straight charcoal powder can cause respiratory discomfort.
Besides using hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal, a vet decontaminates the dog’s body by delaying emesis and antiemetic therapy. If the BP is less than 180 BPM, the dog is sedated and given multiple rounds of acepromazine. The temperature is monitored frequently, and after the treatment, it is recommended to take your dog on walks frequently and feed unseasoned rice and meat.
AUTHORS NOTE – do not induce vomiting if your dog has ingested acids, petroleum products, sharp objects, etc. Do not induce vomiting if the dog is unconscious.
Q. Can a chocolate chip cookie kill a dog?
A dog will be perfectly fine if proper treatment is given immediately although, a lot depends on the number of cookies ingested. A chocolate chip cookie contains sugar and wheat flour in the maximum amount, whereas chocolate is present in a small amount. Eating cookies have rarely become fatal.
Q. How long should I monitor my dog to see chocolate poisoning symptoms?
- The first two hours after ingestion are critical in chocolate poisoning cases. It would help if you were prepared to tell your vet all the symptoms observed, as the symptoms help significantly in determining the extent of toxicity. you should also monitor your dog after treatment until the symptoms completely diminish.
In a nutshell, you should keep your calm, determine the extent of poisoning your dog must have, and then take all the measures. Contact a helpline number or your local vet if you are confused, and follow the instructions provided by them carefully.
As good as a chocolate chip cookie tastes, it is not for a dog. It can cause serious health problems and a lot of suffering trying to get it out of their body. Let us know if this article was helpful in the comments section below.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.