Has your dog snuck a bite of your chocolate? We all know dogs are such trouble makers and can’t keep their paws away from sugary food. The food we like eating can be fatal to dogs; hence it is necessary to prevent them from eating sugary foods.
In this article, we will tell you why you should keep your dog away from chocolate And what you should do if your dog eats a bar of chocolate.
Why is chocolate fatal to dogs?
Chocolates are made out of roasted seeds of a cocoa plant which contain methylxanthines like theobromine. Caffeine is another ingredient present in some chocolates, fatal to dogs. Although humans and dogs have the same taste buds, they have very different digestive systems.
As easy as it is for a human to Metabolise chocolate and caffeine, the same cannot be said for a dog. If the dog does not digest the chocolate, it can be toxic for them, and Large quantities can be fatal. Dogs get addicted to sugary food quickly, so refrain from giving them sugary food at all.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning –
There is a range of symptoms that help you confirm your suspicions about whether your dog has eaten chocolate.
There are severe and superficial symptoms depending on the amount of chocolate ingested.
- Upset stomach
Major symptoms –
- Heart attack
- Internal bleeding
AUTHORS NOTE – There is a helpline number provided by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal) that you can call if you require immediate assistance for any reason. Helpline number – (0) 9820122602.
Toxicity scale –
Before knowing what to do if your dog eats chocolate, it is vital To know on the toxicity scale from high to low which type of chocolate is more toxic and least toxic.
There is a simple theory the darker and bitter the chocolate is, the more harmful it is to dogs.
- Cocoa powder ( most toxic)
- unsweetened of chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- White chocolate (Lest toxic)
What you should do if your dog eats chocolate –
About 30 to 60 grams of chocolate can kill a dog. In cases of some varieties of chocolate with a high concentration of cocoa or caffeine, only 9 grams can be fatal. Some cases reported till now show that 0.115 grams quantity of theobromine per kg of a dog’s body weight has been fatal.
You should call your Vet immediately if you suspect That your dog has Eaten chocolates.
The next step in treating chocolate poisoning is Assessing the risk. You must have All the information you can give to your Vet. The answers to all the Vet’s questions help determine the best course of treatment.
It would help if you had all the answers to questions such as –
- What type of chocolate did your dog eat?
You should know how much sugar, cocoa, and caffeine Content the chocolate had or what type of chocolate it was. For example, was it a bar of dark chocolate, baker’s chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, etc.?
- How much amount of chocolate did your dog eat?
The brand of the chocolate can help determine the contents, so make sure you collect the wrappers And take them along with you when you visit a vet.
- How much time has passed?
You should know when your dog ate chocolate, how much time you have been monitoring for symptoms, and what symptoms you observed.
It is necessary to bring your dog to see the Vet within an hour, as a drug called apomorphine can induce vomiting, and all the toxic chocolate can be thrown out of the system. While if you take more than one hour to take your dog to the Vet, chocolate poisoning can be treated by pumping the body with fluids and IV, which contain charcoal components that prevent the poison from entering the bloodstream.
If your Vet is not available Or you couldn’t secure an appointment, various helpline numbers assist on a phone call; All you have to do is pay close attention and follow their instructions.
How to instigate vomiting?
To safely induce vomiting in your dog, you should give 3% hydrogen peroxide solution diluted in an equal amount of water. The right amount of dosage is 1 ml solution per pound. So if your dog weighs 14 pounds, add 14 ml of diluted hydrogen peroxide solution to the food or directly make your dog drink the solution.
- How long does it take for a dog’s body to recover after chocolate poisoning?
It is imperative to monitor your dog even after the treatment and ensure the symptoms diminish. The estimated time that a dog takes to recover from chocolate poisoning is about two days or a maximum of 72 hours.
- Is eating white chocolate harmful for a dog?
Although the theobromine content in white chocolate is staggeringly low and does not present any threat, it still contains a high amount of fat which poses the risk of obesity and pancreatitis.
It is essential to know what causes a threat to your furry friends. A chocolate bar may uplift your mood and make you feel better, but it is pure poison to dogs. It would be best to get your dog checked immediately by the Vet to receive proper treatment.
This article tells you how to inspect the amount of chocolate poisoning your dog has and what steps should be taken to prevent any suffering. We also took a look at how to induce vomiting at home and clear the system of theobromine.
Let us know if the information we provided 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.