What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate
We are sure most people already know that chocolate is really bad for dogs, but there will be some people – perhaps first-time dog owners – who aren’t quite aware that, if dogs eat chocolate, they can become sick. It can even be fatal for some dogs.
Eastertime and Christmas time are such fun and exciting times, especially for children. No doubt we all indulge a little over during these periods. Chocolate and other goodies are all part of the charm of holidays and don’t forget Valentine’s day too, when some of us may have a few more sweet treats around.
However, if you have a dog, it’s important to make sure he does not have access to human chocolate. Chocolate is highly toxic to our canine pals.
Not only does chocolate contain a lot of sugar, fat and caffeine – none of which is good for dogs, anyway – it also contains Theobromine. This is the most toxic component for dogs.
All chocolate is toxic to dogs, whether it is the milk or white variety. Dark chocolate and chocolate made for baking, are the worst of all. These contain much higher amounts of Theobromine. Therefore, it is really important to make sure your dog does not have access to any chocolate products meant for human consumption.
For example, if you’re planning an Easter egg hunt this year, it’s probably best not to let your dog join. With a much more developed sense of smell, your dog is bound to sniff out chocolate far faster than anyone else. Make sure you remember where you stashed all the eggs.
Dogs may not even need to consume large amounts of chocolate to become very ill. Theobromine affects the dog’s heart, guts, kidneys and nervous system. A dog weighing 30kg, for example, could become fatally sick by consuming just 3000mg of Theobromine. That’s the equivalent of one 500g bar of dark chocolate which could result in serious heart complications.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include:-
What should I do if my dog eats chocolate?
Your dog may require urgent treatment, so if you know your dog has consumed chocolate you must contact your vet immediately. Provide your vet with your dog’s weight, how much chocolate they’ve eaten and when.
Dog-safe chocolate is available in stores such as Pets at Home and online. However, Easter eggs, for example, do look like conventional chocolate eggs, so be careful not to get them muddled up. Of course, you can also buy doggy chocs from pet stores, which are safe for your pooch as an occasional treat.
The safest thing to do is ensure chocolate is kept in a sealed container out of the reach of pets altogether.