Chocolate can be dangerous if a dog eats too much. Yes, it is true that chocolate has the ability to kill dogs but if just a minimal amount has been eaten, it is perfectly okay to keep your dog at home. If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, then look to take your dog’s food away and keep a close eye on your dog for serious symptoms that may need veterinary attention. If you are at all worried, you can always ring your vet for reassurance.
WHY IS CHOCOLATE DANGEROUS FOR DOGS?
Chocolate contains a chemical that is known as theobromine. Theobromine can be toxic to humans as well but chocolate does not contain enough to harm humans. Dogs however are more sensitive to theobromine and if a dog eats too much chocolate, it can be fatal. In the majority of cases, dogs will not eat enough chocolate to be fatal but it will make them ill and it is better to try and keep an eye on your dog for 24 hours if you suspect they have eaten chocolate.
WHAT SYMPTOMS SHOULD I WATCH OUT FOR?
Symptoms of theobromine tend to appear anywhere between 4 and 24 hours after eating chocolate. If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, then take food away from your dog for 24 hours and watch closely for all symptoms. Symptoms that can be handled at home without the need for worry include:
- No symptoms
WHEN SHOULD I RUSH MY DOG TO THE VETS?
If there is any blood in your dog’s vomit or stools, this is one sign that your dog needs to be treated. Other symptoms to watch out for include:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tension
- Unusual lethargy or hyperactivity
TREATMENT FOR THEOBROMINE POISONING
There is no known cure or antidote to theobromine poisoning but your vet is likely to try and make your dog vomit to get all the poison out of the dog’s system. It can help your vet if you are able to tell them how much and what type of chocolate your dog has eaten. This is because different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine. This knowledge will enable your vet to determine what further treatment your dog will need so if at all possible, try to take the chocolate wrapper with you to the vets.
If it is at all possible, try to avoid your dog from eating any chocolate at all. If you suspect your dog has eaten some chocolate, then keep a close eye on your dog for 24 hours. Mild symptoms show your dog is getting rid of the poison and does not need further treatment. However, if serious symptoms appear, giving the right information to your vet can help your dog receive the correct treatment and a full recovery is most often the case.