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What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate?

The holiday season is here and that means chocolate galore! You might enjoy indulging in everything chocolaty but it’s a different story for your dog. The truth is chocolate is toxic for dogs and it’s an emergency situation if they have managed to sneak a piece and eat it.

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. As you already know caffeine accelerates the heart and causes other surges in the body but theobromine causes even more problems that can lead to death.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

You might not know your dog has consumed chocolate until you notice symptoms arise.

Here are the most common signs of toxicity in dogs:

  • Increased thirst

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Racing heartbeat

  • Urinating excessively

  • Restlessness

  • Panting

  • Heart failure

  • Seizures

  • Muscle tremors

How Much Chocolate is Toxic for Canines?

As a dog owner, you need to prevent your dog from accessing chocolate. However, this is sometimes easier said than done. Sometimes dogs manage to grab food off countertops. A candy dish filled with chocolate is a popular item dogs do their best to access no matter how far away it's located. So, how much chocolate is actually toxic to dogs?

A toxic dose of chocolate or theobromine begins at 9 mg per pound of your dog’s weight. This amount makes dogs develop mild signs of toxicity. However, 18 mg causes severe toxicity symptoms to occur.

Dark chocolate has high amounts of theobromine and is more toxic to dogs compared to milk chocolate. However, both are dangerous. The good news is dark chocolate has a bitter taste and most dogs spit it out.

A 70-pound dog that consumes 630 mg of theobromine in chocolate will start showing mild toxicity symptoms while 1260 mg causes severe symptoms.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

The moment you realize your dog has eaten chocolate you need to determine how much. If the amount is high you need to induce vomiting to get it out of their system quickly. The best way to induce vomiting is to use 3% hydrogen peroxide and serve it to your dog in a teaspoon. You need to use your dog’s weight as a guide and give them 1 teaspoon of peroxide per every 5 pounds. However, you can’t exceed 3 tablespoons.

Your dog should vomit within five minutes or less after the first teaspoon of peroxide has been taken.

Next, contact a veterinarian or animal hospital to alert them your dog ate chocolate and that you will be arriving soon. This will allow them to get prepared to treat your dog as quickly as possible.

According to the Animal Poison Control Center’s helpline, an average of 76 cases of dogs eating chocolate is handled daily. You can prevent this from happening to your dog by not keeping chocolate in the house or hiding it inside the refrigerator or tall cabinet where it can’t be reached by your dog.

Now that you know how to prevent your dog from accessing chocolate you can take action now by removing or hiding this tasty treat. Get started now!

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