Your pup ate chocolate, and you are worried, sick, and wondering what to do?
Unfortunately, chocolate can be harmful and downright dangerous and deadly for canines in some cases. This is due to some compounds contained in chocolate that can be toxic for dogs at certain amounts.
If you are worried about your pet eating a type or quantity of chocolate that is enough to be poisonous for it, then the first thing you should do is take away any leftover chocolate. Then call your vet or the pet poison control hotline immediately.
We recommend that you use home remedies to treat the potential chocolate poisoning of your dog by yourself only if prescribed or approved by your vet.
Here Are Some of the Most Common Treatments Used for Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
This method is the first thing that your veterinarian will do or will tell you to do if you suspect that your pup may suffer from chocolate poisoning.
It should be performed as soon as possible after the dog has consumed the chocolate so that any undigested chocolate is flushed out of the body.
The vomiting is induced in canines by feeding them very small amounts of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide solution. A single teaspoon should be enough to cause vomiting in medium or small-sized pups.
It is only efficient if done within the first 30 minutes after the pup has eaten the chocolate.
Please, do not perform this at home without talking and receiving approval and exact instructions from your veterinarian first!
Call The ASPCA Pet Poison Control Hotline
If you can’t get through to your vet, then call the pet poison control hotline immediately. The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
You will receive expert advice from toxicologists. This can be vital, especially in emergencies when every minute and second counts.
True, this service costs money, but the advice you will get can save your dog’s life.
Plus, in some cases, the consultation fee may be waived if your dog is adopted from organizations such as Home Again.
Use Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal mixed with fresh water can help absorb the toxins from the pup’s body. But make sure to administer it only after receiving detailed instructions and approval from your emergency vet or by the experts from the Pet Poison Control Hotline of the ASPCA.
So, What Happens if a Dog Eats Some Chocolate?
Chocolate can be toxic for dogs due to the theobromine and caffeine it contains. These compounds cannot be metabolized by canines. Thus they can reach concentrations that are poisonous to the animals.
But not all chocolate is the same, and no two dogs are the same. So, whether your dog is in danger after eating some chocolate cake, or drinking some chocolate milk, depends on the quantity and the type of chocolate or cocoa used for making the product and the weight and size of your dog.
Dark chocolate and unsweetened cooking chocolate have the highest content of theobromine. Milk or white chocolate contains less.
If the concentration of theobromine reaches toxic levels in the dog’s bloodstream, it can experience various symptoms and problems with the respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.
In other words, how much chocolate can kill a dog depends on several factors.
Some of the common symptoms of chocolate toxicity in canines include diarrhea, vomiting, racing or abnormal heart rate, high blood pressure, restlessness, tremors, seizures, collapsing, and others.
When Do The Chocolate Poisoning Symptoms Appear?
The time for the symptoms to start showing depends on a number of factors. These include the body weight and health of your pup and the types and amount of chocolate eaten.
The symptoms of chocolate toxicity can begin appearing almost immediately but usually appear 6 to 12 hours after the dog consumes chocolate. They can occur up to 20 hours after the incident and can continue for 72 hours.
If your veterinarian has overruled the need for emergency treatment for your pup, make sure that you monitor your dog for any worrying symptoms for the next few days. You may receive instructions for suitable home remedies to resolve the signs of toxicity.
In any case, we strongly recommend that dog parents keep all their chocolate-based treats and products safely away from their pets at all times. Including the products which we don’t always associate with chocolate, such as donuts.
The same goes for all other human foods and ingredients, which can be toxic for dogs!