Sweet, sweet chocolate. You give it as a gift, eat it as a treat, and maybe even flavor your coffee with a bit of mocha. As much as humans love it, it’s not so kind to man’s best friend. Chocolate is actually toxic for dogs and ingesting too much can end up seriously affecting your pet’s health. Read on to learn what makes chocolate toxic and what to do if you encounter a chocolate poisoning emergency.
If your dog has eaten chocolate and you fear he or she may be in danger, call your veterinarian right away. If you are in the Germantown, MD area, call 240-252-7467 to speak to the pet experts at Germantown Veterinary Clinic and Pet Resort.
How Much Chocolate Is Toxic for Dogs?
Not all chocolate is created equal. When it comes to toxicity, darker chocolate has more methylxanthines than milk chocolate or white chocolate. Think of methylxanthines as stimulants. Dogs are far more sensitive to these types of stimulants than humans, so eating even a little bit of chocolate could negatively affect a dog’s health.
The effects of the toxins will vary based on the type of chocolate and size of the dog. Using a toxicity calculator is a good way to figure out how serious a dog’s symptoms may get.
Chocolate Poisoning Symptoms
If you have reason to believe your dog has eaten chocolate, the symptoms should be apparent within a few hours. Your dog may be suffering from any of the following:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
Realistically, you should be aware of any abnormality that occurs if your dog consumes chocolate and report it to your veterinarian.
My Dog Ate Chocolate – What Do I Do?
If your dog did consume chocolate, you can call the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-213-6680 or your local vet for immediate assistance and guidance through the situation. If it was a small amount of chocolate, your vet may instruct you to just monitor them closely for a few hours and watch for symptoms.
If it were more serious, but your pet has not begun to show symptoms, you may be instructed to feed your pooch some hydrogen peroxide and take them for a walk. By mixing the peroxide and the contents of the dog’s stomach, the potent combination will cause your dog to vomit. Hopefully this will expel any chocolate left in the dog’s system. After your dog has vomited, continue to monitor them.
Finally, if your dog has consumed a harmful amount of chocolate and is exhibiting severe symptoms, take them to your vet right away. Your vet may put your dog on fluids, pump their stomach, and administer activated charcoal to prevent the toxins from getting in the dog’s bloodstream.
Call Germantown Veterinary Clinic for Emergency Vet Services
It can be difficult making the best decisions for your dog’s health, but you don’t have to do it alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian when you have questions regarding your pet’s well-being.
If you live in the Germantown area, schedule a visit for your furry friends now or call Germantown Veterinary Clinic & Pet Resort at 240-252-7750.