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Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and, depending on the type, the amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of your dog, it could cause a serious medical emergency. If you know that your dog has eaten chocolate, it is important to check for signs of toxicity (see below), and it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian or the Toxic Pet Service

To find out more, what types of chocolate are the most dangerous and what signs to look for that could signal that your dog needs treatment.

Why Chocolate is Toxic To Dogs

Chocolate contains both theobromine and caffeine, two factors that can accelerate the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system of dogs, explains the Merck / Merial Manual for Veterinary Health. The risk of your dog getting sick from ingesting chocolate depends on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of the dog (calculate your dog's risk of toxicity with this easy-to-use program). The concentrations of these toxic substances vary among different types of chocolate. Here are some types of chocolate listed by order of theobromine content:

1. Cocoa powder (the most toxic)
2. Unsweetened bakers chocolate
3. Semi-sweet chocolate
4. Dark chocolate
5. Milk chocolate

Knowing how much and what kind of chocolate your dog has eaten can help you and your vet determine if you have an emergency. In general, mild symptoms of chocolate toxicity occur when a dog consumes 20 mg of methylxanthines per kilogram of body weight. Cardiac symptoms of chocolate toxicity are around 40 to 50 mg/kg and seizures occur at doses greater than 60 mg/kg.

In simple terms, this means that a very disturbing dose of chocolate equals about one ounce of milk chocolate per kilogram of body weight. Given that a medium Hershey milk chocolate bar measures 1.55 ounces, eating a chocolate bar can have serious consequences, especially for small dogs. Eating a crumb of chocolate cake or a small piece of chocolate bar, however, will probably not kill your dog, especially if it is a larger breed, but chocolate should never be eaten as a treat.

What Are The Signs Of Chocolate Intoxication?

The signs of chocolate intoxication usually appear within 6 to 12 hours after the dog's consumption, can last up to 72 hours and include the following:

1. Vomiting
2. Diarrhea
3. agitation
4. Increased urination
5. tremors
6. High or abnormal heart rate
7. Seizures
8. Collapse and death

Note: Older dogs and dogs with heart problems are at greater risk of sudden death from chocolate poisoning.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately or call the Pet Service Hotline (855-213-6680) for advice. Depending on the size of your dog and the amount and type of chocolate consumed, your veterinarian may recommend that you monitor your dog for the clinical signs listed above and call back if his condition worsens.

In other cases, the veterinarian may prefer that you bring the dog to the clinic. If your pet has eaten chocolate less than two hours ago, your vet may make him vomit and give him several doses of activated charcoal, which eliminates toxins from the body without absorbing them into the blood. For more serious cases, a veterinary intervention may be necessary to provide additional treatment, such as drugs or intravenous solutions, to resolve the effects of intoxication. Dogs with seizures may need to be monitored at the clinic during the night.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Chocolate

Although small amounts of milk chocolate may not be a problem for larger dogs, it is not recommended that pet owners offer their chocolate to the dog as a treat. To prevent your dog from slipping chocolate, follow these tips:

1. Store it: Make sure all chocolate items, including cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix, are stored where the dog can not reach them, such as on a high shelf in a closed-door larder. Remind your children and guests that chocolate should be kept out of the dog's reach and not on counters, tables or in a purse. Keep this in mind also during the holidays, making sure you place shopping bags, Easter baskets, Valentine's sweets, Christmas stockings, and Hanukkah (gelt) coins, for example, in a place where a dog can not go. their.

2. Teach "let it go": the "let it" command is extremely effective at preventing dogs from eating something that falls to the ground or stays on hand during a walk. It's also a very easy command to teach.

3. Train your dog at the checkout: the safest way to ensure that your dog does not eat anything harmful without you watching him is to train him at the checkout. Find a solid box large enough for your dog to get up and turn around and make it a comfortable and safe place for him to retire when he wants to be alone or when you can not watch him. Give toys, a stuffed Kong, a favorite blanket and treats to help him feel as if the crate was his personal home.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

If your pet has stolen the Easter egg supply, you may not even realize what has happened until it begins to show symptoms. Contact a veterinarian as soon as possible, with as much information as you have about your dog and the chocolate they have eaten. Investigating the packaging that may have been left behind can be a useful way to determine how much good stuff your pet has put in his paws! Knowing a rough estimate of the size and weight of your dog will also help the veterinarian determine the type of hazard he or she might have based on the amount of theobromine ingested.

If you see a veterinarian soon after your dog has eaten chocolate, it can cause vomiting and try to rid the toxic ingredient of its system before it has time to accumulate. Never induce vomiting yourself at home without the express advice of a professional veterinarian. If your dog starts having any of the symptoms listed above, your veterinarian will begin a series of reactive treatments, which may include intravenous solutions and antiarrhythmic medications, if your dog shows signs of seizures.

If you notice that your dog is eating chocolate, the best thing to do is to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Early vomiting will give your pet the best chance of avoiding long-term, serious or life-threatening complications. Thus, the sooner it will be visible to the veterinarian, the better.

Chocolate Alternatives For Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

We all love to look after our pets and there are still many ways to do it without using chocolate! Keep safe, approved and specially formulated dog treats safe to eat. Even if a human being would like a good piece of chocolate cake, you can be sure that your dog will prefer to spend a few hours chewing on a rawhide bone or a quick and satisfying dip in the dog biscuit bag. Many dog ​​treats are not only tasty for your dog but also offer a range of health benefits, such as additional nutrients and dental care.

Do not be tempted to give chocolate to your chocolate dog at Easter or Christmas. It could be a more dramatic family occasion than you had planned! Stick to safe and specially formulated dog treats to treat your dog properly.

Symptoms Of Chocolate Intoxication in Dogs

If you suspect your dog is eating chocolate, watch for him closely for the next 24 hours, as the symptoms will probably begin to develop. Some of the signs you can look for are listed below:

1. Agitation
2. Increased respiration rate
3. Increased heart rate
4. Frequent urination
5. Vomiting
6. Diarrhea
7. Seizures

Your dog may vomit the chocolate quickly enough and have no more severe symptoms. However, if you know the amount and type of chocolate consumed, it is advisable to contact a veterinarian for advice.

How Much Chocolate Makes Dogs Sick?

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

The toxicity to chocolate starts at about 20 mg of theobromine per kilogram of body weight. This means that 100mg of theobromine (about 70g of milk chocolate or 20g of dark chocolate) will cause problems in a small 5kg dog. There are about 25 grams per square block of chocolate, so about three squares of milk chocolate.

Cocoa powder contains higher levels - only 4 g of cocoa powder contains 100 mg of theobromine.

What Are The Signs That Your Dog Has Eaten Chocolate?

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, one of the first signs to look for is restlessness and hyperactivity. Caffeine is absorbed ten times faster than theobromine, which takes up to ten hours to reach its maximum. The signs are usually seen two to four hours after eating the chocolate and can last up to 72 hours.

Caffeine and theobromine cause high heart rate and blood pressure, as well as abnormal heart rhythms.

Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors/muscle tremors and hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) can occur at toxic levels. Your dog may be looking for cooler places, although it is unlikely to get anywhere. Hyperthermia causes a gasp, the primary means by which dogs lose their body heat.

In case of more serious toxicity, this can lead to muscle rigidity (stiffness), ataxia (uncoordinated movement), convulsions and coma. Death results from heart rhythm problems or respiratory failure.

Theobromine causes an increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels, an important chemical messenger in the cell. Theobromine and caffeine also increase adrenaline release and affect the flow of calcium into and out of the cell. This increases muscle contractions.

When combined, all these biochemical changes stimulate the central nervous system and the heart muscle. Other types of muscles in the rest of the body, called smooth muscles, relax, which can cause breathing problems and increased urination.

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