Dogs are known for eating things when they are not supposed to. No responsible pet owner would ever intentionally feed their pup chocolate, but sometimes these furry scalawags sneak the forbidden snack right off the counter. This is especially true of puppies.
Dogs have an excellent sense of smell, making it fairly easy to find any secret hiding spots for the chocolate. This can be a dangerous combination which could lead to a trip to your veterinarian—or worse the ER.
Chocolate is derived from the roasted seeds of the theobroma cacao, which contain certain properties that can be toxic to animals: caffeine and theobromine. If ingested, these two ingredients can also lead to various complications such as vomiting and diarrhea to rapid heart rates to coma, seizures and possible death.
A single piece of chocolate or a small amount will probably not be a problem because it doesn’t contain enough theobromine to harm your dog, however if your dog has eaten a whole box of chocolates, you need to call your veterinarian immediately. Do not wait.
When it comes to chocolate, it is imperative to remember this fact: Dark=dangerous! The darker the chocolate, the larger amount of theobromine it contains. Thus, baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa powder and gourmet dark chocolates are more dangerous than milk chocolate and white chocolate has very little theobromine and will not cause chocolate poisoning in pets.
If your pet has ingested chocolate, it is important to induce vomiting and give multiple doses of activated charcoal to decontaminate . Aggressive IV fluids to help with the excretion of the toxin and sedatives to calm your pet and slow down the heart rate. The best treatment is to get your dog to your veterinarian immediately.
Of course, never consider chocolate as a reward. Always provide healthy treats or simply reward your dog with lots of love and attention. For more information, you can contact us via email or schedule an appointment if you think your furry friend has gotten a hold of some chocolate!