What to Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

Dogs can be unpredictable at times with their feeding behaviors, whether they are hovering around the tables for leftovers, finding openings in the kitchen pantry, or climbing on top of counters – we need to be aware of the potential harm these unmonitored food items can bring them – especially if it happens to be chocolate. The reason being is simple: Chocolate can kill dogs, and it’s regarded by veterinarians as one of the most common causes of poisoning. We cannot always predict the quantities of chocolate that the dog consumed or their future symptoms, so it’s important to understand a proper method in expelling or diluting the chocolate from the dog to potentially save its life.

A widely accepted practice in emergency situations for humans and pets alike is to contact a medical professional at the very moment of a crisis – regardless of its severity. Your vet will likely ask some questions concerning the quantity or if it’s dark or milk chocolate that the dog consumed: as higher quantities can lead to more severe reactions, and dark chocolate has twice of much theobromine than milk chocolate, which is the main ingredient that causes illness. However, it’s important to treat every quantity and type of chocolate with the upmost diligence to ensure proper treatment. Once the medical professional is contacted, they should advise you to meet with the nearest vet to begin treatment with IVs and drugs. They’ll use apomorphine to force vomiting, and a substance called activated charcoal to block the chocolate from entering the dogs blood stream.

However, for many of us, a nearby veterinarian facility is out of the question, as the effects of consumed chocolate in dogs can quickly lead to fatal consequences. Therefore, as we learned from the procedure of veterinarians, forced vomiting is prioritized over other methods because it expels the chocolate and can be used with household items. One of the items used for forced vomiting in dogs is hydrogen peroxide. To apply the hydrogen peroxide, it’s advised to give the dog a small snack to promote vomiting, as the mixture of a small snack and hydrogen peroxide is more likely to make the dog vomit – however, if the dog does not consume the small snack, then it’s better to apply the hydrogen peroxide by itself. This is accomplished by using one tablespoon for every 20 pounds of your dog’s bodyweight, and inserting the hydrogen peroxide into the dog’s system with a medicine dropper; or by placing the hydrogen peroxide inside a dog bowl with other treats so that they lick the bowl, and in this process, consume the substance.

It’s important to understand that in the event of a dog consuming chocolate, it’s widely accepted to apply medical treatment than wait for the observance of symptoms, as this delay could have fatal consequences. Therefore, the description of symptoms is to be regarded after the user becomes knowledgeable of these treatment methods. The symptoms, however, are still held with great importance because they can be used to judge its severity; determine if the vomiting helped; or gauge how much time the dog has in either arriving to a veterinarian facility or remaining at home. An article from American Kennel Club found here labels some of the symptoms as: abnormal heart rate, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, seizures, collapsing, and death. Generally, these symptoms occur after six hours, but can be extended for up to 72 hours, meaning the dog must be carefully monitored throughout this time.

Preventing the scenarios above are simple but requires effort and a degree of persistence to ensure the household is free of potential hazards. Chocolate should be placed in areas that are secured and elevated from any curious pets, and in the event of using chocolate in a meal, make sure the leftovers are stored away when they’re left unmonitored. Also, the proper training of a dog can prevent them for being attracted to food items that do not belong to them. If any of these preventive measures fail, be sure to follow the described instructions and do not hesitate to seek professional help.

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Kelly is DailyU’s lead blogger. She writes on a variety of topics and does not limit her creativity. Her passion in life is to write informative articles to help people in various life stages.

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