dog sick after eating chocolate

Why Is Chocolate Toxic To Dogs? What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

Why Is Chocolate Toxic To Dogs? What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

Chocolate may be a tasty treat for people, but it shouldn't be given to dogs because they have sensitive stomachs. Accidental consumption of chocolate is a common cause of chocolate toxicity in dogs, which is a common problem seen in dogs.

Although chocolate is toxic to dogs, the degree of toxicity is proportional to the type of chocolate consumed, the amount of chocolate consumed, and the size of the dog. Not all chocolates are created equal when it comes to their potential for poisoning. If a dog eats chocolate, they could experience a variety of different side effects depending on the kind of chocolate they ingested.

For example, baker's chocolate and cocoa are considered to be the most toxic types of chocolate, followed by dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate in that order. Read on to learn all about chocolate, your dog, and what to do if your dog eats chocolate.

chocolate bars on a table

Why Chocolate Is Toxic To Dogs

Both theobromine and caffeine are found in chocolate; both of these substances can increase the rate at which a dog's heart beats and stimulate their nervous system. The type of chocolate, the amount of chocolate eaten, as well as the weight of your dog all play a role in determining the likelihood that your dog will become ill as a result of eating chocolate.

You and your veterinarian will be able to better determine the severity of the situation if you are aware of the amount and type of chocolate that your dog consumed. If a dog consumes 20 milligrams of methylxanthines for every kilogram of body weight, then the dog will start to show some mild symptoms of chocolate toxicity.

Intoxication from chocolate can cause cardiac symptoms at doses between 40 and 50 mg/kg, and seizures can occur at doses of more than 60 mg/kg. To put that into more layman's terms, that indicates that a dose of chocolate that is very concerning is approximately one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight.

Even consuming a single chocolate bar can have severe repercussions, especially for dogs of a smaller size. On the other hand, your dog probably won't die from eating a crumb of chocolate cake or a very small piece of a chocolate bar, especially if it is a larger breed of dog; however, chocolate should never be given to dogs as a reward and should never be eaten by dogs.

dog trying to eat chocolate

What Are The Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs?

After eating chocolate, your dog will typically start showing signs of chocolate poisoning anywhere from six to twelve hours later. Chocolate poisoning poses a greater threat of unexpected death in older dogs and dogs with preexisting heart conditions. The following are some of the symptoms:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Increased Urination
  • Tremors
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Seizures

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it is essential that you contact your veterinarian right away for guidance on how to care for your dog. If your dog displays minor symptoms, your vet may even have you treat your dog at home and monitor him.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Chocolate?

If you have reason to believe that your dog has consumed chocolate, you should immediately contact your local veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 213-6680 for guidance.

Your veterinarian may recommend that you monitor your dog for the clinical signs listed above and call back if his condition worsens based on the size of your dog, the amount and type of chocolate that was consumed, and the type of chocolate that was consumed.

There are some circumstances in which the veterinarian might recommend that you bring your dog into the clinic. If it has been less than two hours since your pet consumed the chocolate, your veterinarian may induce vomiting and give your pet several doses of activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal works to move the toxins out of the body without allowing them to be absorbed into the bloodstream. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a veterinarian in order to receive additional treatment, such as medication or IV fluids, in order to overcome the negative effects of the poisoning. Dogs that are experiencing seizures may need to spend the night at the veterinarian's office so that they can be monitored.

dog looking at milk chocolate

Can Dogs Eat Milk Chocolate?

Milk chocolate is a popular variety of chocolate that is enjoyed by people all over the world, but it should not be given to dogs because it contains ingredients that are toxic to them. Milk chocolate has trace amounts of theobromine, which is a substance that is harmful to dogs.

It is strongly recommended that you do not give your dog milk chocolate due to the reasons stated above. If you do decide to give them a treat, choose dark chocolate instead of milk or white because it has fewer calories, less sugar, and less fat, and therefore is less likely to cause problems.

Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?

Although eating white chocolate does not pose any health risks for humans, this cannot be said for dogs. White chocolate has high levels of sugar and fat, both of which are detrimental to a dog's health and can be found in white chocolate. In addition, white chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine, which, when consumed in sufficient quantities, is harmful to dogs.

Because of these factors, it is strongly recommended that you do not give white chocolate to your dog. If it turns out that your dog has consumed white chocolate, keep an eye out for symptoms of illness such as throwing up or diarrhea, and consult your dog's vet if you have any concerns.

dog not feeling well after eating chocolate

Can Dogs Eat Dark Chocolate?

Dark chocolate contains high levels of theobromine, a compound that is toxic to dogs. Symptoms of theobromine poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures. In severe cases, it can even be fatal. For this reason, it is best to avoid giving dark chocolate to dogs altogether. If your dog does consume dark chocolate, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Review: Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

Chocolate is a popular sweet that is enjoyed by a lot of people, but it shouldn't be given to dogs because it can be toxic to them. In large enough quantities, the compound known as theobromine, which is found in chocolate, can be toxic to dogs.

Toxic levels of theobromine can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects, including convulsions, tremors, and diarrhea. In extreme circumstances, it is even capable of causing death. Because of this, it is essential to keep chocolate out of the reach of dogs at all times.

In the event that your dog does consume chocolate, you should contact your vet as soon as possible. They will most likely induce vomiting and provide supportive care for your dog until the theobromine has been eliminated from their system. Most dogs are able to make a full recovery if they receive treatment right away.

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