Here are the best things to do if your dog eats chocolate and sweet containing chocolate. Learn how toxic is chocolate sweets for your dog and what are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning.
Unfortunately for those who like to pamper their pets, dogs and chocolate are not compatible. We all love to give our dogs a treat and all our four-legged friends love to receive them. We can use treats for dogs, as a reward for good behavior, as a tool in training or simply because we like to give our pets something to eat.
Caring for your dog entails great responsibility. To give her the love and attention she needs is just one of the best ways to take care of her.
Sometimes, giving them sweets, we feel as if we give them the love they deserve, but unfortunately, we could do more harm than good.
Is chocolate toxic to dogs
Yes, chocolate is toxic to dogs. Although poisoning rarely ends in death, chocolate, when ingested, can cause significant harm to the dog. Chocolate is toxic because of the methylxanthine theobromine contained in it. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used in medicine as a diuretic, cardiac stimulant, and muscle relaxant. Theobromine is toxic and without treatment leads to serious ailments.
How much chocolate is poisonous to a dog
Theobromine is poisonous after an approximate dose of 20 mg per kg of dog weight when it has an arousal, hyperactivity and various symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract (salivation, vomiting, diarrhea). At doses of more than 40 mg/kg, heart symptoms appear, such as heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and even arrhythmia. At doses greater than 60 mg/kg, neurologic symptoms such as tremors, twitching and convulsions appear. A dose of more than 100-200 mg/kg, or in case of complications from smaller doses, can be fatal for a dog.
The amount of theobromine depends on the type of chocolate. Dark and bitter chocolate is more dangerous for dogs than normal. Dark chocolate of high quality contains from 130 to 450 mg theobromine per ounce, while ordinary milk chocolate contains only about 50 mg per ounce. White chocolate in small quantities, as a rule, does not pose any threat of poisoning, however, the dog can still get malaise, since chocolate contains fats and sugar, which can lead to pancreatitis.
Consequences of feeding dogs with chocolate
As soon as the dog eats even a small piece of chocolate tile, dimethylxanthine, which is in chocolate, moves along the bloodstream of the dog and destroys the proper function of the circulatory system.
When the blood circulation of the dog is disturbed, it can be a great threat to their organs, especially for their heart and kidneys.
Regardless of how much dimethylxanthine is eaten by a dog, it can be very poisonous and dangerous to their health. In serious cases, it can even lead to the death of a dog.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning
Clinical symptoms depend on the amount and type of chocolate. For most dogs, symptoms of poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea, thirst, heavy breathing, anxiety, excessive urination, frequent palpitations, muscle spasms (tremors) and sometimes convulsions. Old animals that ate a large amount of dark chocolate can have a heart attack, especially if they have heart disease. Complications such as aspiration pneumonia, resulting from vomiting, can make poisoning even more dangerous. If you are in doubt about your dog, immediately contact your veterinarian to begin treatment as soon as possible.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can develop for several hours, but they go through a much longer time. Symptoms can last several days, depending on the rate of removal of theobromine. Theobromine can also be absorbed into the body from the bladder, so frequent walks are recommended.
Things to do if your dog eats chocolate
If you saw that the dog ate chocolate, then immediately call a hotline for help to animals, or your veterinarian.
The vet will need to know the exact or approximate amount of chocolate swallowed by the dog. This will help him to determine what treatment is needed.
- If the dog ate a lot of chocolate (or it is difficult to understand exactly how much), you should first try to cause her to vomit, give water with the addition of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in a ratio of 50:50. Vomiting is effective only within an hour after the incident and if there are no neurological symptoms yet. If there is a suspicion that the dog has eaten a lot of chocolate or if it already exhibits symptoms of poisoning, it is necessary to immediately take it to the clinic. The faster to remove theobromine from the body of a dog, the less it will harm it.
- Treatment depends on the amount and type of chocolate eaten. If treatment is started in the early stages, by purging the stomach or using activated charcoal, then probably further treatment will not be required. Activated charcoal can be used every 4-6 hours during the first 24 hours after poisoning, to reduce absorption and further recirculation of theobromine.
- Often, in order to reduce toxin and promote its release, a therapeutic treatment such as an intravenous dropper is prescribed. All dogs that consumed chocolate should be carefully examined for symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, nervousness, heart rhythm disturbances and high blood pressure. Often used drugs that slow the heart rate.
- There is specific type of antidote for chocolate poisoning given by vet.
- If there are neurological signs, it may be necessary to prescribe anticonvulsants.
- The dog should not be allowed to eat anything until it becomes certain that all the toxins have been removed from the body.
- Intravenous therapy is necessary, especially if the dog is not allowed to eat. This will serve as a food for the cells.
The incompatibility of dogs with chocolate is becoming more and more known, but since dog owners are the only ones who control what dogs eat, they need to understand the whole danger to the health of the dog that chocolate can cause.
Many dog owners use chocolate substitutes, such as carob. Some dog treats that are suitable for dogs contain a small amount of milk chocolate, which, due to the low content of theobromine, is safe for most dogs. However, veterinarians recommend avoiding the feeding of dogs with any form of chocolate. Remember that the ingredients used in the products are listed in order of decreasing their mass share!