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Health: My dog ate chocolate, what now?

Health: My dog ate chocolate, what now?

You don’t need to be an expert on dogs to know that chocolate is extremely dangerous and toxic for dogs. But why exactly is it so dangerous and what should you do when your dog consumed chocolate?

Why it’s toxic

According to the Merck/Merial Manual for Veterinary Health, chocolate contains both theobromine and caffeine, both of which can speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system of dogs. When it comes to the risk of your dog becoming sick from ingesting chocolate, it depends on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and your dogs weight. Generally, a very concerning dose of chocolate is approximately one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight.

How to spot signs of poisoning

Signs of chocolate poisoning usually appear within 6 to 12 hours after your dog has eaten it, may last up to 72 hours, writes the American Kennel Club.

The signs include the following:

Vomiting
Diarrhea
Restlessness
Increased urination
Tremors
Elevated or abnormal heart rate
Seizures
Collapse and death

What to do when you know your dog ate chocolate

The first thing you need to do if you know your dog ate chocolate is to call your vet immediately! Based on your dog’s size and the amount and type of chocolate consumed your veterinarian will know what to do.

The actions your vet might take differ from case to case. For example, if it’s been less than two hours of your dog eating chocolate our veterinarian may induce vomiting and give him several doses of activated charcoal, which works to move the toxins out of the body without being absorbed into the bloodstream.

However, in more severe cases your vet might need to provide supplemental treatment, such as medications or IV fluids, to resolve the effects of the poisoning.