Ask A Vet: Can dogs eat chocolate?

Ask A Vet: Can dogs eat chocolate?

Sometimes you may be enjoying a bar of candy, specifically chocolate, and a thought crosses your mind. Why don’t I give this delicious treat to my dog? They can share it with me!

Take that thought out of your mind! Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs. 

Although it is rarely fatal, chocolate can still result in high-risk illnesses. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. Theobromine is the primary toxin in chocolate and is similar to caffeine. These chemicals are used medicinally as a blood vessel dilator, heart stimulant, diuretic, and muscle relaxants. Our furry friends cannot metabolize caffeine and theobromine as efficiently as people can. Hence, they’re more sensitive to their effects.

Quantity of chocolate that can be poisonous to a dog:

The amount of theobromine varies with the kind of chocolate. The bitterer and darker the chocolate is, the more hazardous it is to dogs. 

White chocolate doesn’t pose any threat of poisoning as it has a tiny amount of theobromine. Even if the white chocolate is ingested, it is not a toxicity concern, but doggos can still become sick from the sugar and fat in chocolate. For many dogs, ingesting tiny amounts of milk chocolate is not dangerous.

In severe cases, they can cause pancreatitis in pups that have sensitive stomachs. 

Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning:

The clinical signs of poisoning depend on the type and amount of chocolate ingested by the pup. For many dogs, the most common symptoms are increased thirst, panting or restlessness, diarrhea, excessive urination, vomiting, and racing heart rate. Symptoms in severe cases can also include seizures, muscle tremors, and even heart failure. 

If you doubt that a poisonous amount of chocolate is ingested by your dog, immediately contact your veterinarian!

It takes several hours to develop clinical signs of chocolate poisoning. 

Signs due to significant exposures sometimes last for days because of the extended half-life of theobromine. So this indicates that it remains in your dog’s bloodstream for a more extended period. Frequent walks and encouraging urination might be necessary. It is necessary to seek medical attention from your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog might have eaten chocolate.

What to do if your dog eats chocolate:

If your dog ingested a toxic amount of chocolate, you should contact your veterinarian immediately and have your pup examined instantly. 

Treatment for chocolate poisoning:

The treatment depends on the type and amount of chocolate eaten. If treated immediately, inducing vomiting, disinfecting, and preventing the absorption of theobromine into the dog’s body may be all that is required. It is common to provide supporting treatments like intravenous fluid therapy to stabilize the pup and promote theobromine excretion. 

Any dog that has ingested a toxic quantity of chocolate should be strictly monitored for any signs of high blood pressure, vomiting, agitation, nervousness, diarrhea, and irregular heart rhythm. 

Dog treats that contain chocolate:

Numerous gourmet dog treats use carob as a substitute for chocolate. Carob looks very similar to chocolate, and they are often confused. However, veterinarians recommend avoiding giving your dog any form of chocolate.


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