What to Do When a Dog Eats Chocolate

Some things just don’t mix well, like orange juice and toothpaste. Mixing other things, though, can have dire consequences—like dogs and chocolate.

To keep pups safe this Halloween, here are a few tips retailers should share with pet owners about canines and chocolate:

Why is chocolate bad for dogs?

Chocolate contains two methylxanthines, caffeine and theobromine, which are toxic to canines. The concentration of these substances varies between different types of chocolate. Cocoa power, for instance, is the most toxic, while dark and milk chocolate are the least.

What are the signs of chocolate poisoning?

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can manifest within six to 12 hours of ingestion. Common signs owners should be vigilant of include:

• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Tremors or seizures
• Elevated heart rate

Unfortunately, ingesting too much chocolate can also lead to death. How chocolate affects your dog can depend on a variety of factors, including age and size.

“Small dogs and those under the age of four are most at risk of seeing serious complications due to chocolate exposure,” said Matt Terrill, co-founder of Innovet Pet, in a statement. “It’s very easy for both to consume too much chocolate and that’s why all pet owners need to know what action they should immediately take.”

How can keep my dog safe?

The easiest way to keep dogs safe is to always keep chocolate out of reach. That means baking ingredients, desserts and, of course, Halloween candy. Pet parents can also keep substances in a pet first aid kit to help induce vomiting, such as activated charcoal.

What do I do if my dog eats chocolate?

“It’s important to know that only a certain amount of chocolate is dangerous to a dog which is based on their weight,” said Terrill. “If you’re not sure whether the amount they ate is dangerous, call ASPCA Poison Control or your veterinarian first.”

Source: Carley Lintz for Pet Business

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