Chastain Veterinary Medical Group
Welcome to Chastain Veterinary Medical Group! For 20 years now we've been providing advanced veterinary care mixed with old-fashioned compassion for pets in the North Dallas area of Texas.

Watch Out for Chocolate Tonight

Halloween is here. That means that many of our pets will have increased access to CHOCLATE. The problem with chocolate is that in sufficient quantities, it can be toxic to dogs and cats. 

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. Both of these can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Chocolate overdose is typically a bigger problem for dogs than it is for cats, and smaller dogs are often more seriously affected.

Symptoms can include any of the following: restlessness, hyperexcitability, excessive panting, palpitations, increased heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea and convulsions. 

Since there is no specific antidote for chocolate overdose, we treat affected pets symptomatically. It takes about 52.5 hours for a dose of chocolate to be cleared from a dog's body. So that means we are looking at 1-3 days of treatment. Treatment typically includes induction of vomiting, fluid therapy, stomach/intestinal protectants, and sedatives if needed. 

If you know or suspect that your pet has gotten into to chocolate, please contact us or your nearest animal emergency clinic as soon as possible.



How Much does it Cost to Keep a Dog?

Dr. Marty Becker addresses this question in his wonderful book, Your Dog The Owner’s Manual

According to Dr. Becker, the start-up cost after adopting a dog (and excluding the purchase price or shelter adoption fees) at about $ 1,000. This varies by region of the country and includes essential thing like a shipping crate, food, bowls, leashes, several visits to the vet for puppy immunizations and so on.

Annual upkeep for a dog is said to be about $700-800. These costs are often higher in urban areas and on the east and west coasts where regulation, taxation and the costs of doing business are higher.

Dr. Beckers books are available at and other fine book sellers.


The Dangers of Chocolate for Your Dog

halloween dog

We’ve all heard that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but most of us have no idea why.  If a dog can eat a sock without dying, then how can a chocolate Easter Bunny be a problem?  The answer to this question is complex, so read on to learn more about dogs and chocolate:

Chocolate Is Poisonous for Dogs: Dogs have a poisonous relationship with chocolate.  If your dog eats one chocolate candy, then he or she is unlikely to suffer any consequences.  However, if he eats more than that, then he or she is likely to become ill or even die.

One reason to avoid giving chocolate to dogs is that it isn’t chocolate itself that’s dangerous to dogs, but rather a chemical known as theobromineThe amount of theobromine varies according to the kind of chocolate, which means that your dog could eat a lot more white chocolate than dark chocolate, for example.  You’ll never be able to accurately calculate how much theobromine is in any given treat, so you can’t safely feed it to your dog. 

Dogs Can Learn to Love Bits of Chocolate: In addition, if you let your dog have just a little bit of chocolate because that amount won’t hurt him or her, then you will have taught your dog to like chocolate—and dogs are not known for their restraint.  Your pet may try to get chocolate wherever he or she can find it and the consequences could be tragic.

If you have more questions about dogs and chocolate, then contact the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group.  We are dedicated to promoting pet wellness though our veterinary practice, and also offer pet boarding and grooming. For more information, call Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at 877-296-5995 or call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at 972-439-1344.


What to Do about Dogs that Love to Chase?

Chasing things (cars, joggers, and bicyclists) is a part of the natural prey instinct of many dogs. Some may be worse about it than others. But in all cases this is something you want to put a stop to at once. While chasing is a valid survival instinct in the wild, it can be deadly for a pet dog in the 21st Century. 

Dogs that chase often frighten people, especially children. Dogs that chase will eventually catch – and then what? Well, probably a dog bite is what’s next.  Then, the police, or animal control, or the neighbor’s lawyers all want to get involved. This all assumes, of course, that the chasing dog isn’t accidently run over and killed by an automobile. 

Never praise or encourage your dog for chasing – unless you have a real good reason for doing so. The best way to eliminate chasing is to confine your dog to a fenced, escape proof yard. 

Note that as of 2007, under Texas Law, the owner of a dog involved in an unprovoked dog bite or dog attack that results in serious bodily injury can be charged with a 3rd degree Felony. 


Two dog chasing

Top Pet Costumes for 2011!

Need ideas?  Inspiration?  Check out "The Daily Beast" list of the most popular Halloween Pet Costumes for 2011!      

Also, don't forget to upload your pet's photo for our Halloween Contest!

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Hours of Operation:

  • 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Sunday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Wednesday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Thursday
  • 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Friday
  • 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday