What You Need to Know about Chocolate Toxicity

Chopped chocolate

Though dogs and humans share a wonderful bond, dogs and humans simply cannot enjoy the same foods. This is particularly true of chocolate, which is delicious to most people but deadly to dogs. If you suspect that your dog has eaten chocolate, you may need to take him to the vet immediately. Here’s a brief look at how dangerous chocolate is for your dog.  

The Risk Chocolate Poses

Cocoa beans, an essential ingredient in chocolate, have a caffeine-like chemical called theobromine. While it takes humans about an hour to metabolize theobromine, it takes dogs many hours or even days. Even a small piece of chocolate can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your dog. Larger amounts can cause cardiac arrest and death. Though all chocolate is dangerous for dogs, dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate present the greatest risk. A little over two ounces of baker’s chocolate could potentially kill a medium-sized dog.

Keeping Chocolate Away from Dogs

Dogs aren’t aware that chocolate is bad for them, and most dogs will eat chocolate if given a chance. As a dog owner, you need to be very careful when eating chocolate around your dog. Always keep chocolate in a secure place and tell your children not to feed chocolate to the dog. If you throw chocolate in the trash, make sure you put your trash can in a place where your dog can’t get to it.   

Seeking Medical Care

If your dog eats chocolate, call your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian will ask a few questions about your dog’s weight and the amount of chocolate he ingested. If your dog hasn’t vomited already, you might induce vomiting with syrup of ipecac. When in doubt, take your dog to your veterinarian for emergency treatment.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is dedicated to keeping your beloved pets as healthy as possible. If you have any questions about your pet’s wellbeing, please contact Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309, or Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney/Frisco at (972) 529-5033. We also provide pet boarding services for Dallas pet owners who are going out of town. 

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