Dog Eats Chocolate
Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of your dog, it could cause a serious medical emergency. If you know your dog has eaten chocolate, it’s important to monitor him for signs of toxicity.
What can you do at home if your dog eats chocolate?
If you catch your dog eating chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately. They may suggest that you attempt to induce vomiting at home with hydrogen peroxide but only do this upon your vet’s instruction. Your vet will advise the following:
- Feed your dog a small meal. Having something in her belly will make it easier to induce vomiting and will absorb some of the toxins before vomiting.
- Give your dog 3% hydrogen peroxide, one to two teaspoons for every ten pounds of weight. You can squirt this solution to the back of your dog’s tongue using a turkey baster, eye dropper or needless syringe. The taste and foam with prompt vomiting within five to ten minutes after administration. If this does not work the first time, it can be repeated one more time but do not give more than two doses or it may cause uncontrollable vomiting which will put your dog at risk.
- Do not give your dog salt, as it can lead to sodium poisoning.
- Call your vet again and ask for more instructions after she has vomited. If you haven’t gotten her to vomit, you should get her to the vet immediately.
Never resort to home remedies to treat dogs for chocolate poisoning. Instead, find out how much they’ve eaten, what type of chocolate it was, and what weight your dog is. This way you can work out whether the dose is toxic enough to warrant urgent veterinary treatment.
If the chocolate has recently been ingested and it was a toxic dose, it is possible to use hydrogen peroxide to cause your pup to vomit, says Dr. Krause. Once again, you’re better off asking a vet’s opinion before you attempt this at home.
How Much Chocolate is Too Much?
The larger the dog, the more chocolate she will be able to tolerate. Even the smallest amount of chocolate can potentially be fatal for a small dog.
Milk chocolate is more tolerable, as the amount of cocoa bean present in it is less than in dark chocolate, however any ingestion of half an ounce per body weight could put your dog at risk for poisoning.
Dark or semi-sweet chocolate is much more harmful, and more than 0.13 ounces per pound may cause poisoning. Any ingestion of baker’s chocolate can cause poisoning and should be considered an emergency.
Dogs with underlying health conditions or those that are very young or very old are more at risk for complications.
How much chocolate is bad for dogs?
It depends on the type of chocolate and the size of the dog but, as a rule, toxic effects in dogs occur at theobromine doses of 20 milligrams per kilogram of weight, with severe signs at 40-50 mg/kg and seizures at 60 mg/kg.
Owners whose dogs have eaten 3.5g of dark chocolate for every 1kg they weigh, or 14g of milk chocolate for every kg they weigh, should consult their vet.
How Much Chocolate Can Kill a Dog?
Why is chocolate bad for dogs, but how much can chocolate kill dogs? In this article, I share all the important information about chocolate poisoning for dogs, including symptoms, side effects, treatment and prevention, to ensure your pet’s well-being.
Dogs can’t metabolize theobromine in the same way as humans, making them highly susceptible to the chemical. In some cases, consuming 1 to 2 ounces of chocolate can kill dogs, while other kinds of chocolate only take 0.3 ounces to become deadly.
When dogs can’t break up theobromine quickly, the chemical will enter the bloodstream to speed up heart rate and attack the nervous system. This is particularly applicable for small dogs who eat large amounts of chocolate.
Which Chocolate That Can Kill a Dog
White chocolate: White chocolate has the least amount of cocoa, which is why it would take about 2 ounces before it can kill dogs.
Milk chocolate: Milk chocolate is deadlier than white chocolate because of its concentrated theobromine content, making a milk chocolate candy bar lethal for 10-pound dogs.
Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains a high amount of theobromine, which means even an ounce of dark chocolate can kill a dog.
Baking chocolate: Almost similar to cacao powder, baking chocolate contains high levels of theobromine, making it an aggressive stimulant for dogs.
Cacao powder: Pure cacao powder is the deadliest because it has the highest theobromine content at 60 mg. Even 1/3 pound of pure cacao can kill a 20-pound dog.
Why is chocolate bad for dogs?
You’re probably wondering, why are dogs not allowed to have chocolate in the first place? Humans have very little to fear when eating chocolate. For pets, however, the result of eating chocolate can be devastating.
And while most pet owners keep a mental list of all those foods their pets need to stay away from, they may not know exactly what it is about those foods that are so dangerous for their pups.
What Are the Clinical Signs of Chocolate Poisoning?
Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs typically appear within six to twelve hours after ingestion and may last up to seventy-two hours. Symptoms include:
- Vomiting – this symptom is actually a good one in the case of chocolate toxicity as it helps rid your dog’s body of the toxins.
- Increased urination
- Elevated or abnormal heart rate
How to know if your dog ate chocolate?
If your dog has eaten a potentially dangerous amount of chocolate it’s likely he will start showing symptoms between four and 24 hours after ingestion. The most typical symptoms are sickness and diarrhoea, which may contain blood, as well as restlessness and hyperactivity, rapid breathing, muscle tension, incoordination, increased heart rate and seizures.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Chocolate
Even though small amounts of milk chocolate may not cause a problem in larger dogs, it’s still not recommended that pet owners offer their dog chocolate as a treat. To prevent your dog from sneaking chocolate, follow these tips:
Put it away: Make sure all chocolate items, including cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix, are stored where the dog cannot reach them, such as on a high shelf in a closed-door pantry. Remind your children and guests that chocolate should be kept out of the dog’s reach and not left on countertops, tables, or in purses. Keep this in mind during the holidays, too, making sure to place trick-or-treat bags, Easter baskets, Valentine’s Day candy, Christmas stockings, and Hanukkah coins (gelt), for example, in a place where a dog cannot get to them.
Teach “leave it”: The command “leave it” is extremely effective in preventing dogs from eating something that falls onto the ground or is left within reach during a walk. It’s also a very easy command to teach.
Crate train your dog: The safest way to ensure your dog doesn’t eat anything harmful while you’re not supervising him is to crate train him. Find a sturdy crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around and make it a comfortable, safe place for him to retreat to when he wants to be alone or when you can’t watch him. Offer toys, a stuffed Kong, a favorite blanket, and treats to help him feel like the crate is his personal den.