All pet parents and Dog lovers are well familiar with that cute little face of dogs when they need to taste our meals. But, the fact is not all things we eat are good for our beloved dog. Chocolate is undoubtedly one of them. On that note you should definitely know about chocolate poisoning.
We all are love to eat Chocolates. The taste of this magic food will take you to heaven. So you may already share these sweets with your pet too because you love him. So if you did, you have to stop right now. When it comes to body science, your body can metabolize chocolate, but your dog’s body can’t. If chocolate enters the bloodstream of your dog, it can be fatal for your furry buddy.
So you must never feed chocolate to your dog. If accidentally, your dogs eat chocolate, run to get some veterinary aid as soon as possible.
What? How can that be possible? I was already given so many chocolates to my dog. You are saying nonsense. This might be thought of now going through your mind. Yeah, I know how its feel. Even I fed so much to my dog. But after I found this information I stoped it. Yeah, my friend, you will later feel sorry for doing that. So In this article, you will find all the necessary information related to chocolate and its possible side effects for your dog.
What Is Chocolate Poisoning?
Yes, you read it right. Eating chocolate can poison your little doggie.
When your dog eats chocolate, after it digests it will become a part of their blood, and it will contaminate the bloodstream. It will be poisonous for your dog.
Do All Dogs Suffer From Chocolate Poisoning?
Even though you already fed so much choco to your dog, it may be not poisonous until the amount reach a certain threshold. This threshold may vary depending on the breed, size and age of the dog and the amount eaten.
Eg 200g of milk chocolate may cause stomach upset in a labrador sized dog If he eats 500g. It can harm his cardiovascular and nervous systems. Higher than this amount can result in seizures and even death.
Some dogs may not even show any symptoms, and others may show severe symptoms, including an increase in heart rate and seizures.
Why Is Chocolate Dangerous For Dogs?
Chocolate has some unhealthy fats and sugars, which can be dangerous for your dog. But, the primary threat is theobromine present in chocolates, and it is harmful to dogs. Theobromine is not meant to be in your dog’s body.
Theobromine is unprocessable as your dog’s body cannot metabolize it. It causes toxic action inside a dog’s body. Theobromine directly targets all the vital organs of your dog, including Kidneys, heart, and brain.
Like I said, even though theobromine bad for dogs, it is used as a medicine to treat humans to as a muscle relaxant and a heart stimulant.
Are All Chocolates Equally bad For Dogs?
All chocolates may not cause chocolate poisoning as all chocolates do not have theobromine as their active component. But, the point is that they still have unhealthy fats and sugar, which can cause diarrhea and other stomach related issues in a dog.
So, my opinion is not to take any chance and avoid these at all costs. There are so many healthy foods that you can give to your dog.
Dark chocolate has a large composition of theobromine. A 500g bar of dark chocolate contains roughly 4000mg of theobromine. This amount can easily be fatal for certain breeds such as a 30 kg Labrador. Weights lower than this can be equally dangerous. So, dark chocolate needs to be avoided at every cost.
White chocolate has no or very tiny amount of the theobromine. So, it is very unlikely to poison your dog. All white chocolates belong to the low theobromine category. Even though white chocolate has low theobromine you can not give these unnecessarily because white chocolate has higher sugar and buttermilk content, which can upset your dog’s tummy.
What Are The Signs Of Chocolate Poisoning In A Dog?
Dogs are habitually like to taste anything that comes in their way. So, it is difficult to figure out if your dog has eaten chocolate or not. Especially if your dog is not kept inside your house. Here I have listed down a few symptoms that may indicate if your dog has eaten chocolate or not.
- Have diarrhea
- Show hyperactive and restless behaviors
- Breathing rapidly
- Show muscular in-coordination
- You will notice increasing of the heart rate
- In occasional cases may vomit (which can include blood)
- Suffer seizures
- Sweating more
- A high degree of thirsty
I know the above signs may seem like usual if you live in a hot weather area. But have to admit. It’s not an easy task to identify. Those are just common clues that may help to identify.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Chocolate?
If you are sure that your dog has eaten chocolate, don’t take self measures to treat him. Run for veterinary aid immediately. If not possible, call your vet and get his instructions. He may guide you with some simple steps to cure your pet. For your information, the Chocolate toxicity calculator can help you to know the amount of chocolate that can be toxic for a particular dog.
If you know how much quantity ate, it will help the vet to decide the appropriate treatment.
Don’t forget to grab the Pet first aid kit when you visit VET cause it will have all the records related to your dog. If you don’t know how to make a pet first aid kit, I have written a detailed guide regarding this. You can check it at How To Make A Pet FirstAid Kit.
I Don’t Know How Much Has My Dog Eaten
Well, if you don’t know the exact amount of chocolate, your dog has eaten still run for veterinary help.
Time matters here. If you can treat at the initial stage, it will help to combat the side effects effectively.
So, hurry to the vet hospital and leave the rest to the professionals.
How Much Of Chocolate Is Safe To Eat For My Dog?
According to researches and by hearing life stories of other pet owners, my opinion is you should not give even a little amount of chocolate to your dog because it is harmful to your little canine friend in one way or another. But if your heart is melting when you see his cute face, if you are not like to be rude on your little friend like me and if your dog love to eat chocolates, you may want to give some small amount.
Remember that the toxic effects of theobromine are likely to start from 20mg per 1kg of body weight.
40mg to 50mg per kg of the body weight can result in severe symptoms, and 60mg can result in even seizures. So If your dogs ever ate 3.5g of dark chocolate or 12-13 g of milk chocolate for every 1 kg of their body weight, you should seek a vet.
Can Dog Eat Products Make From Chocolate?
Now that we know chocolate itself is harmful to dog’s health. But, what about chocolate products like chocolate cookies or chocolate cakes? Will they harm your dog in the same way as pure chocolate?
Well, the answer depends on the ingredients of the product. Foods rich in sugar or lactose can be harmful to your dogies health.
So here I list down some major products that use chocolate as the main ingredient.
- Chocolate Cake : High in sugar content and have cocoa powder in it, which itself is dangerous for a dog. So, chocolate cake is a big, “No”.
- Hot Chocolate : Hot chocolate will have almost the same composition of theobromine to milk chocolate. This can be as dangerous as milk chocolate. The uncontrolled amount may result in dangerous effects. However, a little will only upset the tummy or cause vomiting.
- Chocolate Ice-Cream : This can also contain theobromine. Moreover, high lactose content of ice cream may not be suitable for your dog because most dogs are lactose intolerant. High sugar level and high lactose can cause stomach upset or even worst clinical conditions in your dog.
- Cocoa Powder : The chocolate powder has very high theobromine content. Approximately, 26mg of theobromine per gram, which can be hazardous for your dog.
Can A Dog Die From Eating Chocolate?
Eating chocolate can rarely be fatal. However, it can have serious side effects on the vital organs of your dog. Moreover, an uncontrolled intake can result in severe health conditions and even can potentially kill your dog. VPIS global who is doing significant researches on animal poison and related things also state that out of every 1000 chocolate poisoning cases of dogs, only five have died.
This marks how low the probability of your dog dying from chocolate poisoning is.
How To Treat A Chocolate Poisoned Dog?
There is yet no cure or antidote for theobromine. So, if your dog’s eat chocolate, but if you make him vomit immediately amount of chocolate which will digest in the stomach will get lower. That is the best method you can do when you are at home.
When you go for Veterinarian, they treat a chocolate poisoned dog by using several techniques.
Some of them are.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Technique : The veterinarian may feed a little amount of hydrogen peroxide to your dog. It can help induce vomit and hence treat the dog.
- Activated Charcoal Method : Activated charcoal will suck in all the theobromine from your dog’s tummy.
- Using Intravenous Fluids : Intravenous fluids or drips can also help your dog.
- By Medication : Medications and drugs like apomorphine can help induce vomit. Many other medicines can help to control blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory activity, and seizures of your dog. The side effects of chocolate may take approx 4 – 24 hours to occur and can stay for approx 72 hours. However, immediate first aid can save your dog from huge health harms.
So in this article, I discussed why you should not give chocolates to your little buddy. We know it tastes good, but your buddy’s health is more precious than chocolates. So I am winding up here. Are you giving chocolates to your dog? Did you ever face any chocolate poisoning? Share your experience with us. See you in another article.