Dog Ate Chocolate? Here's What to Watch For

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Dog Ate Chocolate? Here's What to Watch For
Signs of chocolate toxicity in dogs

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Chocolate is toxic to dogs. If your dog ate chocolate, look out for these symptoms, especially this symptom that warrants an immediate trip to the vet. 

 

Signs of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs include:

  • Vomiting and Diarrhea - These two problems are the earliest signs of chocolate toxicity in dogs. In light cases, dogs may simply vomit or have diarrhea a few times and then feel better. However, in severe cases, these symptoms may progress further to the others on the list below.
  • Excessive Thirst and Urination - Since both theobromine and caffeine are diuretics, found in ALL types of chocolate, dogs may show both excessive thirst and urination when they have ingested too much of either of these substances.
  • Restlessness - Caffeine, in particular, may cause dogs to behave restlessly. Darker chocolates with higher caffeine contents may lead to this symptom even without the dog ingesting very much of it.
  • High Heart Rate - An elevated heart rate is a dangerous symptom that could lead to cardiac arrest, especially in older dogs or those with underlying conditions. It can be difficult to monitor your pet's heart rate at home, so it may be advised to take your dog to the emergency vet right away for monitoring and/or treatment.
  • Seizures - Seizures are one of the most severe symptoms of extreme chocolate toxicity in dogs. This may only occur when a dog has ingested a large quantity of chocolate, but it can sometimes mean the toxicity will become fatal without veterinary treatment. Take your dog to the vet right away if he shows this symptom after eating chocolate.

How to Respond to Signs of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs:

  •  If you know or think your dog has consumed chocolate, call an emergency vet right away. If you can't reach an emergency vet right away, call the Pet Poison Helpline immediately. 

Tips to Prevent Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

  •  Better Storage - Keep cabinets and pantry doors shut whenever possible and don’t leave chocolate treats or wrappers sitting around.
  • Train your pet the “leave it” command to prevent them from grabbing things they shouldn’t, be they edible or inedible. 
  • Educate Friends and Family not to give your dog any chocolate or other sweets and get them into the habit of storing things in their proper place. 
  • Always avoid using cocoa shell mulch for your landscaping - often used as a top cover for gardens, its sweet aroma can be attractive to dogs and result in them ingesting some of the mulch, which can cause illness. 

 

 

 

 

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