Chocolate can be toxic to your dog. If you know what to do if your dog ate chocolate, you stand a good chance to save your pet’s life.
Chocolates contain theobromine and caffeine, which can be harmful to your dog. Being methylxanthines, these ingredients can cause heart and brain problems in your dog. Baker’s chocolate contains the highest levels of methylxanthines while white chocolates contain the lowest levels of these unsafe compounds. All you need to do is to keep chocolates or any food that contains chocolates out of your dog’s reach. But no matter how easy it sounds, your dog still manages to put his paws on the sweet treat. You must be aware of what to do if your dog ate chocolate so that you can act swiftly to avoid any fatal risk.
Act First If Your Dog Ate Chocolate
If your dog ate chocolate in moderate to a high amount, he may experience one or more of the following symptoms in four to 24 hours.
- Excessive drinking
- Twitching or any involuntary muscle movement
Acts fast as soon as you notice these symptoms or are sure that your dog has ingested chocolate. You have the following options to follow.
If Your Dog Ate Chocolate, Find Out Type, Amount of Chocolate Eaten
Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine. The toxic dose of the compound varies and depends on the type of chocolate ingested and the weight of the dog who ate it.
White chocolates can cause poisoning only when a dog eats 200 ounces per pound of his body weight. On the other hand, milk chocolates can lead to toxicity in a dog when ingested 1 ounce per pound of the dog’s body weight. For baker’s chocolate, it stands at 0.1 ounces per pound of body weight.
If Your Dog Ate Chocolate, Call Your Vet Immediately
Once you determine the type and the amount of chocolate your dog has ingested, call your veterinarian immediately.
If your dog ate chocolate that may result in toxicity, the vet is likely to provide step-by-step first aid treatment.But if your veterinarian is not available you may call Pet Poison Helpline at 855-213-6680 for help.
Induce Vomiting If Your Dog Ate Chocolate
In case your veterinarian is not available or there is no access to poison control helpline, you can try inducing vomiting in your dog using hydrogen peroxide and water.
Never induce vomiting in dogs who are unconscious, having seizures, or dogs with breathing issues. It is also recommended to use only a bottle containing 3% hydrogen peroxide.
To induce vomiting in your dog, just follow these steps.
- Calculate the dose of hydrogen peroxide-water solution your dog needs. It should be 5 ml of per 10 pounds of his body weight. This means that a 50-pound dog requires 25 ml of the solution.
- Mix the 3%-hydrogen peroxide solution with equal parts of water.
- Using a teaspoon or needleless syringe, push the hydrogen peroxide-water solution into your dog’s mouth.
- Wait for your dog to vomit.
- If the dog refuses to drink the solution on his own, you can try mixing it with honey to make it smell and taste better. Your dog should start vomiting within 15 minutes. If he fails to vomit within that time frame, you can give him another dose of the hydrogen peroxide-water solution.
Take Your Dog to the Vet
If you find your dog has consumed chocolates in large quantity, you must take him to the veterinarian even after inducing vomiting.
In some cases, dogs need to be treated with activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of theobromine in his bloodstream. IV fluids may also be administered along with some supplements and other medications to counter the poisoning effects.
Your dog has a better chance of survival if vomiting is induced and necessary treatment is given at the earliest possible time.