Holiday Safety Tips: Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs

Candy, chocolate and cocoa are all delicious treats that feature in holidays across the world. But while chocolate is delicious and enjoyable, it can also be dangerous for dogs to eat. Most pet owners are aware of the dangers of chocolate for dogs and know that their pets should be kept away from any kind of chocolate. 


It is also important to inform our visiting friends and relatives about chocolate's dangers to dogs. But what exactly is in chocolate, and why is it dangerous for dogs?


Why Is Chocolate Bad For Your Dog?

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine. It helps reduce blood pressure by opening up the valves in humans. Humans can easily digest theobromine. Dogs, however, have difficulty digesting it and get very sick if they consume large amounts.


If your pup eats chocolate without your knowledge, you can still notice specific symptoms that will occur 6 to 12 hours later. Your dog may experience diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, panting, and a fast heart rate. The degree of these symptoms varies depending on the amount and type of chocolate your pup has eaten. In extreme cases, the symptoms could escalate to seizures and heart failure. Do not hesitate to contact us if your dog has these symptoms. 


Different types of chocolate vary with the level of theobromine content. Dark chocolate has a higher theobromine content than lighter-coloured chocolate. White chocolate has a small amount of theobromine, but it can still harm dogs. When your pup ingests plenty of dark chocolate, it can be fatal. 


The amount of chocolate that can harm your dog depends on its weight. For instance, a dog weighing 50 pounds would get sick from 1 ounce of dark chocolate and 9 ounces of white chocolate. Checking the type and amount of chocolate your pup ingests will determine how unwell the dog will get. 


How Can You Protect Your Pet From Chocolate Poisoning?

The answer is simple: keep the chocolate out of reach! But that's easier said than done, especially if you have guests unaware of chocolate's dangers to pets. Make sure to inform your friends and family that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats and that they should not feed your pet any chocolate-related products. If you have children in your home, make sure they understand the importance of keeping candy out of reach of your four-legged companion.


You can offer your pet alternative healthy treats. These include canned pumpkins, apples, and sweet potato slices.


If your pet does ingest chocolate, don't panic. Contact your veterinarian immediately. They will likely induce vomiting, give your pet activated charcoal to absorb the toxins, and provide supportive care.


Your Pet's Health Is Our Priority At Eastex Veterinary Clinic This Holiday Season!

Your pet is an essential member of your family and should be treated as such. At Eastex Veterinary Clinic, your pet will feel welcomed, cherished, and respected each time they visit our facility.

We welcome the opportunity to help your pet through any health problems that may arise this holiday season. Call us at 281-971-4832 if you are concerned about something your pet ingested.


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