Dog Chocolate Toxicity
From Pet Health Learning Center
Dog Chocolate Toxicity
Most people are aware that chocolate can be toxic to dogs, but they donâ€™t always realize just how little it takes to make a dog sick. Dogs are more likely to scarf down a brownie, for example, as they simply adore chocolate, and would never refuse it from you, nor would they be able to resist the temptation if you left a box of chocolate cookies out where they had access to them. Obviously, your dog does not know that the chocolate is bad for them. It is up to you as their care taker to understand and recognize chocolate toxicity in dogs.
Type of Chocolate Matters
The type of chocolate your dog consumes matters because different types of chocolate are toxic at differing amounts.
- Baking chocolate toxicity can occur at just 0.1 ounce for each pound of body weight. Therefore, if your dog weighs 5 pounds, a mere 0.5 ounces can cause mild toxicity. This means that just one square of baking chocolate could be extremely toxic to your dog.
- Milk chocolate toxicity occurs at around 0.7 ounces for each pound your dog weighs. If you have a 15-pound dog, approximately one pound of milk chocolate can be toxic.
- Semi-sweet variety of chocolate, which is normally what you use in chocolate chip cookies, toxicity can occur at around 1/3 of an ounce per pound of your dog's weight. If your dog weighs 20 pounds, just six ounces could prove to be toxic.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning
Symptoms normally do not occur for a few hours after ingestion. These symptoms include:
If you suspect or know your dog has eaten chocolate, it is best to take them to your veterinarian before you see symptoms. However, if you have been away and your pet sneaks some chocolate and begins showing any symptoms, take your dog immediately to a veterinarian.
The course of treatment depends on the type and amount of chocolate that your dog has consumed. Sometimes, you may not know how much your dog has ingested or even the type of chocolate. Your veterinarian will begin administering fluids intravenously, as well as administer medications to help with vomiting, diarrhea, and the stimulant effect your dog may be experiencing. Recovery for chocolate toxicity is very good when your dog is treated properly.
Obviously, you want to make sure you keep anything that has chocolate in it out of your dog's reach. When eating chocolate, be sure not to drop any because your dog will scarf it down faster than you can pick it up off the floor! If your dog is a trash-digger, ensure the trash is out of reach for him or her since many people throw out chocolate bits or pieces.