With Easter just around the corner, your dog is at a higher risk of chocolate poisoning. You likely know that chocolate is bad for dogs. But how much is too much? And why is it such a big deal?
Why can’t my dog have chocolate?
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans that contain two substances that are harmful to dogs – Theobromine and caffeine. Dogs cannot metabolise these ingredients as well as humans can, which is why they become ill.
Any amount of chocolate is harmful to your dog, with dark chocolate being especially toxic. The amount of chocolate it takes for your dog to get sick will depend on their size and the amount of chocolate they eat. Although chocolate ingestion is rarely fatal, it’ll lead to significant illness that is best avoided.
To avoid your dog feeling discomfort, we don’t condone feeding them chocolate, even in small amounts. Consequently, we recommend keeping your chocolate in an area that your dog can’t reach.
What chocolate poisoning looks like
Your dog will show signs of chocolate poisoning 6 to 12 hours after ingestion, and these symptoms may last up to 72 hours.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning
- Excessive thirst
- Racing heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
If you’re worried about your pet, call us straight away or utilise the Australian Animal Poisons hotline for advice.
Remember, no amount of chocolate is safe for your dog. For this reason, if your dog shows any of the above signs of toxicity, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Treating chocolate poisoning
Treatment for your dog will depend on the amount of chocolate they’ve ingested. Therefore, if your dog has mild symptoms, we may recommend that you monitor them at home and wait for the discomfort to pass. Alternatively, for larger amounts of chocolate, we’ll remove the substance from your dog’s stomach by administering medications to induce vomiting, administering activated charcoal to block absorption of Theobromine into the body, or administering fluid to promote urination to remove the toxins.