How to and what to do if your dog eats chocolate

Written by jo chester
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How to and what to do if your dog eats chocolate
One chocolate chip cookie won't kill your dog -- but it may make life unpleasant for a while. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Dogs should not eat chocolate. That being said, not all chocolate is equally toxic to dogs. Milk chocolate is not lethal to most dogs except for in fairly large amounts: a dog can eat 28.4gr. per pound of body weight before toxicity is reached. As chocolate becomes more bitter in flavour, from milk chocolate to semi-sweet, dark, and bakers chocolate, the amount of theobromine, the toxic substance in chocolate, increases. Treatment remains the same if a dog shows signs of chocolate toxicity, no matter what kind of chocolate the dog has eaten. There is no antidote for chocolate toxicity, but you may be able to help your dog stay alive until the chocolate passes from its system.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Hydrogen peroxide, 3% solution

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Induce vomiting. A dog's stomach empties two hours after consuming food. Removing any undigested chocolate from its stomach will reduce the toxic effects.

  2. 2

    Call your veterinarian. Tell her what kind of chocolate was consumed, how much was consumed, and approximately at what time it was consumed. If the veterinarian advises that the dog be admitted, bring it to the office immediately.

  3. 3

    Manage symptoms. There is no antidote for chocolate toxicity. You must make certain that the dog is as comfortable as possible while the chocolate passes from its system.

  4. 4

    Monitor your dog for any signs of chocolate toxicity. Signs and symptoms typically appear six to 12 hours after the chocolate is ingested. Should any signs of toxicity appear, bring your dog to the veterinarian.

Tips and warnings

  • Dogs with mild chocolate toxicity may pant heavily and be hyperactive. In addition, they may experience an increased temperature, bloat, exhibit vomiting or diarrhoea and increase their water intake.
  • Symptoms of severe chocolate toxicity include lack of muscular coordination; muscle tremors; irregular, increased, or decreased heart rate; or seizures.
  • Induce vomiting by using 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1ml per pound of body weight, up to 45ml. According to MyPetsDoctor.com, one ordinary teaspoon measures approximately five ml, a tablespoon measures approximately 15ml. One ounce of liquid is approximately 30m.
  • When managing your dog's symptoms, keep in mind that you want the toxins to pass as quickly as possible from its body. While vomiting and diarrhoea is unpleasant for both you and your dog, do not prevent your dog from doing either. Instead, give your dog lots of water to keep it hydrated.
  • Dogs can also experience chocolate toxicity if they consume cocoa mulch. If your dog comes inside exhibiting the sign of chocolate poisoning and you suspect cocoa mulch, induce vomiting and bring your dog to the vet.

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