Is Chocolate Poisonous for Dogs?

While chocolate may satisfy your sweet tooth, it can be lethal for your pet! It is made from cocoa, which contains theobromine, a chemical known to speed up heart rate and stimulate dogs' nervous systems. This condition is known as "Chocolate Poisoning" and is one of the prevalent causes of death in pets. This is because dogs can't digest theobromine like their human friends; that is why it becomes toxic for them. Tough a very tiny bit of chocolate chip may not be the issue, but a large quantity can cause havoc! The darker the chocolate, the more the toxicity. 

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs 

It would take up to 6 to 12 hours for your pet to show the symptoms of chocolate poisoning. Watch out for the following signs:

  • Excessive thirst: Notice if your pet is drinking more water than usual. Your pet may be generally thirsty, but chocolate poisoning can be the cause behind more than regular water consumption.
  • Increased urination: Poisoned pets pass large amounts of urine due to the diuretic effect of theobromine. It relaxes the bladder.
  • Diarrhea: Potty accidents are common in the case of chocolate poisoning.
  • Vomiting: Typically, pets vomit it out if they can't digest something. Even if your pet has consumed just a small portion, they will vomit it out.

Some other severe symptoms are tremors, abnormal heart rate, seizures, collapse, and muscle spasms.

What to do if Dog Eats Chocolate?

If you know your pet has consumed chocolate, consult your vet immediately. As a first-aid, induce vomiting to get chocolate out of their system. Many pet parents bribe their dogs with treats lightly sprayed with hydrogen peroxide (only in recommended quantities) to help them puke. Once they puke, please wait for some time before giving them water and a meal. Keep your veterinarian updated with whatever procedure you are carrying out and follow is instructions. Also, note that you do not supposed to try inducing vomiting multiple times, resulting in other problems. 

How to Treat Chocolate Poisoning Problem in Dogs?

As we all know, "Prevention is better than cure," the same is the case with chocolate poisoning. It is better to teach your pet not to eat chocolate, no matter how tempting it is, than to see them suffering!

  • As a necessary precaution, keep chocolates on higher shelves or out-of-sight if you have dogs at home, especially puppies.
  • Educate all the members in the house, including children, about chocolate poisoning. 
  • Train your pet to refrain from eating chocolate. For doing this, you can bribe him with other treats each time he does a positive action.
  • Keep an eye on your pet's diet. Beware of what he is eating, especially when you are out, or he is in the company of strangers.

Last but not least, get your pet checked with the vet regularly. This should be done, irrespective of chocolate poisoning. Our negligence can cost them their life. Pets give us so much love; we must take care of them! 

(Disclaimer: We suggest you consult a veterinarian before following any tips or tricks, as every dog is different and requires different attention)

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