Signs of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
Different types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine depending on the quantity of cocoa solids it has. White chocolate has the least, followed by milk, dark and then cooking or baking chocolate which has the highest levels. A dog does not need to eat a lot of chocolate to become seriously ill, with only between 100-250mg per kg of the dog’s body weight needed to be eaten. This could be as little as 60 grams of cooking chocolate!
Commons signs and symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs include:
- Muscle rigidity
- Low blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Increased reflex responses
- Quick breathing
- Cardiac failure
Treating Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
It’s important that a vet sees your dog as soon as possible to assess them for signs of chocolate toxicity. The treatment which will be offered will depend on the signs and symptoms they are showing, as well as the amount of chocolate they have eaten. Treatment can include:
- Cause vomiting to remove chocolate from their stomach
- Give activated charcoal to reduce chocolate absorption in the gut
- Establish IV fluids to raise their blood pressure and increase their urinary output
- Treat any fast or irregular heart rates
Preventing Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
It is essential that you never give your dog chocolate, no matter how small a piece. Dog owners also need to be aware that chocolate or cocoa is also toxic when given in other forms, not just as a solid bar. This means in ice cream, cocoa powder, chocolate chip biscuits or muffins and lollies.
While it is unavoidable for many families not to have chocolate in their house, it needs to be kept away from your dog. This means shutting it in a cupboard they cannot open or up high on a shelf they cannot reach. The smell is often irresistible to dogs and they will devour an Easter egg or chocolate bar and wrapper very quickly!
Prevention is far better than cure when it comes to chocolate and dogs!