‘Can dogs eat chocolates?’ is a common question many new dog parents are faced with. The answer is a strict NO. Your dog should not eat chocolates. Chocolates are bad for dogs, no matter how small the piece of chocolate was. Now that we know dogs cannot have chocolates, let us go ahead to see why chocolates are bad for dogs.
Hazards of chocolate for dogs
Chocolate for dogs of all sizes and ages is toxic, it can even result in death. But why is chocolate for dogs poisonous? Theobromine is a compound in all chocolates and cocoa products that are toxic to dogs. Humans can every easily digest theobromine, but dogs cannot.
If your dog eats chocolates they may exhibit small mild to severe symptoms, and it means it is no time to wait to call your vet. There are certain types of chocolates for dogs that are more dangerous than the rest. Cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most poisonous cause they contain a large amount of theobromine. Whereas milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest amounts of the compound. If your dog has eaten any form of bitter chocolate you must call your vet immediately.
What happens when a dog eats chocolate
If your dog has consumed a small amount of chocolate, vomiting, or diarrhea might set in, and hopefully, that is the end of the story. Large amounts of chocolate is a more serious issue. Muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding, or a heart attack are the results of theobromine poisoning. The first symptoms might be hyperactivity, pacing, panting, or shaking. Once you notice any of these symptoms rush to the vet without further delay. In severe cases, the symptoms will last up to 72 hours so the earlier you act, the better.
Treatment for chocolate poisoning in dogs
Chocolate poisoning treatment in dogs involves administering fluids and IV drugs. Your vet might start with apomorphine, a drug to force stomach vomiting to flush out the content within the stomach. Activated charcoal would be used to prevent chocolate absorption into your dog’s blood. Hydrogen peroxide is also commonly used to trigger vomiting.
If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms of the aforementioned theobromine poisoning or if you are confident your dog has consumed chocolate, call your vet immediately. Never forget, chocolate for dogs is not just dangerous, it is deadly!