Want to know what do if a dog eats chocolate? When a dog eats chocolate, nothing can seem scarier for the pet owner who is uninformed. While there is no real cure for this type of poisoning, there are things that can help if you find yourself in this situation.
- Determine how much chocolate your dog has eaten and call your veterinarian right away. While a little chocolate, such as a chocolate chip or two, likely will not kill a 40 lb dog, a bag of chocolate chips might. Your vet will need to know how much and what type of chocolate the dog has eaten.
- If the dog has eaten enough chocolate to produce toxicity, and the chocolate was eaten less than two hours ago, your vet will likely instruct you to bring the dog in to the clinic where vomiting may be induced. After two hours, the likelihood of induced vomiting being helpful becomes slim as the chocolate has moved beyond the stomach.
- Know the signs of theobromine poisoning. Chocolate contains theobromine which is actually the culprit making chocolate toxic for dogs. The signs of theobromine or chocolate poisoning will usually appear between 4 and 24 hours following your dog eating the chocolate, if the do consumed enough chocolate to present a toxic threat. Once in the dog's bloodstream, the poison can last for almost a whole day.
- Symptoms of theobromine poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, excessive urination, and restlessness. The more severe the symptoms, the more chocolate your dog likely ate. These symptoms worsen, and can eventually result in the death of the dog if the amount of chocolate was severe enough to cause the symptoms and he or she receives no veterinary treatment. With veterinary intervention, the symptoms will usually subside between 24 and 72 hours.
Warning: The ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center lists mild signs of poisoning will occur after the dog eats approximately 20mg of theobromine and caffeine (also found in chocolate) per kilogram of the dog's bodyweight. Severe symptoms will occur after the dog eats approximately 40-50mg of theobromine and caffeine per kilogram of body weight, and seizures can occur after 60mg per kilogram of body weight. The theobromine and caffeine content in chocolate varies from type to type and brand to brand. It is best to contact your vet if you believe your dog has helped himself to chocolate.