Halloween is right around the corner and that means lots of chocolate and candy everywhere. While chocolate is a delicious treat for us humans, this is not the case for our furry friends and is actually toxic to your dog and can cause illness and death in some cases.
In order to keep your pet safe in case of accidental consumption of chocolate there are a few things you should know.
So Why Is Chocolate So Bad For Dogs Anyways?
Chocolate contains Theobromine and Caffeine which are stimulants that affect the cardiovascular and nervous system and cause an increase in blood pressure. While the effects are harmless in humans, dogs have a harder time metabolizing Thebromine which allows the substance to build up in the dog's system to toxic levels. The higher the cocoa content, the higher the Theobromine content, and the more toxic it is to your dog. The smaller the dog, the less chocolate it will take for the poisoning effects to occur.
What To Do If You Think Your Dog Ate Chocolate
If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate take action immediately and call your Veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680). If you know about how much chocolate your dog consumed provide that information along with your dog's weight and demeanor so that your Veterinarian may guide you in what actions to take. Usually, if it has been less than 2 hours since the dog consumed the chocolate, inducing vomiting may help the Theobromine from reaching your dog's bloodstream and causing a toxic reaction. Since some warning signs and symptoms do not show up right away and may take up to 6-12 hours to show up, make sure that you act quickly.
Some Symptoms That Require Immediate Medical Attention Are:
- Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
- Heavy panting
- Muscle tremors
How To Protect Your Dog From Chocolate Poisoning
Keep all chocolate, sweets, cookies, or anything with cocoa, raisins, or Xylitol, which is a common sweetener that is extremely toxic to dogs, away from from dogs preferably in a high cupboard where only responsible adults have access to them.
Educate everyone in the household about the dangers of chocolate, especially children who might want to share their treats with the dog.
Always be cautious about leaving anything that may be toxic to your dog lying around especially around the Holidays as this is when we tend to have more sweets.
Make sure that everyone in the household is aware of the classic signs and symptoms of chocolate poisoning and knows what to do if they suspect it.
If you leave your dog with others, make sure that you stress the importance of keeping sweets away from your dog.
Never reward your dog with chocolate or candy.