What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate?
Oh NO! Fluffy got into the M&M’s, AND CHOCOLATE KILLS DOGS!?!??!? What to do if your dog eats chocolate!?!?!?
First of all, relax a little bit. Keeping a calm head in a stressful situation will always help significantly! Second, figure out what kind of chocolate they ate, and how much. One chocolate chip or M&M is not going to hurt or kill your dog. However, if they ate the entire bag, well now we have a significant problem. Although many people will tell you that eating chocolate will kill your dog outright, this is very rarely true. The biggest realistic symptom we will have to worry about from a dog eating chocolate is actually seizures, followed closely by abnormal heart rhythm, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It is important to note that the darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is to your dog. This is because it contains higher levels of methylxanthine, which is the chemical in chocolate that is so dangerous for dogs. This means that bakers chocolate and unsweetened chocolate pose the greatest risk of all to your dog. An ingestion of baker’s chocolate by any dog of any size should be considered an emergency while 1 or 2 m&m’s are not going to cause a problem. Younger and sick dogs are at greatest risk, and any ingestion of chocolate should be considered very serious, as they cannot handle even small levels of the chemical. Ingestions of small amounts of chocolate may cause mild vomiting and diarrhea. Larger ingestions can cause severe agitation, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and even collapse. If your dog ingests chocolate, immediately induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal, it is very important to prevent methylxanthine from entering their system.
It is very important to be aware and vigilant if you think your dog has eaten chocolate, as symptoms will not appear immediately. Symptoms from eating chocolate will appear as early as 4 hours after ingestion, and as late as 24 hours after ingestion. Usually, by the time a dog shows symptoms from eating chocolate, they are at great risk and in great pain. Fatal doses occur in bakers chocolate at around 5/g per pound, it does not take much at all do induce a fatal dose. Eating that entire bag of m&m’s is very dangerous for your dog. So make sure to keep chocolate away from our canine pals, as just like children, they simply do not know any better. Dogs will not usually actively seek out chocolate, but they are certainly attracted to its taste if they get into a bag of it.