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Chocolate Poisoning In Pets

As devoted pet owners, we cherish our furry companions and strive to provide them with the utmost care and attention. Yet, amidst the joys of sharing our lives with pets, there are hidden dangers that can pose serious threats to their health. One such peril, often overlooked, is chocolate poisoning.

Chocolate, a beloved indulgence for many humans, contains compounds like theobromine and caffeine that can be toxic to our four-legged friends. Unfortunately, our pets lack the ability to metabolize these substances effectively, leading to potentially severe consequences if ingested.

Chocolate is irresistible for many humans, when we consume chocolate we may add a few calories to our diets, while pets, on the other hand, could incur disastrous repercussions.

  • Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is perfectly safe for humans, but toxic for dogs, cats, and rabbits.
  • The seriousness of chocolate poisoning depends on how much chocolate your dog has eaten, how big they are, and the cocoa content of the chocolate – the darker the chocolate the more toxic it’s likely to be.
  • If your dog has eaten chocolate, keep the packaging and call your vet immediately.

White Chocolate

Milk Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Pure Cocoa

Theobromine is a similar substance to caffeine and if it’s ingested at a toxic dose, it can cause the nervous system, guts, and muscles to go into overdrive. This typically causes symptoms such as:

Most common Symptoms
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Abdominal pain
Severe Symptoms
  • Muscle tremors (Shaking/trembling)
  • Seizures
  • Heart failure
  • High temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate

Clinic signs of chocolate poisoning can take hours (approximately 12 hours) to develop and last for days.

  • Induced vomiting – If you can get your dog to the clinic a few hours after eating chocolate, your vet may be able to give them an injection to make your pet sick. Don’t try to make your dog sick at home.
  • Activated charcoal – Your vet may give your pet activated charcoal to absorb any remaining poison, and they may be able to give you some to keep at home.
  • A fluid drip – Depending on how much chocolate your dog has eaten and the severity of his condition, it may need to be dripped to support their vital organs and keep them hydrated, while the body flushes out toxins.
  • Sedation – If your dog is suffering from severe symptoms such as tremors and seizures, it may need to be sedated to stop them from getting worse.

If you suspect your dog has consumed chocolate, don’t wait for symptoms to appear, contact us immediately! You will need to tell us the type of chocolate, how much they ingested, the size of your pet, and when it happened.