Most dog owners know to never feed dogs chocolate. Although delicious to humans and canines alike, chocolate can be deadly to dogs. It contains a stimulating alkaloid called theobromine. While humans can easily metabolize theobromine, dogs cannot—even a tiny bit can overstimulate and poison them, causing seizures and other harmful effects. If you believe your dog has eaten chocolate, contact your vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ right away.
Cats are also sickened by theobromine, but because they don’t taste chocolate in the same way dogs and humans do, they’re not as tempted by the treat. Don’t leave anything to chance, however! Keep your chocolate away from all of your pets.
Facts about dogs and chocolate
- Even a small amount is poison: While your dog would have to eat a lot of chocolate for the effects to be fatal, it only takes a small amount to cause vomiting and seizures.
- Dark chocolate is worse than milk chocolate: Since dark chocolate contains a higher concentration of theobromine, it’s more toxic to animals than milk chocolate.
- White chocolate contains no theobromine: Luckily, you can leave white chocolate out without cause for too much concern (although caffeine and animals don’t mix, either).
- Dogs have a keen nose for chocolate: Your dog’s destructive puppy days might be long over, but you should never underestimate how their sensitive noses can spot your delicious treat a mile away. Remember, dogs can jump and run, sometimes unpredictably. It’s best to save the sweet treats for when your dog is safely kept away. Be sure to educate any children, and impress upon them the seriousness of not sharing candy with Spot and Fido.
Signs your dog has eaten chocolate
- Restlessness or hyperactivity: Remember, caffeine and theobromine are stimulants, and their effect on dogs is much greater than on us. Signs usually show up two to four hours after your dog ate the candy, and can continue for up to 72 hours.
- Vomiting, diarrhea, hyperthermia (high body temperature) and muscle tremors: If your dog is throwing up or has runny stool, chocolate may be the cause. If you notice your dog shaking or seeking out the cooler parts of the floor or house, they may be suffering from hyperthermia. Seek medical attention.
- Seizures and muscle rigidity: If your dog is showing these symptoms, get to the emergency vet immediately. This suggests your dog has eaten a much larger dose and the consequences could be fatal.
Your Halloween will be happiest if you keep your pets away from toxic candy!
Get expert veterinary care in Egg Harbor Township, NJ
If your pets accidentally ingest chocolate, stay calm and call your vet! Newkirk Family Veterinarians is proud to be a family owned and operated vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, and you’ll be able to tell the difference when you bring your pet to our office. Over the last 38 years, we’ve built up a strong word-of-mouth reputation for excellence and personable service, and we strive to uphold that reputation every day.