One of the tastiest foods for humans, chocolates, can have some really serious side effects when ingested by your dog. Sadly, for dogs, chocolate is actually toxic for them, so they don't get to partake in this sweet treat. This doesn't, however, stop dogs from trying to grab and eat treats that contain chocolate, which is why, as a responsible dog owner, you need to know the signs of chocolate poisoning, what to do if your dog ingests chocolate, and how much chocolate is dangerous for your dog.
How Much Is Too Much
The worst kind of chocolate for your dog is unsweetened baking chocolate because it has more theobromine in it, which is a component in chocolate which is toxic for your dog. Unsweetened baking chocolate has really high amounts of theobromine in it. So any desserts that you make with unsweetened baking chocolate, such as truffles, brownies, and even cakes. Any dessert that you use unsweetened baking chocolate in could have fatal amounts of chocolate in it, especially for a small dog.
The "best" kind of chocolate for your dog is milk chocolate because milk chocolate contains really low levels of theobromine. That means that your dog would have to eat a really large amount of milk chocolate for it to have fatal effects. However, a small dog could get sick from eating a candy bar that contains milk chocolate. A single bite of chocolate though shouldn't do that much harm.
Signs of Poisoning
You can't watch your dog every minute, which is why it is important to know the signs of chocolate poisoning. Since chocolate also contains caffeine, your dog may become really hyper after they eat chocolate.
After that, your dog may seem to be way to thirsty, drinking a ton of water, while drooling profusely. Eating chocolate can also cause diarrhea and vomiting as well. Your dog may also not be able to control when they urinate, because the chocolate will make them thirsty and the theobromine will cause your dog to lose some of their bladder control.
Helping Your Dog
There are a few things that you can do to help your dog. One of the most common ways to help your dog when they eat chocolate is to give them activated charcoal. Activate charcoal will help absorb the poison in your dog's system. This will help lessen the severity of the symptoms that your puppy experiences. Activated charcoal is something that you can administer on your own.
The next thing you need to do is get your dog to the vet. Your vet can provide your dog with fluid therapy, which will help soften the side effects of the theobromine as your dog's body works to eliminate it from their system.
If your dog has gotten into some chocolate, contact an emergency veterinarian like Robert Irelan DVM to learn what your next steps should be.