Chocolate Toxicity

With Halloween coming up, it’s a good idea to remind pet owners that although chocolate is a tasty treat for us, it can be dangerous for your dogs.

The reason that chocolate is hazardous is because it contains Theobromine, which is a heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, muscle relaxant, and causes an increase in urination. Since they cannot metabolize Theobromine as well as humans, they have a more substantial reaction to the toxin.

Symptoms vary by pets, by the type of chocolate, by the amount that your pet has ingested. Larger pets can eat more chocolate before showing symptoms. Even if a smaller dog eats less chocolate than a bigger dog, the smaller one will be the sicker pup. Darker chocolate is more dangerous to pets than milk chocolate or white chocolate.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

· Vomiting

· Panting

· Increased thirst

· Increased urination

· Diarrhea

· Rapid heart rate

More serious cases of chocolate toxicity include seizures, muscle tremors, and heart failure. Symptoms are sometimes immediate, but they can sometimes take hours to show up. Most symptoms last a couple of days.

Chocolate can also cause problems for cats too, although it is less common. They have an even greater reaction to Theobromine, but they do not have as big of sweet tooth as dogs do.

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, it is better to call your veterinarian than to wait around for symptoms to show up. If your vet is unavailable, you can also call the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-800-213-6680.

When at the vet’s, they have two primary methods to help your sick pet. Your veterinarian can give them medication to include vomiting, which will help get the toxins out of their system. Your vet could also use intravenous fluid therapy, which helps stabilize your pet and eliminate the Theobromine.

If you’re looking for healthy Halloween treats for your pets, be on the lookout for our next blog post!