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What to do if your dog eats chocolate

Friday, April 07, 2017

With Easter just around the corner, our houses will soon be filled with chocolate eggs, sweets and treats.

However, please remember that chocolate can be highly toxic to dogs and can have fatal side effects if not treated quickly.

Chocolate contains theobromine which cannot be metabolised properly by dogs, and if consumed in large amounts, can have serious consequences.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs

-          Vomiting

-          Diarrhoea

-          Abnormal heart rhythms

-          Increased body temperature

-          Tremors

-          Seizures

-          Respiratory failure

Chocolate poisoning can result in death from heart attacks, seizures, coma or respiratory failure.

What should you do if your pet has eaten chocolate?

If you suspect your dog may have eaten any type of chocolate, please always call your vet for advice. When explaining the situation to your vet, it would be beneficial to know how much chocolate you suspect they have eaten, what type of chocolate it is, and how heavy your dog is.

If possible keep hold of the packaging and bring it with you to your appointment.

Levels of chocolate toxicity

Knowing the type of chocolate can help to determine the seriousness of the amount eaten.

Dark chocolate, cooking chocolate or cocoa power can be highly toxic if eaten even in small amounts.

Milk chocolate has much lower levels of theobromine therefore more milk chocolate than dark chocolate would need to be eaten before being considered dangerous (depending on the size of dog).

White chocolate contains very little theobromine and is unlikely to cause effects, however, we would still advise not to feed your dog white chocolate under any circumstances.

Bank holiday emergency care

Highcroft Veterinary Hospital is open for emergencies over the Bank Holiday weekend, so please call 01275 832410 straight away if your dog has helped you to eat your Easter eggs.


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