With the Easter holidays just around the corner, it’s important to remember that while Easter eggs and treats are delicious snacks for us, it isn’t quite the same for your canine friends as chocolate is poisonous to dogs!
While dogs may think they love chocolate just as much as we do, and may even go the extra mile scavenging and looking for it in hiding places, it’s in fact highly toxic to dogs and in some cases can be lethal. It is necessary to be aware of the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs so you could give your dog the right treatment and care immediately!
Why Chocolate Is Poisonous To Dogs…
Chocolate contains an array of substances which are toxic to dogs, mainly caffeine and theobromine, which dogs are more sensitive to than humans and cannot metabolize as easily as we can. Chocolate is also toxic to other pets, such as cats, however cases of dog poisoning are much more common as dogs use their acute sense of smell to sniff out chocolate even in the best hiding places. Different types of chocolates contain different concentrations of these substances, and usually darker chocolates contain higher amounts of caffeine and theobromine and are the most toxic on the scale, with white chocolates being the least toxic.
Smaller amounts of chocolate will contain relatively fewer toxins, and may only give your dog an upset stomach coupled with diarrhoea and vomiting. If a dog ingests larger amounts of chocolate, the theobromine could evoke more intense side effects, such as:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle tremors
- Internal bleeding
- Low blood pressure
- Heart attacks
In extreme cases, the symptoms could develop into cardiac arrests and even inducing a coma.
It’s important to keep in mind that whether your dog ingests a small or large amount of chocolate of any type, you should always seek immediate veterinary care to keep the symptoms under control!
My Dog Ate Chocolate, What Should I Do?
If you suspect that your dog has ingested any amount of chocolate, call your vet immediately. Your vet may ask you to carry out some precautionary actions before taking them to the clinic, such as inducing vomiting in order to get the chocolate and toxins out of their system. The vet should then take over with fluid treatments and the required procedures to ensure your dog can regain their strength and flush the toxins out of their body.
What You Need To Do This Easter
With the festivities coming closer and closer, many families would love to celebrate this Easter with their canine friends. However, precautions must be taken especially if you aim to take your dog on any Easter egg hunts or gatherings where chocolate may be left lying around. Make sure you keep an eye on your dog at all times and preferably keep them tied to their leashes with muzzles around their snouts to stop them from eating any eggs or treats left lying around.
The Easter festivities will be all the more fun with your dogs kept safe and happy!