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What Happens if a Dog Eats Chocolate?
Can a dog die from eating chocolate? It’s a good thing this does not apply to human beings but yes, the heavenly substance is unfortunately harmful to canines potentially leading to their untimely demise.
It is important to know this because sometimes we unwittingly feed our pets scraps from our table without realizing that there are chemicals in them that prove to be hazardous to our pets. One of them is chocolate. The main culprit on this is a substance called theobromine and it is found inside every cocoa bean the amount of which varies per type of chocolate.
So we know that the theobromine causes the damage in a canine’s system but what happens if a dog eats chocolate? Upon the first few hours of ingestion, the dog will begin to show harmful symptoms such as vomiting, hyperactivity and/or diarrhea. When this happens, rush him to the vet immediately. If left untreated, you will notice the animal will exhibit more alarming signs like restlessness, muscle twitching, increased urination, an accelerated heart rate and excessive panting after several more hours. This means that there are higher levels of toxin present as it is absorbed in the canine’s bloodstream.
Of course, how chocolate will affect dogs will vary on several factors like the weight, age and the general health of the particular animal, as well as the type of chocolate. A small block of white chocolate will not cause critical problems to a 60 lb dog as it will to a pup. The darker the chocolate, the less chocolate that is required to cause serious problems if your dog ingests it.
To be safe, I strongly advise the reader to avoid feeding any amount of chocolate to their pets.
It is proven that the dog will crave for more of chocolate when they get the opportunity to taste it. It is best to prevent this by supplying him with healthier dessert fare like fruits and alternative treats.
We know what happens if a dog eats chocolates; so what can we do when they have already ingested it to prevent the danger to escalate?
The first thing you should do is induce vomiting immediately. It takes an average of 24 hours before the danger of theobromine reaches its peak which is evidenced with epileptic like seizures, hyperthermia and coma leading to death. If your dog has diarrhea, supply him with large volumes of water to consume.
If you have an animal first aid kit, that will be helpful in treating the dog until you reach the veterinarian to get proper medication. The vet will most likely also administer activated charcoal to your dog. What the activated charcoal does is draw the chocolate to it so that it may be eliminated without much danger.
In the recovery phase, your pet should be given plenty of fluids, oxygen and his progress should be monitored regularly.
Can a dog die from eating chocolate? Yes – but fortunately we can make the necessary provisions to keep them away from this danger.
Now that you know better, do the best that you can and enjoy the company of a healthy and happy dog without the worries.
by Madeline Keite