Happy Paw-lentine's! Keep Chocolate Away from Pets.
Chocolate on Valentine’s Day is a common gift to receive from your loved ones. However, chocolate contains a toxic component called theobromine that is poisonous to dogs! Theobromine contains methylxanthines, which is a substance that is found in cocoa seeds that is also used to make coffee. Chocolate ingestion is one of the main reasons why dogs end up at the vet during the month of February, so let’s try to keep our dogs’ noses out of our sweets this Valentine’s Day!
Depending on the type of chocolate, different types contain different amounts of theobromine. White chocolate has significantly less theobromine than dark chocolate. The darker and more bitter the chocolate is, the more poisonous it can be to your dog. Additionally, smaller dogs have a lower tolerance level than larger dogs.
The consumption of chocolate can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, extreme thirst, racing heart rate, agitation, high blood pressure, and tremors. Theobromine is poisonous to a dog’s heart and central nervous system, which causes the body to react towards it. An excessive amount consumed can also lead to death.
If you noticed that your dog ingested chocolate, please consult your veterinarian for the next steps to recovery. Your vet will determine how poisonous the chocolate was by asking how much was ingested and how much your dog weighs. It’s best to seek treatment as soon as possible to resolve this issue, before it worsens.
The best way to treat this is to induce vomiting, depending on when the chocolate was consumed. Hopefully, your dog will vomit on its own. Activated charcoal is another way to treat the poisoning. This is given orally, and used to prevent the absorption of the theobromine from the stomach and intestine. This should be given right after the chocolate has been consumed.
Any candy, chocolate, baked goods, or any form of sweets can be potentially dangerous for dogs. The more that is consumed, the more severe the poisoning can be. Please keep your pets in mind and keep sweets out of reach from your pets this Valentine’s Day!