It’s time to focus once more on the chocolate in your home with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching. After all, it’s customary to receive chocolate during this time of year that you would not often have on hand, and this can easily turn into an alluring treat for your family’s pets.
It’s crucial to keep in mind, though, how poisonous chocolate may be for dogs. Although chocolate toxicity in dogs or cats may not always result in death, it can be extremely harmful and may also result in long-term health issues.
To learn more about what to watch out for this Valentine’s Day and whenever you have chocolate in your house, read the information below.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs for two reasons:
The first of these is that chocolate contains caffeine. While certain varieties of chocolate have more caffeine than others, all varieties of chocolate do. Caffeine can make your dog’s heart beat too quickly, which could have major negative health effects. The same logic applies to the argument against allowing dogs to consume coffee.
Theobromine is another component of chocolate that can be poisonous to dogs. This substance can act as a diuretic and behaves similarly to caffeine. Your dog may quickly get dehydrated as a result of this, which could cause other issues.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that a chocolate’s toxicity increases with how bitter it tastes. This indicates that white chocolate is less likely to be harmful than dark baking chocolate, which is particularly poisonous. Do not give your dog any chocolate, even if you believe it is not too bitter, as all varieties of chocolate can be toxic and hazardous to dogs and other pets.
Now that you are aware of the reasons why chocolate is harmful to dogs, it is critical to know how to spot the signs of chocolate poisoning in your pet.
Intoxication symptoms in dogs from chocolate include:
The two issues listed above are the first indications that dogs are poisonous to chocolate. In minor situations, dogs may merely vomit or have a few episodes of diarrhea before feeling better.
However, in extreme circumstances, these symptoms may worsen and eventually lead to the other conditions on the list below.
Dogs who have consumed too much theobromine or caffeine may exhibit increased thirst and urine. This is because theobromine and caffeine are both diuretics.
Particularly caffeine may make dogs act agitatedly. Even without the dog consuming much of it, darker chocolates with higher caffeine concentrations may cause this symptom.
A worrisome sign that might cause cardiac arrest is an increased heart rate, especially in older or sicker dogs. It may be advised to take your pet to the emergency vet for monitoring and/or treatment since it can be challenging to monitor your pet’s heart rate at home.
One of the worst signs of dog’s excessive chocolate poisoning is seizures. This may only happen if a dog consumes a significant amount of chocolate, but it occasionally indicates that the toxicity will become fatal without veterinary care.
If your dog exhibits this symptom after consuming chocolate, take him to the clinic right away.
Depending on the signs your dog exhibits after consuming chocolate, you may need to take different actions.
If you are aware that your pet has had chocolate, call the emergency veterinarian as soon as possible. Depending on the type of chocolate consumed and the size of your pet, clinical symptoms and issues can differ greatly. Your pet may occasionally be made to vomit the chocolate up by the vet in an effort to prevent or decrease the possibility of developing clinical symptoms.
Do not wait for symptoms to appear before contacting your veterinarian; once symptoms appear, treatment becomes much more challenging.
Please take your pet to the emergency vet if he exhibits any of the signs on this list and you are certain that he has consumed chocolate. Dehydration can occur quickly as a result of excessive thirst and urine, which can be very dangerous for dogs.
The more quickly you react to your dog’s alarming symptoms, the more probable it is that your dog will be able to fully recover from the situation.
There are numerous ways to protect your dog at home and avoid chocolate toxicity:
If you keep chocolate of any kind in your home, you should always be aware of how you’re storing it and how probable it is that you’re pet will try to get to it. Whether you have brownies, cookies, milk chocolate bars, or cocoa powder in your kitchen or pantry, they should always be kept in a secure location that your pet can’t access.
Avoid leaving chocolate goodies or wrappers lying around by keeping cabinets and pantry doors closed whenever you can.
Additionally, it’s crucial to teach your pet the “leave it” command to stop them from grabbing objects—either food or inedible—that they shouldn’t. Early training of your dog in good manners and obedience can prevent a lot of hassle later on for both you and them.
Children are renowned for giving pets gifts. Get kids in the habit of putting things away in their right places and teach them not to offer your dog any chocolate or other goodies.
Make sure kids develop the habit of immediately closing the fridge, cupboards, and drawers after usage.
Cocoa shell mulch is a rare but potentially harmful source of chocolate poisoning in dogs. The mulch, which is frequently used as a top covering for plants, can entice dogs with its sweet perfume, causing them to consume some of the mulch, which can lead to disease.
Cocoa shell mulch should never be used for landscaping.
With the use of this knowledge, you ought to be able to protect your dogs at Valentine’s Day and any other time of the year when there is chocolate present. Keep any domestic pets under close observation and store chocolate securely out of their reach. You can avoid this potentially deadly issue altogether if you take this action. Call an emergency veterinarian straight once if you know or suspect that your dog has consumed chocolate.
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