Why is chocolate so bad for dogs?

Chocolate is Poisonous to your Dog!

The poison in chocolate is ‘Theobromine’ this is a natural occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean plant. Theobromine affects the central nervous system, as well as the heart of the dog, essentially putting their system into a state of panic.

Prevention is better than cure

Around Easter time chocolate is in abundance in many households and our first bit of advice is to ENSURE ALL CHOCOLATE IS KEPT OUT OF YOUR DOG’S REACH. Keep it in high cupboards – we’ve come across many a pooch who’s been clever enough to open kitchen doors and even the fridge! Also please tell your children that they MUST NEVER feed chocolate to the dog – this is once instance where it is not good to share!

What to do if your dog does eat chocolate:

If your dog has eaten a large amount of chocolate poisoning can occur quickly (within minutes) but event a small amount may lead to your dog showing signs of poisoning within a few hours. It is worth pointing out here that there is no ‘rule’ as to how much chocolate is poisonous. It depends the type of chocolate and the weight of the dog, their age and health.

Symptoms may include:

  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • restlessness
  • arrhythmia (fast heartbeat)
  • muscle twitching
  • frequent urination

If you know your dog has eaten chocolate please call your vet immediately.

If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate but there’s no hard evidence – again call your vet, best to be safe than sorry.

If you don’t think your dog has eaten chocolate but he is showing signs of poisoning there may be another toxin responsible – again speak to your vet.

How will my vet treat the poisoning?

Speed is of the essence! Your dog must be made to vomit and empty the contents of his/her stomach before the poison enters the blood stream. The sooner after your dog has eaten the chocolate the better!
An injection will be given to make your dog sick and he/she will then be closely observed by our veterinary team. He/she may also be fed activated charcoal to absorb any theobromine left in the stomach.