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Keeping Dogs Safe from Chocolate Toxicity

Posted by SusanStokes on October 18, 2019

With Halloween around the corner and the holiday season coming into full swing, grocery stores and households are stocking up with candies and chocolates. Data collected and publicized by sources such as Pet Poison Helpline and others indicate that dogs are two to four times more likely to be exposed to chocolate during holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and calls and visits to help lines and emergency clinics escalate. Exposure to chocolate accounts for hundreds of veterinarian visits each year, some with fatal consequences. Following are some tips of what pet owners should do if their dog consumes chocolate.

The chemical contained in chocolate that is toxic to dogs is called methylxanthine. Some forms of chocolate contain more methylxanthines than others. Pet owners should make note of the type of chocolate their dog ate when contacting the Pet Poison Helpline or local veterinarian or emergency clinic along with symptoms.

In a recent press release, Innovet Pet, a supplier of pet treats and other pet products, provided a chart to follow:

Toxic Levels of Chocolate:

  • Baking Chocolate: 0.5 ounces per 10 pounds
  • Dark Chocolate: 1.5 ounce per 10 pounds
  • Milk Chocolate: 3.5 ounces per 10 pounds
  • White Chocolate: 47 pounds per 10 pounds

It is easy to ascertain from the chart above that small dogs and puppies are most at risk of seeing serious complications due to chocolate ingestion. However, in the right quantities chocolate can become toxic for any dog, young or old, big or small. So be wary of feeding your pet anything that might contain chocolate, and always keep it out of reach.

We recommend calling the Pet Poison Hotline or your local veterinarian or emergency clinic to get immediate advice and help if you discover your dog has eaten chocolate. Following are the signs as noted by PetMD:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased reflex responses
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma)

Keep your pets safe so you all enjoy the holidays!

Susan, Taurus and Gemini