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The Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Chocolate

Chocolate poisoning can be more common around this time of year – we generally see a rise in sweets due to the holidays. Many dogs are at risk of chocolate poisoning due to their curious personality.

Chocolate poisoning is a detrimental reaction which dogs have to ingredients found in chocolates. Chocolate is made from cocoa beans and contains theobromine which can be toxic for dogs. Eating too much can affect your dog’s heart and nervous system, causing problems in their behaviour and health.

There is an abundance of symptoms seen when a dog is suffering from chocolate poisoning. These can include:

  • Vomit
  • Diarrhoea
  • Seizures
  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Racing heart rate

Treatment

If your dog has consumed chocolate or if you suspect they have, please administer first aid and visit the vet immediately. First aid can include inducing vomit to rid the poison or giving them food to slow down the poison. However, if your dog is acting light-headed, please visit the vet instead. Dogs who have eaten chocolate are normally offered treatment to prevent further absorption alongside symptomatic treatment. Treatments can also include fluid therapy and other types of medication.

Generally, the treatment is prolonged as the time it takes to eliminate theobromine in their body is approximately 72 hours.

Prevention

To best prevent chocolate poisoning, it is a good idea to keep chocolate out of reach from your dogs – be more attentive during the holidays! Most dogs have a sweet tooth so they will most likely wander around to find something that satisfies their cravings. Additionally, it is possible to prevent chocolate poisoning with some training methods. This can include:

  • Teaching them to leave the food alone
  • Informing people in the house of the dangers of leaving chocolate and other dangerous foods in the presence of dogs
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