Most of you know that dogs and chocolate do not mix (or at least not well). My sweet little BabyCakes decided to eat a piece of chocolate fudge on Christmas Eve. We realized what had happened right away so were able to call our veterinarian and the emergency pet hospital for help. I have listed a few facts in case this happens to your ‘little one’ sometime in the future.
Why is chocolate bad for dogs? According to webvet.com: ‘Chocolate contains caffeine and a compound called theobromine, which stimulates the nervous system and can be toxic to animals. If enough is ingested, your pet can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and worst-case scenario, death.’
How much is too much? The answer depends on the type of chocolate ingested and the weight of your dog. Toxic symptoms will generally occur when 100 MG of Theobromide are ingested per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the animal’s weight. So the smaller your dog is, the greater the risk they face after ingesting even a little bit of chocolate. But since most of us cannot do that type of math in the case of an emergency, National Geographic has created an interactive chart to help.
What to do? Call your vet or pet hospital immediately for help. In our case, we were instructed to give BabyCakes a cocktail of hydrogen peroxide and water to make her vomit. She ate less than 0.25oz of semi-sweet chocolate, and at 10 pounds she was considered low-risk for significant problems. We kept a close eye on her for the next 24 hours, which definitely put a damper on our holiday spirit.
Disclaimer: I am not a vet…so please consult a real vet in case your pet ingests chocolate.