What to Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate This Halloween

My Dog Ate Chocolate – Now What?!

With Halloween just around the corner, many pet parents in Pasadena are questioning how they can keep their dogs healthy and safe. The night of Halloween can pose a number of threats to our fur babies, and one of those threats is easy access to one of Fido’s sweetest nemesis – chocolateDon’t worry, My Dog Spot is here to help. So, what do you do if your dog eats chocolate on Halloween? Let’s find out!

 

Help! My Dog Just Ate Chocolate!

First and foremost, DON’T PANIC. While chocolate is toxic to dogs, the level of danger depends on how much chocolate your dog consumed, the type of chocolate it was, and your dog’s body weight. Did your Goldendoodle eat an M&M? Chances are he will be just fine. Did your Jack Russel Terrier consume an entire dark-chocolate Hershey’s bar? Yeah, that’s not good. Still, we here at My Dog Spot want to reassure you that, regardless of the amount of chocolate or what kind of chocolate your dog just ate, he is not going to exhibit any serious symptoms within the next few hours. You’ve got some time, so take a deep breath and follow the steps below.

 

First, Call Your Veterinarian

For those of you who are local to Pasadena, we at My Dog Spot recommend the TLC South Pasadena Pet Medical Center.

Phone Number: (626) 441-8555 Address: 1412 Huntington Drive South Pasadena, CA 91030

And don’t worry if it’s 2 PM or 2 AM, the TLC South Pasadena Pet Medical Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You may also want to contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline at 1-888-426-4435. And while you do have time before the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in your dog present themselves, getting immediate care for your dog could make all the difference in his recovery. So quit reading and get calling!

 

What If I Do Not Have Access to My Vet?

If for some reason you are unable to contact your veterinarian, or you are too far away to get to your veterinarian’s office in time, there are some home remedies that could save your dog’s life.

  • First, Feed Your Dog: If it has been more than two hours since your dog last ate, you can offer him a little meal. This will help induce vomiting, which we will cover below. If your dog is refusing food, don’t worry. You can still follow through with the next step.
  • Induce Vomiting with Hydrogen Peroxide: Here’s the good news—according to experts, you’ve got between 6 and 12 hours before you will start to see any serious symptoms of chocolate poisoning in your dog. This means you’ve got time to do something before it’s too late. If you do not have access to a vet and if you need an emergency home remedy, you can give your dog a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
    • Here is what you need:
      • 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds of body weight. 9PLEASE NOTE – You should never give your dog more than three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, regardless of how much he weighs. Too much hydrogen Peroxide can be harmful to your dog.
      • A small syringe or spoon
      • A dog-friendly treat like peanut butter
      • A towel
    • Some experts suggest mixing the peroxide with something your dog enjoys like peanut butter, while others say you can simply syringe the solution into his mouth. It all depends on your dog and your comfort level. Typically, most dogs will vomit within 15 minutes to half an hour.If your dog does not vomit within the first half hour, you may opt to take him on a brisk walk or even allow him to eat grass. Many dogs instinctually eat grass when they have eaten something that they shouldn’t have, and this can help induce vomiting naturally.

 

What If My Dog Does Not Throw Up?

Do not give your dog more Hydrogen Peroxide to try and induce vomiting. Too much hydrogen peroxide can harm him and make the problem even worse.Regardless of if you get your dog to vomit or not after he eats chocolate, you will still need to get in touch with your vet or contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline at 1-888-426-4435 for further instructions. These professionals will be able to talk you through what to do next.

 

Knowing the Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

If Halloween has come and gone and your dog is acting off the next day, he may have gotten into the candy bowl when you weren’t looking. Here is what to watch out for:

 

The Early Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Restlessness

• Increased Urination

• Tremors

• Elevated Heart Rate

If your dog is exhibiting any of the above symptoms and you believe he may have gotten hold of chocolate, get him to your local veterinarian’s office immediately.

 

The Later Stages of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

• Seizures

• Collapse and or Death

 

Are There Any Types of Chocolate That Are Okay for My Dog to Eat?

While chocolate is a tasty treat to most humans, to dogs it can be a deadly poison. No chocolate is good for your dog, regardless of what kind it is. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, and the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine and caffeine it contains. While humans can safely digest both of these substances, dogs cannot. The slow rate at which dogs can process theobromine and caffeine is what leads to toxic levels of the substances in their bodies, causing them to become extremely sick or worse.

 

My Dog Spot’s Tips and Tricks on Keeping Your Dog Healthy and Safe This Halloween

My Dog Spot knows what it means to love your dog and want to spoil him. We all love our dogs like family and it can be tempting to share our favorite treats with our four-legged babies. However, keep in mind that your pooch’s body works differently than yours, and this means that a number of yummy human foods could be toxic to him. Always research the safety of human foods before sharing them with your dog and be wary of foods that contain artificial sugars and lots of excess seasonings. Also, try and keep an eye on your furry friend when cooking meals or eating foods that aren’t good for him. Dogs are very clever and have a habit of getting into things they shouldn’t.

To keep your dog satisfied with lots of tasty, dog-approved treats, and to find even more amazing pet products right here in Pasadena, visit our favorite local pet store, My Pet Garden!

References

Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, PhD, ASPCA, Chocolate Intoxication

Alexander Campbell and Michael Chapman, Handbook of Poisoning in Dogs and Cats, Content DOGS, Chocolate/Theobromine, Pages 106-110

Ghazaleh N, Aldavood SJ, Boluki Z, Akbarein H, Nekouie Jahromi OA, International Congress of Veterinary Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, A Case-Series on Chocolate Poisoning in Four Terrier Dogs in Tehran

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