Be careful with chocolate around your canine pets
During the holiday season, a lot of households have plenty of chocolate laying around for hungry dogs to eat.
Mmmm, chocolate. Chocolate is delicious! So it is no wonder that our dogs love it for the same reason that we do. Veterinary assistants and other veterinary team members strive to educate pet owners on this potentially deadly treat which can lead to chocolate toxicity.
Before we talk about what to do if your dog ingests chocolate, let’s talk about how to avoid it in the first place. Never, ever feed your dog chocolate or any treats containing chocolate. Store chocolate well out of your pets reach. Make sure to supervise children that are enjoying it (we all know they love to share!)
If you suspect your dog has ingested chocolate, immediately contact a veterinarian. Their team, including a veterinary assistant, will ask information such as when you suspect the dog ingested it, how much you believe he ingested, and the type of chocolate eaten. Expect to be asked to bring the dog in immediately, as time is critical in treating toxicities of any kind.
Why do we take chocolate and dogs so seriously? The theobromine in chocolate is what causes the toxicity, but even the fats and other ingredients can cause problems of their own. We can see severe digestive upset and even pancreatitis.
Theobromine poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, abnormal heart rates and rhythm, and even death. Treatment by a veterinarian and their team may include induction of vomiting, IV fluids, medications, and hospitalization.
So let’s leave the remaining treats to the kids and old folks, and keep Fido and chocolate far apart!