For humans, there are few foods more appealing than chocolate. Can you imagine a life without chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cups, or lava cake? No thank you.
But for your dogs, there are few foods more dangerous than chocolate. Chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs, and if your pup gets their paws into any of your chocolate, it’s important to take action—and to take action quickly.
But what actions, exactly, do you take when your pup gets into some chocolate?
My Dog Ate Chocolate, What Do I Do?
Sometimes, even when you think your stash is well-hidden, your pup finds a way to get their paws into it. So, if your dog ate chocolate, what do you do?
First, Figure Out How Much Chocolate Is Missing
If your pup does happen to get into your stash, the first thing you need to do is assess how much chocolate your dog has ingested. Your vet will want to know exactly how much chocolate your dog has eaten—and how much they’ve eaten relative to their size.
Call Your Vet
Once you’ve figured out how much chocolate your dog ate, call your vet immediately. They can give you insights into what the appropriate next steps are based on how much chocolate your dog ate, what kind of chocolate they ate, and how big they are.
If you have a large dog that ate a single Hershey Kiss, they’ll likely tell you just to keep an eye on your pup for any signs of chocolate poisoning (which include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, restlessness, increased urination, or seizures and usually appear between six and 12 hours after ingestions). But if your dog has eaten a significant amount of chocolate, your vet will probably want you to bring them in for treatment.
If your dog ate the chocolate recently (within about two hours), your vet may induce vomiting and/or give them activated charcoal to remove the toxins from the body. If the theobromine has already been absorbed, your vet may need to monitor your pup and give them additional treatments (like IV fluids or additional medication) to manage chocolate poisoning symptoms.
Why Chocolate Is So Toxic For Dogs
Now that we’ve discussed what to do when your dog has eaten chocolate, let’s talk about why chocolate is so toxic for dogs in the first place.
There’s an ingredient in chocolate called theobromine. And while this ingredient is just fine for human consumption, it’s poisonous for your dog—and needs to be avoided at all costs.
Different kinds of chocolate have varying levels of theobromine (dark chocolate has higher levels of theobromine than milk chocolate), but even a small amount can cause serious issues for your pup, so it’s important to keep your chocolate stash out of your pup’s reach at all times.
The best thing you can do to prevent chocolate poisoning is keep all chocolate far, far away from your pup’s paws. But you should also make sure they have plenty of other fun things to munch on—and that’s where BarkBox comes in.
With BarkBox, you’ll get a carefully curated selection of treats, chews, and toys delivered to your door every month—plenty to keep them out of your chocolate stash!
Featured image via Becky Stern