What Do I Do If my Dog Ate Chocolate?

First and foremost, call your vet promptly if your dog ate chocolate! The type and amount of chocolate greatly depends on the age, weight, and overall health of your dog. Some vets will give you instructions on how to induce vomiting with Hydrogen Peroxide, but please don’t try to do this without consulting them. Some dogs still won’t throw up after it has been administered, and its really important that they get vet help immediately. Hydrogen Peroxide shouldn’t sit in your dog’s belly! So follow your veterinarians instructions carefully.

chocolate chip cookies beagle

Why is Chocolate Such a Big Deal?

Chocolates contain different levels of methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine) that your dog’s body can’t process properly like ours can. So that little bit of your chocolate ice cream really can be harmful. Dogs usually aren’t symptomatic right away, but you want to get them cared for before they are! It is always better for your dogs health and your peace of mind getting care as early as possible! It is also less extensive and not as costly to seek care immediately, than if you were to try the “wait and see” gamble. You can check out PetMD for a great resource to see the toxicity meter to give you an idea of just how dangerous it can be. All we ask is that if you’re having an emergency right now and reading this because your dog just ate chocolate – don’t make your decision for treatment based off of this tool!

What Symptoms to Look For if My Dog Ate Chocolate?

Like I said before, you want to get your dog care right away. Waiting until there are symptoms could be really bad! However, sometimes we don’t know that they have eaten chocolate because they ate all the evidence, too! Come on, we know dogs can eat just about anything! So that chocolatey wrapper might be in their belly, too!

» Extreme Thirst

» Vomiting

» Diarrhea

» Panting

» Elevated Temperature

» Advanced Symptoms include abnormal heart beat and low blood pressure

chocolate vet exam

What Do I Do if My Dog Has These Symptoms?

If your dog has any of these symptoms, and you don’t find evidence that they’ve eaten chocolate; assume the worst and get them care immediately. These symptoms can occur for many reasons, and its best to let a veterinarian determine the cause if you don’t know. If was due to ingesting chocolates, or a different toxic substance; let your vet know right away how much and what you believe it to be so they can determine the best course of action.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Eating Chocolate?

As professional pet sitters and dog walkers, we have seen dogs who are extremely smart that can open pantry doors, refrigerators, and even ovens! They never cease to amaze us! But if you’re worried, get your sweet treats up high and out of reach! Whether that is in the pantry, or up on top of the fridge hidden away in the cabinet! If you find you have a smarty pants with a good nose for the sweets, you may need to utilize child safety locks to keep your pets safe.

Remember Holiday Safety!

There are many holidays that involve giving and receiving yummy treats that likely have chocolate in them. Keep this in mind before you leave your Christmas stockings hanging within reach, or your Easter baskets hidden for your children to find in the morning. Maybe you were going to leave flowers and a box of chocolates for Valentines Day on the counter for your loved one? Think twice if you have a dog that could easily counter surf! Don’t forget about that big bowl of candy sitting by the front door waiting for trick-or-treaters come Halloween… That would surely lead to a scare none of us would want!

If you plan to do these things for the holidays, just remember to keep your dog safe! What we do in our home is really quite simple when we know we’re having these things out around. Our dogs are crate trained, so they are in them when they aren’t supervised. After Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny come along, our doggies are safely sleeping in their crates for the night!