The sweet treat can lead to illness and even death in dogs. Vets say it’s one of the most common causes of dog poisoning.
If you think your pooch might’ve eaten chocolate. especially the darker kinds. call your vet right away. because a chocolate chip cookie can cause problems for a little dog, and a bag of chocolate chips can spell trouble for a big one.
Your Dog Ate Chocolate. Now What?
Typically, your dog will vomit on his own. If not, your vet might want you to give him hydrogen peroxide to make him throw up — 1 tablespoon for every 20 pounds, Wismer says. You can use a turkey baster or a medicine dropper to give him the liquid.
Some pet owners bribe their dog with peanut butter in a bowl and the hydrogen peroxide around the rim, she says, seeing as pups tend to lick their bowls clean. Once your dog vomits, don’t give him any food or water.
If you think your dog ate chocolate, don’t wait for warning signs, Wismer says. These can take 6 to 12 hours to show up. Symptoms include:
- Extreme thirst
- Too much energy
The stimulants in chocolate stay in the body a long time. In severe cases, symptoms can last up to 72 hours. Early treatment will help your dog recover quicker and lower your costs, Wismer says.
Vets judge a dog’s condition and then decide on the right treatment, says Joseph Kinnarney, DVM. He’s the president-elect of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The most common way vets treat chocolate poisoning is to use fluids and IV drugs, he says. For example, they’ll use a drug called apomorphine to force vomiting, stomach pumping to flush the stomach with fluids, and medicine called activated charcoal to prevent the chocolate from getting into your dog’s blood.
No Amount of Chocolate Is Safe
Even a little bit of chocolate can make your dog ill.
Dark chocolates, baking chocolate, and dry cocoa powder are more dangerous than white or milk chocolate. But 1 ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight could still be deadly.
And unlike most cats, which don’t have a sweet tooth, dogs will eat almost anything. They also don’t know when they’re full, Wismer says. “They will eat as much as they can get ahold of. A 10-pound dog can easily eat a pound of chocolate.”