3 Reasons Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat Chocolate in Ukiah, CA
Many people like to feed their pets human food. This can seem like a fun treat for your pet to enjoy and they of course will not tell you that they don’t want to share with you! Many people feed their pets lots of treats each day that are not really intended for animals to consume. While this might not normally be of major concern, chocolate is one of the things that humans can eat that dogs absolutely can’t. Chocolate can cause a health emergency for your dog because it is toxic to canines.
There are many people who don’t know this and are just trying to share a fun snack with their dog when they give them part of their candy bar.
Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Chocolate
Here are the reasons why dogs can’t eat chocolate and why.
1. It’s Toxic
This is the first and most important reason that your dog should never eat chocolate. Chocolate is very toxic to dogs and in large enough amounts it can kill your dog or make them very, very sick. This is because chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. Both ingredients are toxic to dogs even though they are safe for human consumption.
Dogs can’t process these ingredients in the chocolate and the toxic compound will build up in their system without being moved out as waste. This can lead to lifelong health problems in dogs that survive chocolate poisoning and even death if the dog ingests enough chocolate. Even if your dog eats a small amount of chocolate, they could be sick for hours and require medical attention to get back to feeling well again.
2. It Can Cause Long-Term Health Problems
Dogs who are exposed to a small dose of chocolate can still have long-term health problems from ingesting it. These issues can be seizures or tremors, heart damage, intestinal damage, or nervous system damage. These conditions can require ongoing medical care for the rest of your dog’s life and some of them are quite hard to manage effectively.
It can seem impossible to dog owners that even a tiny bit of chocolate could cause such a terrible reaction and so much damage to their dog’s health. Sadly, this is a common problem that can crop up when owners are not aware that there was chocolate that was within easy access to their dog.
Sometimes an owner will see that their dog has eaten chocolate and know right away that the dog will need care, but often dogs are sneaky about eating foods they know they are not supposed to eat which can delay them getting treatment.
3. Chocolate Can Cause Violent Reactions
While some dogs will show more mild symptoms that slowly get worse over time, other dogs will immediately have a negative reaction to ingesting chocolate. These symptoms can include bloody vomit, irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, and collapse.
This can help to provide evidence that something is wrong and spur owners to take their dog to the veterinarian, but in some dogs these symptoms are a sign that treatment has come too late.
What to do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate
If you have seen your dog eating chocolate, you should get them to the vet right away. This can help your dog to get the care that they need to prevent serious damage to their health. Sometimes your vet might even be able to make your dog vomit right away and remove most of the ingested chocolate from their system in this way.
There are almost always emergency vet clinics that you can take your pet to, even in the middle of the night. This is not a time to wait until morning to get your dog medical attention and you should head to the emergency vet right away even if your dog only ate a small amount of chocolate. You can’t be sure how strongly your dog will react to chocolate, and it is well worth the visit to the veterinarian to protect their health.
If you only suspect that chocolate is the reason for your dog’s symptoms, you should still head to the vet right away. Symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, shakiness, or collapse are very serious and could indicate other health conditions or that other items in your home have led to this condition.
There are other poisonous substances that dogs can get into that could cause the same symptoms as chocolate poisoning and you should not wait to see if these symptoms will improve. No matter why your dog is experiencing these serious symptoms, they require medical attention immediately.
Should I Make My Dog Vomit at Home?
If you are hours from a vet, your best option might be to try to get on the phone with a vet who can guide you through the process of inducing vomiting at home. This should not be considered a solution for the problem of the poisoning, but it might give your dog some more time so that you can get them to a vet clinic for follow-up care.
If you do think that you will have to take this step before you can head to the vet, call your veterinarian, and ask them to walk you through the process. Inducing vomiting can be dangerous if done incorrectly, so you will need to be sure that you get some guidance before you try to do this process at home on your own.
Chocolate Should Never be Eaten by Dogs
As a rule of thumb, you should make sure that you never have chocolate anywhere in your home that your dog might be able to access it. Keeping your chocolate products and candies up high enough that your dog can’t get into them and making sure that visitors do not give your dog chocolate are great ways to make sure that your dog will never suffer from this form of poisoning.
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About Mendocino Animal Hospital
At Mendocino Animal Hospital, we believe in fostering the human-animal bond with excellent veterinary medicine. Our full-service veterinary practice operates in Ukiah, CA with a team of skilled veterinarians and a passionate, talented support staff who make you feel like a part of the family.
As an AAHA-accredited animal hospital, every service and aspect of our practice meets AAHA’s Standards of Excellence. No matter what your pet comes in for, they’ll receive only the best in care, compassion, and service.