My Dog Ate Chocolate in Limerick, PA, What Should I Do?
Everyone knows that chocolate is a food that is toxic to dogs, and this can make it very scary if your dog has eaten some. Thankfully, some experts have broken down what you should do in this situation into steps. It is important that you keep a level head and try to remain calm during this time. This way you can provide your pet with the best care possible. Here is what you should do if your dog eats chocolate.
The first thing that you should do if your dog eats chocolate is to assess the situation. This involves checking how much chocolate your dog has eaten, what type of chocolate it is, and whether they are exhibiting signs of chocolate poisoning. Next you should call your vet and follow their instructions.
In this article we will be explaining what you should do if your dog eats chocolate, and we have broken this down into four simple steps. In addition to this, we will be explaining the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs.
Step One: Know What Kind of Chocolate Your Dog Ate and How Much
The toxicity of chocolate changes depending on how much cocoa is present in the chocolate. As a result, cocoa powder and baker’s chocolate are among the most dangerous for dogs to eat. Similarly, dark chocolate has a higher amount of cocoa powder than milk chocolate does, and milk chocolate has more cocoa powder than white chocolate. In fact, white chocolate has barely any cocoa powder at all, so it is not very dangerous to dogs at all, but it is still unhealthy due to its high sugar and fat content.
In addition to the amount of cocoa powder in the chocolate that your dog has eaten, the toxicity of chocolate also depends on how large your dog is. Large dogs have to technically eat a lot more chocolate than a very small dog does to experience chocolate poisoning. Regardless of the size of your dog and the type of chocolate that they have eaten, it is still important to assess the situation and call your vet. Knowing things like your dog’s weight, the kind of chocolate they have eaten, and how much will help your vet assess if the situation is an emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention or if just monitoring your pet at home is alright.
Step Two: Check for Signs of Chocolate Poisoning
The next step to do after your dog has eaten chocolate is to quickly check for signs of chocolate poisoning before you call the vet. Again, this will be helpful information to give your vet when they are trying to figure out if your situation is an immediate medical emergency or not. It is important to mention that it can take between 6 and 12 hours for symptoms of chocolate poisoning to set in for dogs. Therefore, if you have caught your dog in the act of eating chocolate, then it can take a while for your dog to exhibit signs of chocolate poisoning. Some common signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs include the following symptoms.
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Increased urination
- Restless behaviors such as obsessive pacing
- Tremors or muscle spasms
- Increased and abnormal heart rate
It is crucial that you call your emergency vet immediately if your dog is showing signs of chocolate poisoning. This is because this condition can quickly become life threatening. Although it may be a dog owner’s first instinct to jump in the car before calling their vet, making a quick call is essential. This is because you may need to do first aid before making the trip, and it can also be helpful to the animal hospital to know that you are coming in with a medical emergency. It is important to note that chocolate poisoning can last for up to 72 hours, so it may be a few days before your dog can come home if their condition is severe.
Step Three: Call Your Vet
The third thing that you should do after your dog has eaten chocolate is to call your veterinarian. You should do this in every situation, even if your dog is not showing signs of chocolate poisoning. Calling in these situations is still important because the vet can assess whether your dog is at risk of developing chocolate poisoning later on. It can take 6 to 12 hours for signs of chocolate poisoning to develop, so it may still be too soon for your dog to be exhibiting symptoms.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of chocolate poisoning, you should still call an emergency vet or an animal hospital. You may need to give your dog some first aid before making the trip to the vet. In addition, it can be helpful to give animal hospitals and emergency vets a heads up before you leave when an emergency situation is coming through the door. This way they can work on treating your pet as soon as you get there if it is necessary.
Step Four: Follow Your Vet’s Instructions and go to the Vet if Necessary
The final thing that you should do if your dog has ingested chocolate is to follow your vet’s instructions exactly and make the trip to the vet if necessary. Your vet may have you do things like induce vomiting if you have caught your dog eating chocolate early on. However, you should only do this if your vet specifically instructs you to do so, and you will need to follow their instructions on how to do this exactly.
Similarly, you may need to perform first aid on your dog before making the trip out to your animal hospital or emergency vet. You should always follow your vet’s instructions on how to give your dog first aid exactly as well, especially if you are inexperienced with veterinary care. Then, you can hurry to the vet once all the instructions have been completed and the vet gives you the OK to leave. Did your dog eat chocolate? Call Limerick Veterinary Hospital at (610) 489-2848!