Easter is right around the corner, and who doesn’t love a delicious chocolate bunny to snack on? But as your kids search for chocolate eggs and bunnies early Easter morning, your dog may be doing exactly the same thing. Dogs have a better sense of smell than people do and some may also have a sweet tooth! Unfortunately, chocolate isn’t only tasty and sweet, it is also toxic to your pooch. This means that it can make them very sick, and sometimes they do not even need to ingest very much.
So, why is chocolate poisonous to dogs but not humans? There is an ingredient in chocolate called Theobromine. This ingredient is metabolized (broken down) much slower in dogs than in people. Therefore if a dog ingests chocolate, they can become sick much quicker.
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include: vomiting, diarrhea, panting, agitation and hyperactivity. Depending on the quantity and type of chocolate ingested, it can actually lead to problems with the heart, tremors, seizures and even death. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pet. It takes approximately only 0.02 ounces of bakers chocolate per pound of your dog’s weight, to cause symptoms of toxicity.
If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, call your vet immediately. The veterinarian can intervene in many ways in order to improve the prognosis of your pet. If no symptoms are presenting yet, the vet can give medications to induce vomiting. They can also give charcoal orally in order to absorb the toxins, and sometimes IV and medications are also necessary. Remember to mention the type of chocolate ingested and the approximate amount, bring in the packaging if available.
The earlier you seek treatment for your pet, the better the prognosis.For more info on toxins around the house, contact the Lansdowne Animal Hospital at 730-2460 and speak with a trained staff member. You can also contact the Pet Poison Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-213-6680.
When this Easter rolls around, play it safe and keep goodies up high and away from your dog. This way, even your four legged family members can enjoy the holidays just as much as you do.