Theobromine, naproxen, and lidocaine cannot be adequately metabolized or broken down in dogs with a certain mutation in their CYP1A2 gene (the variant is 1117C>T). This could explain why some dogs become ill after ingesting only a small amount of chocolate and has crucial consequences for their medical care.
What should you do, then, if you think your dog may have consumed chocolate? You have several choices. To determine if your dog is likely to have symptoms, use an internet calculator like this one or contact animal poison control (1-888-426-4435 in Canada and the U.S.). You should keep a close eye on your dog regardless of what they say, checking for symptoms such a high heart rate, vomiting, or tremors, while keeping in mind that such resources are not a replacement for veterinary care.
You should take your dog to the vet immediately away if they consumed an unknown amount of chocolate, are displaying symptoms, are pregnant (theobromine can cross the placenta and impact the puppy), or have any other health issues. Veterinarian anti-chocolate remedies are most successful if administered as soon as possible after intake, even if symptoms may not appear for up to two hours after ingestion.
What precisely is done to treat theobromine poisoning in dogs? Decontamination of the stomach. Emptying the stomach is the first step (if the ingestion was recent enough). This frequently involves the use of the chemical apomorphine, which is injected into the eye to be swiftly absorbed.
A veterinarian will then give activated charcoal, a finely powdered substance that can bind a range of medications and chemicals. Because it turns your dog’s stool black, activated charcoal is typically given by combining it with wet dog food as soon as possible after ingesting the poison. Charcoal must occasionally be administered again, although it can also be effective with just one dose.
A theobromine-intoxicated dog will only receive medication to treat their specific symptoms after these steps, such as Diazepam for seizures or hyperexcitability, beta blockers for a fast heart rate, atropine for a low heart rate, or other medications.
It turns out that cats are more prone to theobromine poisoning than dogs, despite the fact that we never hear of a cat becoming ill after eating chocolate. How come?
primarily because dogs tend to eat more recklessly than cats do. While cats tend to be fussy eaters, dogs are infamous for eating almost anything they can get their hands on, even joint butts, which puts them at risk for cannabis toxicity. This can be partially explained by the fact that cats cannot taste glucose.
You probably wouldn’t eat much of it if all chocolate tasted like 100% dark chocolate.
- Theobromine, which dogs cannot adequately metabolize, is the main reason why chocolate is deadly to dogs.
- With respect to weight, a dog’s ability to consume chocolate without developing symptoms varies significantly.
- If your dog consumes chocolate, you should keep a close eye on them and take them to the vet if they exhibit any symptoms, are very young, pregnant, or have other health issues.
Special thanks to Henry, who, as you may assume, inspired this paper by eating chocolate, and Rachel Malkani, a veterinary PhD candidate and MSc. CDBC.
How much chocolate canine consumption?
According to the Merck/Merial Manual for Veterinary Health, chocolate includes both theobromine and caffeine, both of which can raise a dog’s heart rate and excite their nervous system. Calculate your dog’s risk of toxicity using this simple application. The likelihood that your dog may get sick after eating chocolate depends on the type, quantity, and weight of the dog. Various forms of chocolate have different amounts of these harmful ingredients. Following are a few chocolate varieties, listed by theobromine content:
- cocoa butter (most toxic)
- Unsweetened chocolate for baking
- Unsweetened chocolate
- a deep chocolate
- chocolate milk
You and your veterinarian can decide whether you have an emergency by knowing how much and what sort of chocolate your dog consumed. A dog would typically have minor signs of chocolate toxicity at 20 mg of methylxanthines per kilogram of body weight. Around 40 to 50 mg/kg of chocolate causes cardiac symptoms, while 60 mg/kg or more causes convulsions.
That translates into a pretty alarming dose of chocolate, which is roughly one ounce of milk chocolate for every pound of body weight. Even one Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar, which weighs 1.55 ounces on average, can have harmful effects, especially for little dogs. On the other side, your dog generally won’t die from eating a tiny piece of chocolate bar or a crumb of chocolate cake, especially if it is a larger breed. Nevertheless, chocolate should never be given as a treat.
Can chocolate cause death in dogs?
If your dog consumes too much chocolate, it could get very ill or perhaps pass away. Dogs and other animals frequently become ill from chocolate poisoning. In 2020, 76 cases of “chocolate exposure” were handled daily by the Animal Poison Control Center’s helpline.
How soon will a dog become unwell after consuming chocolate?
Dogs are particularly susceptible to the effects of theobromine because they do not absorb it in the same way that humans do. Theobromine is derived from cocoa beans, so as a general rule, the more cocoa solids there are in a chocolate product, the more theobromine there is.
Theobromine in chocolate is not the sole danger for dogs, though. Chocolate has a lot of fat and sugar, which can lead to pancreatitis, which can be fatal if ignored.
Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs
Watch out for these symptoms if your dog has consumed any chocolate, even a small amount:
- unusual levels of hyperactivity
- an achy stomach region
- nausea or diarrhea
- more alcohol than normal
If your dog has consumed a lot of theobromine, the symptoms are more severe. These consist of:
- a pounding heart
- seizures, twitching, or tremors
- severe diarrhea or vomiting
- hastily panting
- Feels cozy
What to do if you think your dog has eaten chocolate
If you think your dog may have eaten chocolate, be on the lookout for the signs listed above. Chocolate poisoning symptoms may emerge within an hour, but they often appear between six and twelve hours after consumption. If you are aware that your dog has consumed chocolate, take action right away rather than waiting for symptoms to show.
If you have any worries regarding the health of your dogs, we always advise that you consult a veterinarian. Take the next actions:
- Find the packing if you can. This will reveal how much chocolate they’ve consumed as well as the type. Veterinarians can receive all of these facts.
- Make use of PawSquad. Customers of Direct Line pet insurance will get round-the-clock access to a veterinarian through PawSquad via live chat or video chatting. You can use the service free of charge from the convenience of your own home and get immediate answers to your inquiries from a veterinarian.
- Make a call to your veterinarian. Calling your veterinarian’s office is a good choice if you don’t have access to PawSquad. They’ll want to know what your dog ate, how much they ate, when they ate it, and if they have any symptoms so they can better advise you.
- Observe advice. A veterinarian frequently requests to see your dog. It can be risky to wait around for symptoms to show. The greatest strategy for flushing out toxins is to do so as soon as possible.
How are dogs treated for chocolate poisoning?
A dog will typically be given medication by a veterinarian to induce vomiting after consuming chocolate. To absorb the remaining theobromine and lessen the amount of poisons that enter the bloodstream, activated charcoal may also be administered.
Your dog may spend the day or night at the vet so they may be watched as charcoal can be administered every four to six hours. Additionally, your dog can receive a drip to assist detoxify the body and stabilize fluid and blood circulation. Your dog’s heart rate may be treated with other medications if it is fast or abnormal.
If your dog is shaking or experiencing a seizure, it might be terrifying for the owner. A veterinarian can respond swiftly to treat any poisoning symptoms. Dogs who have consumed chocolate typically recover within a day or two with appropriate treatment.
How to prevent your dog stealing food
Even the most well-behaved dogs might become tempted by the aroma of something appetizing. Here are some useful ways to avoid your dog obtaining food meant for someone else:
- Lock up your food. All food should be kept out of your pet’s reach, whether it be high up or behind a cabinet door. The majority of dogs have been trained to avoid kitchen counters, but they may be cunning when food is involved.
- Bins should be locked. A dog won’t think twice about searching through your trash cans. Make sure no bins are accessible or easily knocked over in the house or garden. Pick a trash can with a tight-fitting lid if your pet is persistent.
- Remind visitors. Not everyone who comes to your house will be accustomed to dogs. Without realizing it, they might leave food out for your dog to find or feed it with their hands, both of which could be dangerous to your pet.
- Be very cautious around Easter and Christmas. Dogs can easily consume leftover wrapped or boxed chocolate, and a trip to the veterinarian around the holidays is the last thing anyone wants. Due to the increased risk of chocolate poisoning in dogs around Christmas and Easter, take extra precaution to store any edible items securely:
Unfortunately, dogs shouldn’t merely avoid foods that include chocolate. Giving our pets the same food we eat is not something we should do lightly. The following foods are potentially toxic:
Can a dog recover from consuming chocolate?
Have you ever wondered if your dog could die from consuming chocolate? If you said yes, you are not the only one.
Unfortunately, dogs that eat too much chocolate can pass away. Before assuming that your dog would perish the moment they get their paws on your stash of chocolate, there are a lot of things to think about. It’s critical that you comprehend how chocolate affects your pawsome partner in crime because many dogs have consumed chocolate and survived to tell the tale.
Does one M&M harm a dog?
Each dog owner has a secret fear that one day they would discover that their beloved canine couldn’t resist the chocolate goodies on the kitchen counter. The following information regarding chocolate and dogs could save your life.
The Science Behind Dogs Eating Chocolate
- Theobromine and caffeine are the poisonous components of chocolate. So please don’t give Fido a mocha coffee! When you next use the drive-through at Starbucks, stick with the Puppuccino.
- At modest dosages, chocolate can produce agitation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Unsettling effects including cardiac arrhythmia and seizures can be brought on by high doses.
- Your dog may not begin to exhibit symptoms for up to 6 hours following their sinful indulgence.
- The kind of chocolate is crucial. For instance, dark chocolate has twice as much poison as milk chocolate. Bakers chocolate is three times as poisonous as dark chocolate, making it considerably more lethal.
Why are grapes inedible to dogs?
No matter what breed, age, or gender a dog is, grapes and raisins are extremely poisonous to them. Ongoing study is being done to determine why.
Kidney damage is associated with grape intoxication. The fruit can cause abrupt renal failure and possibly death if consumed.
Unknown toxin in grapes prevents dogs from metabolizing their tannins, flavonoids, and monosaccharides. This might be the main cause of canine grape poisoning.
Bananas can dogs eat them?
Apples Dogs can consume apples, yes. For your dog, apples are a great source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and both. They are the ideal snack for older dogs because they are low in protein and fat. Just be sure you first remove the core and seeds. For an icy warm weather snack, try them frozen. It is also a component in dog treats with an apple flavor.
Avocado Dogs shouldn’t eat avocado, though. Although it could be a nutritious snack for dog owners, avocado should never be offered to dogs. Avocados contain the poison persin, which frequently causes dogs to vomit and have diarrhea, in the pit, skin, and leaves. Although the fruit’s fleshy inside does not contain as much persin as the remainder of the plant, dogs cannot handle it.
Bananas Bananas can be consumed by dogs. Bananas are a fantastic low-calorie treat for dogs when given in moderation. They contain a lot of potassium, vitamins, fiber, copper, and biotin. Although they are low in cholesterol and salt, bananas should only be given to dogs as a treat because of their high sugar content. They shouldn’t be a regular component of your dog’s diet.
Blueberries Dogs can indeed consume blueberries. Antioxidants, which are found in abundance in blueberries, protect both human and canine cells from oxidative stress. They also include a lot of phytochemicals and fiber. Has your dog been taught to catch treats in the air? As an alternative to prepared foods from the shop, try blueberries.
Cantaloupe Dogs can eat cantaloupe, yes. Cantaloupe is an excellent source of water and fiber, is high in nutrients, and is low in calories. However, because to its high sugar content, it should be used in moderation, especially by overweight or diabetic dogs.
Cherries Dogs shouldn’t eat cherries, of course. Cherry plants are poisonous to dogs because they contain cyanide, with the exception of the fleshy area surrounding the seed. Because cyanide interferes with cellular oxygen transport, your dog’s blood cells don’t receive enough oxygen. If your dog consumes cherries, watch out for symptoms of cyanide poisoning such as dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gums.
Cranberries Yes, dogs can consume cranberries without any problems. Dogs can be given tiny amounts of both fresh and dried cranberries. Another consideration is whether your dog will enjoy this sour treat. As with any treat, feeding cranberries to dogs should be done in moderation because too many might cause gastrointestinal distress.
Cucumbers Dogs can indeed eat cucumbers. Since cucumbers contain almost no carbohydrates, lipids, or oils and have the potential to increase energy levels, they are particularly beneficial for overweight dogs. They are rich in potassium, copper, magnesium, biotin, and the vitamins K, C, and B1.
Grapes No, grapes should never be eaten by dogs. No of the dog’s breed, sex, or age, grapes and raisins (dried grapes) have proven to be extremely poisonous for canines. In fact, grapes can cause acute, unexpected renal failure because they are so poisonous. Always keep in mind that this fruit is poisonous to dogs.
Mango Mangoes can be consumed by dogs. This delicious summer treat contains a powerhouse of vitamins A, B6, C, and E. In addition, they contain potassium and both beta- and alpha-carotene. Just keep in mind that, like with other fruits, you should first remove the hard pit because it contains trace amounts of cyanide and poses a choking risk. Use mango as a rare treat because it contains a lot of sugar.
Oranges Dogs can consume oranges, yes. Veterinarians say that dogs can eat oranges without any problems, but they caution against giving them any citrus with a strong scent. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. The juicy flesh of an orange may also make a delightful treat for your dog in moderation. Veterinarians do advise discarding the peel and giving your dog solely the orange’s flesh, excluding any seeds. Orange peel is hard on their digestive systems, and the oils may cause your dog’s delicate nose to actually turn up.
Peaches Yes, dogs can eat peaches without getting sick. Peaches are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin A in little amounts, and they can even help fight infections. However, just like cherries, the pit of a peach contains cyanide. Fresh peaches can be a nice summer treat as long as you completely cut around the pit beforehand. Avoid canned peaches since they typically include a lot of sweet syrups.
Pears Dogs can indeed eat pears. Because they are rich in fiber, vitamins C and K, and copper, pears make a terrific snack. According to some research, eating the fruit can cut your chance of suffering a stroke in half. Just remember to chop pears into bite-sized pieces and to first remove the pit and seeds because the seeds do contain traces of cyanide. Avoid pear cans containing sweet syrups.
Pineapple Yes, dogs may safely eat pineapple. If the prickly outer peel and crown are first removed, a few chunks of pineapple make an excellent sweet treat for dogs. The tropical fruit is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, it has bromelain, an enzyme that facilitates protein absorption in dogs.
Yes, a dog’s natural snack of pure pumpkin is a terrific one and highly healthful. It is beneficial for digestion and can treat both diarrhea and constipation in addition to benefiting your dog’s skin and coat. Just bear in mind that you should never give pumpkin pie mix to your dog. Make sure the canned pumpkin you purchase is made entirely of pumpkin. Pumpkin-flavored dog snacks and vitamins are also widely available.
Raspberries Dogs can indeed consume raspberries. In moderation, raspberries are acceptable. They are healthy for dogs since they contain antioxidants. They are high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C but low in sugar and calories. Raspberries offer anti-inflammatory characteristics that can benefit aging joints, making them particularly beneficial for older dogs. Even so, your dog should only consume up to a cup of raspberries at a time because they do contain trace quantities of xylitol.
Strawberries Yes, strawberries are edible by dogs. Strawberry fiber and vitamin C content is high. They also include an enzyme that, when consumed by your dog, can assist in whitening his or her teeth. Give them sparingly because they contain sugar.
Dogs should stay away from tomatoes. While tomatoes’ ripe fruit is typically regarded as healthy for canines, the plant’s green parts are poisonous due to a compound called solanine. To be safe, it’s advisable to avoid tomatoes altogether even though a dog would need to consume a significant portion of the tomato plant to become ill.
Watermelon Dogs can consume watermelon, yes. Watermelon flesh is okay for dogs, but it’s vital to remove the peel and seeds first since they can result in intestinal blockage. It is rich in potassium, vitamins A, B-6, and C. As 92 percent of a watermelon contains water, it’s a terrific method to help keep your dog hydrated throughout the scorching summer months. (These days, you can even get dog treats that taste like watermelon.)