Canine Companion: Don’t Give Chocolate To Your Dog

Hey, guys. Happy Good Friday. This weekend is Easter already. I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. Doesn’t it seem like it was just Christmas?

I’m sure you have an inkling as to what we’re going to talk about today. What comes with Easter? Easter baskets. What comes with Easter baskets? Candy.

Guess what most dogs go after on Easter? Candy.

We have touched on this before, but today we’re going to dive a bit deeper. Before Easter hits, of course we want to make sure our dog doesn’t have access to any chocolate. But, as you know, accidents happen.

Toxic Chocolate

Chocolate contains two ingredients dangerous to dogs; theobromine and caffeine. Both caffeine and theobromine can speed the heart rate and stimulate your dog’s nervous system.

The risk of your dog becoming sick from consuming chocolate depends on the type and amount of chocolate they ate, and your dog’s weight.

Knowing how much and what kind of chocolate your dog ate can help your vet determine if you have an immediate emergency or if you should simply keep your eye out for symptoms.

Prevention

Although small amounts of milk chocolate may not cause a problem in large dogs, you still shouldn’t allow him or her to consume chocolate.

To prevent your dog from sneaking chocolate, there are a couple tips I can give you.

A Good Storage Spot: Be sure all chocolate (even cocoa and hot chocolate mix) are stored in a safe place out of your dog’s reach. Usually, this is the highest shelf or inside a closed pantry.

If you have children, be sure to remind them often their doggy can’t eat chocolate or he’ll get sick.

Over the holidays, it’s easy to just pick something up and set it somewhere. Be sure not to set Easter baskets or chocolate on your kitchen counter, table, or anywhere else your dog can sneak up and grab it.

“Leave it”: The command “leave it” generally works when we don’t want our dog to touch something. Use this command to keep your dog away from your children’s candy, chocolate, and Easter grass!

P.S.- Easter grass, especially the plastic type, is extremely dangerous and must be kept away from your dogs at all times as well. If ingested, the Easter grass can lead to intestinal obstructions or get wrapped around your doggy’s tongue. Ouch!

Chocolate Consumption

Signs of chocolate poisoning generally appear within 6 to 12 hours after your dog has eaten it, may last up to 72 hours, and include the following: vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased urination, tremors, elevated heart rate, abnormal heart rate, seizures, and/or collapse.

In some cases, chocolate can be fatal, which is why we highly recommend you contact a veterinary professional immediately upon suspicion.

Take Action

If you do notice any of these signs, be sure to call your veterinarian immediately. Don’t wait to see if they improve. If they don’t improve with time, you may find it could be too late.

You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline 855-213-6680 if you’re not able to reach your veterinarian or get to an emergency hospital.

Old and/or weak dogs are at particular risk. They are more susceptible to succumbing to the symptoms.

Monitor your dogs this Easter and all will be grand.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Until next time.

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