Most animal poisonings occur by accident and take place in the owner’s home. Some foods are suitable for humans but dangerous to the health of animals.
You must know the foods that are toxic to your puppy and know how to act in case of accidental ingestion.
Chocolate is one of those foods. Although delightful food for human beings, it is very toxic for puppies.
Chocolate is one of the most common causes of poisoning in puppies. In case your puppies have consumed chocolate, go to the vet quickly. Don’t wait for symptoms to manifest, as it may be too late.
How much chocolate is dangerous? What are the consequences of puppy eating chocolate? And How should I react if my puppy accidentally ate some chocolate?
Theobromine and toxicity
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is an alkaloid similar to caffeine. In medicine, similar substances are used to stimulate the heart and be a diuretic for people and dogs alike.
However, puppies tend to process the theobromine slower than humans. Therefore if a puppy consumes theobromine, it could get sick and even die after consuming larger portions.
Symptoms of poisoning may appear 6 to 12 hours after the ingestion and persist for 72 hours. Your poppy could experience a diverse set of symptoms. For instance, vomiting, diarrhea, and frequent urination. In other cases, your puppy could start swelling o experiencing gaps and an agitation.
When the In case of poisoning starts to complicate, other symptoms may appear, such as Arrhythmias and heart attacks, seizures, epileptic attacks, ventricular contractions. There is also a record of
Pancreatitis in a puppy after they consume dark chocolate. However, the puppy’s death is generally due to cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory failure.
How many is too much?
It depends on the type of chocolate. For example, pastry chocolate has ten times more theobromine than regular 60% cacao chocolate and a hundred times more than white chocolate.
There is one to nine milligrams of theobromine in a chocolate gram. The darker chocolate is the one with the highest concentration of theobromine.
Of course, the probability of intoxication and further health complications also depends on the size of the puppy. Chocolate toxicity starts at around 20 mg theobromine per kilogram of body weight.
In a small puppy weighing 5kg, this means 100mg theobromine (about 70g milk chocolate or 20g dark chocolate) will cause problems.
There are about 25g per square of a chocolate block, so three squares of milk chocolate. Cocoa powder contains higher levels: only 4 g of cocoa powder contains 100 mg of theobromine.
Theobromine produces an increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels, which is an important chemical messenger in the cell. Theobromine also increases the release of adrenaline and affects the flow of calcium in the organism. Therefore potentially leading to severe muscular contraction.
This combination of biological stimulus translates into a relaxation of the muscles in charge of breading. Hence, in extremes cases, chocolate could create breathing problems in dogs.
Choose another snack for your puppy
It is better to avoid consuming chocolate in general: it causes vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity until reaching cardiac arrest, heart attacks, and death.
It will take hours or even days for symptoms to appear. If you want to give a sweet snacks o your puppy, try some fruit like mango or apples, which have been proven beneficial and nutritious to your puppy.
What should I do if my puppy bites chocolate?
If you presume that your puppy has eaten chocolate, please inform your veterinarian as soon as possible. There will be time to give you do something to induce vomiting if they just ate the chocolate.
If your puppy has eaten chocolate, or you suspect that she could, you must act quickly. Do not wait to observe the symptoms, since they can take between 6 and 12 hours. The first few minutes are crucial to avoid complications.
In case the chocolate has been recently ingested, it is essential to force the vomit to eliminate as much as possible. Next, activated charcoal is often used to absorb toxic components and prevent them from entering the puppy’s blood.
If you consider it necessary, your veterinary will proceed to perform a stomach wash. Among the treatment options, the administration of intravenous fluids to speed up the expulsion of theobromine in the urine is the most recommended.
You must know the approximate weight of your puppy. It can provide your veterinarian with an estimate of the amount of chocolate it has ingested. It is also essential to know what kind of chocolate your puppy has consumed: the darker the chocolate, the more toxic.
How can I induce vomiting in my puppy after eating chocolate?
We recommend leaving these medical maneuvers to the experts (veterinarians) but, we understand that sometimes this is not an option.
Generally, a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is used to induce vomiting in a puppy. It is the one that is usually bought to have in the medicine cabinet.
Use two milliliters of hydrogen peroxide per pound of weight of the puppy. Mix with water in equal parts, open your puppy’s mouth and give it to him with a syringe without a tip (so that it comes under pressure and swallows it without problems).
You can repeat the process after 10-15 minutes. Do not do it more than twice.
There are many snacks available for puppies; sadly, chocolate is not one of them. The ingest of chocolate by dogs could lead to a complex medical condition and potentially death.
Although not all chocolates are as risky as the dark chocolate, you should avoid giving any kind of chocolate to your puppy.
If you suspect your puppy has eaten some among chocolate, call the veterinarian immediately. They know the process to follow. If the veterinarian is not an option, you would be to induce your dog to vomit.
The sooner you react to the chocolate, the higher the chances to prevent your dog from suffering any complication.