However, all owners know that there are certain foods that are toxic to dogs. While the list itself is endless, there is one thing on it that most would agree is the worst thing on it. I refer only to chocolate; the forbidden-ist of goodies. Chocolate to dogs is the same as Narsil is to Sauron’s fingers in the sense that it is not good for them! (Fair play if you understood that reference) But why is that the case? What is it about chocolate that is so harmful to dogs? What do I do if my dog ingests some? How do I reforge the shards of Narsil into Andúril, the flame of the West? Luckily, we have the answers to all of your questions (except reforging Narsil, we’ll leave that to the Elves of Rivendell...).
What’s in Chocolate That’s so Bad?:
A kajillion years ago (I checked, I swear), certain plants began to develop traits that made them inedible to wild animals. Sometimes they became poisonous, other times they became bitter to the taste, or it simply rendered itself useless to an animal’s metabolism. Eventually, we humans came along, found the bitter-tasting cocoa plant and said “phwoar, this stuff tastes great, let’s mix it with milk and make choccy!”. Now, brief history lesson aside, the thing that gives chocolate its bitter taste and anti-metabolising properties is a chemical called theobromine, the same chemical that the cocoa plant developed to ward off animal predators. Thus, we reach the crux of the matter; theobromine is the thing in chocolate that is dangerous to dogs (as well as the nectar of the Gods, caffeine).
As we now know, theobromine is literally lethal to dogs, but there are symptoms of chocolate poisoning that are easy to spot: vomiting, diarrhoea, excitability, excessive thirst and urination. It can also cause more severe signs such as seizures and changes to the heart rate, which can be fatal. So, we know the culprit, we know the signs...
What Can I Do if my Dog Eats Chocolate?:
If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, but isn’t showing any symptoms, click here.
If your dog has eaten chocolate and you know this for a fact, click here.
For all other enquiries, click here.
After ingesting chocolate, it can take up to 4 hours for symptoms to show, but don’t wait till then to call your Vet. If you even suspect that your pooch has gotten into the goodie drawer, phone your Vet immediately. If you think your pooch may be showing symptoms, phone your Vet immediately. If your pooch’s behaviour changes drastically, phone your Vet immediately.
Once getting to your chosen clinic, your Vet will want to do one of two things. The first thing, and the one not nice for anyone, is to give your dog an injection that will induce vomiting. This is most effective immediately after your dog has ingested the goods. The second thing, and not much better, is to keep your pooch for an overnight stay, monitor their condition, provide supportive treatments and see if the sickness and symptoms pass on their own.
There is no cure for theobromine poisoning and if the goods can’t be refunded, then your dog will need to beat it on his own (with a little help from us, of course).
Naturally, the best course of action to take is to not let your dog eat chocolate in the first place. While this may be obvious, it helps to be aware of where the sweet, sweet chocolate in your house is stored. Dogs can be crafty whenever food is involved, so keep your goodies drawer under lock and key!
All this talk of chocolate is making me crave another Easter egg... In any case, we hope that you’re now more than prepared to handle any chocolate related emergencies. The main thing is to remain calm and act swiftly; speed is the key, and no matter how doubtful you are of whether your dog has actually ingested chocolate, it always pays to err on the side of caution.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be heading back to open another Easter egg.