Pets and Chocolate: A Toxic Combination

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chocalate 300x179 Pets and Chocolate:  A Toxic CombinationChocolate is more than a tasty treat for humans. We reach for it to boost our moods and brighten our days. Chocolate is one love affair we won’t be giving up anytime soon. But as good as it makes us feel, it can be very dangerous for our canine companions.

Though a small amount of milk chocolate is sometimes used in the production of dog treats, veterinarians recommend that you avoid giving your pet chocolate of any kind. As a general rule of thumb, the darker and bitterer the chocolate, the more toxic it will be to dogs.

It can take hours before a pet shows signs of chocolate poisoning and even longer to recover. Pets who nibble on a small amount may show symptoms like drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. Larger amounts can cause a racing heartbeat, high blood pressure and arrhythmia. Very high doses can cause twitching, tremors, seizures and even death.

choc lab Pets and Chocolate:  A Toxic CombinationIf you think your dog has ingested a dangerous amount of chocolate, seek medical help right away. Depending on the situation, treatment may involve administering fluids to dilute the toxin, inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal to help block absorption.

dog poison 150x150 Pets and Chocolate:  A Toxic CombinationAccidental chocolate poisoning happens more than you might think, and it is a commonly reported pet insurance claim. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance customers tend to file more claims for chocolate ingestion during chocolate-rich holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas.

So please, be vigilant and make sure your chocolate stash stays out of paw’s reach!

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