While most people adore a bar of chocolate, it can be severely harmful for your dog to eat.
Depending on how much is eaten this could prove to be fatal.
With this in mind, it’s important to understand what you should do if your dog eats chocolate.
It’s also helpful to understand why chocolate makes dogs sick.
I’ll also offer some tips for preventing your dog from eating chocolate.
We will cover all of this information throughout this article so I hope you find it helpful.
My Dog Ate Chocolate – What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate
Chocolate is a food that is toxic to dogs.
Depending on how much they eat and how much your dog weighs this could have very serious effects.
If your dog has eaten chocolate, the first thing to do is to determine how much and what kind of chocolate your dog ate.
It’s a good idea to write all of this information down and if possible keep the chocolate wrapper for reference.
Different types of chocolate can be more or less toxic than others but this also depends on the dog’s weight.
The next step should be to determine the risk of toxicity. You can do this easily using the dog chocolate toxicity meter: Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter – PetMD
If your dog has ingested a serious amount of chocolate, it is important to call your veterinarian immediately for advice.
Your vet will likely ask you to watch your dog for signs of chocolate poisoning which are:
- Increased Urination
Depending on the severity, your vet may ask you to bring your dog into the veterinary clinic for further treatment.
Why Does Chocolate Make A Dog Sick?
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. These are both substances that can increase heart rate.
If eaten in large doses this can have a very negative impact on your dog’s heart, nervous system and even kidneys.
Also, if you have an older dog with an existing heart condition or similar, eating enough chocolate could prove fatal.
The amount of these substances present in chocolate will vary depending on the type of chocolate.
Cocoa powder typically contains the most theobromine and is, therefore, the most toxic to your dog.
Milk chocolate contains much less theobromine but could still produce symptoms of chocolate toxicity depending on your dog’s weight.
This article contains a helpful chart of common household items and the amount of Theobromine and Caffeine present: Common Household Items – PetMD
How Much Chocolate Will Make A Dog Sick?
As we mentioned above, the type of chocolate eaten and the weight of your dog will determine how your dog will react.
As a rule of thumb, symptoms of toxicity can occur at theobromine doses of 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
Severe signs of toxicity can occur at 40 – 50 milligrams per kilogram.
Seizures can occur at 60 milligrams per kilogram.
Making use of the chocolate toxicity calculator will help you to determine this amount: Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter – PetMD
How Long Does It Take For Chocolate To Affect A Dog?
A dog can show symptoms of chocolate toxicity within 6 – 12 hours after eating chocolate.
The symptoms can last up to 72 hours after eating chocolate and will depend on the amount they have eaten.
If you are not sure how much chocolate your dog has eaten, it’s a good idea to ring your vet for advice to err on the side of caution.
How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Chocolate
Preventing our dog from eating chocolate is the best way to avoid this situation.
With this in mind, let’s look at some ways to stop your dog from eating chocolate.
Teach The “Leave It” Command
Ensuring your dog obeys the “leave it” command will help you to stop your dog from eating chocolate or anything else they shouldn’t be eating.
This is definitely one of the first commands you should teach your dog as you begin obedience training.
Keep Food Out Of Reach
This can be a difficult one to remember but it’s important to be mindful of keeping all food out of reach of your dog.
It can be easy to leave a bar of chocolate on the coffee table, but you can be sure as soon as your back is turned your dog will have made their way onto the table and will be munching away when you return.
When you are about to leave a room, simply do a quick scan to be sure you’re not leaving anything out that your dog could reach.
This simple thing will give you peace of mind.
Move Your Bin
Some dogs just love rooting through bins to find all sorts of goodies.
If your dog does this, consider moving your bin into another room away from them.
Or, you could move your bin up higher so that your dog can’t reach it.
Our dog Scully had a fascination with our bin as soon as she was tall enough to open it with her nose.
We quickly learned that we would have to move it but we didn’t exactly have another room to move it to.
With this in mind, we simply put our bin on top of a small table so now it’s totally out of her reach.
What Other Foods Can Dogs NOT Eat?
Now that we know chocolate is something we should not give to our dogs, what other foods can dogs not eat?
Here is a list of foods your dog CANNOT eat:
- Chewing Gum
- Coffee & Caffeine
- Raw Meat
- Salty Snack Foods
I hope you found the information in this article helpful. Let’s review what we covered to remind you:
- First, we answered the question: my dog ate chocolate, what should I do?
- Next, we talked about why chocolate makes dogs sick.
- After that, we covered how much chocolate will make a dog sick.
- Next, we answered the question, how long does it take for chocolate to affect a dog.
- After that, I shared with you some easy tips to prevent your dog from eating chocolate.
- Finally, we saw some of the other foods that dogs should not eat.
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