After coming home from work, you discovered that your dog got up onto the counter and ate the chocolate dessert that was left out. Because you have heard that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, you may start to panic and wonder what to do next. If so, ask yourself the following three questions to assess the situation and gather information needed if you take them to the vet.
What Type Of Chocolate Did Your Dog Eat?
The first questions you should ask is about the type of chocolate that your dog ate. Different types of chocolate, such as dark, milk, or white, contain different amounts of toxins.
All chocolate contains theobromine, the chemical that makes dogs sick. However, the amount of the alkaloid is stronger in chocolates that have higher concentrations of cocoa.
Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than white chocolate, so if your dog ate the dark chocolate, there is more of a risk of poisoning than if they ate the white.
How Much Was Consumed?
Another thing you need to assess is how much of the dessert your dog consumed. The more they eat, the more of a chance of serious adverse reactions to the toxins.
Think back to the last time you saw the dessert sitting on the counter. Was there only one piece left? Or, did you just make it and your dog ate the entire treat?
The amount of chocolate that can cause affect your dog also depends on their size and weight. For example, if your dog is large, one piece of cake or a brownie may not cause serious symptoms. However, if you have a small dog that consumed the same amount, the same toxins may be more than their body can handle.
If you are uncertain as to how much your dog consumed, you should take them to an emergency pet hospital as soon as possible. It would be better to have your dog treated for high doses of chocolate than to wait until symptoms begin.
Is Your Dog Having Any Symptoms?
The symptoms your dog may exhibit depends on the amount of chocolate they ate compared to their size. It can also depend on their sensitivity to the chocolate.
At the least, your dog may start vomiting and having diarrhea that could lead to dehydration. If there are a lot of toxins in their system, however, they may start having heart flutters and seizures that could lead to death.
If your dog is exhibiting symptoms or you just want to play it safe, take them to a pet hospital, like Miramonte Veterinary Hospital, immediately. The veterinarian can then fully examine your furry friend and start treatment for removing the toxins out of your dog's body and treat their symptoms.