What happens if my dog eats a chocolate protein bar or powder?
Potential problems that can arise from a dog eating chocolate protein bars or powders range from mild stomach upset to life-threatening effects. It depends on the ingredients in the supplement, and how much they consumed.
We’ll take a look at some of the ingredients that can harm your dog, and what happens when they eat it. We’ll take a closer look at chocolate soon. First, let’s look at the other ingredients in protein supplements.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol. Unlike sugar, it does not raise blood glucose levels. This makes it ideal for those who are diabetic or attempting to lose weight. However, it’s extremely dangerous for dogs.
The dog’s body recognizes xylitol as it would sugar. It releases high amounts of insulin to lower blood sugar levels, which it expects to go up. Because of the amount of insulin released, and xylitol not raising blood sugar, blood sugar levels drop too low.
This can occur within 10-60 minutes after ingesting xylitol. The severe drop in blood sugar can cause loss of consciousness, seizures, and even death. In addition, xylitol can cause liver failure in dogs.
High levels of iron, Vitamin D, and ALA can be toxic for dogs. An overdose of iron can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lethargy. Severe effects include shock, tremors, and heart and liver damage.
Vitamin D is also toxic in high amounts. Vitamin D toxicity can cause vomitting, drool excessively, and have increased thirst and urination. In high enough amounts, it can be fatal. Increased calcium or phosphorous or kidney damage can also indicate vitamin D toxicity.
Too much protein can be bad for your dog. Dogs, like people, require a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. A high dose of protein, without fat or carbs, can be hard on your dog’s body.
Protein is processed by the body, and the waste products are eliminated in the urine. This can put a strain on the kidneys when protein is consumed in very high amounts.
Whey protein is the most common source of protein in bars and powders. This can be difficult for your dog to digest, causing stomach upset.
Vomitting, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain can be expected. If the gastrointestinal upset is severe, contact your vet for advice. There could be a more serious problem from the powder.
Generally, one high dose of protein shouldn’t be extremely harmful for your dog. However, it’s certainly not healthy for them.
Chondrotin or MSM is recommended as a joint supplement for both humans and dogs. However, the dosage is very different.
The good news is that an overdose on this supplement typically only causes diarrhea. However, it is known to cause liver failure in rare cases.
What to do if my dog ate a chocolate protein bar or powder?
If your dog ate chocolate protein or powder, it’s natural to be worried. The good news is, in most cases, they will be fine. However, some ingredients can have a high toxicity level, so it’s important to know how to handle the situation.
The first thing you’ll need to do, technically, is remove access to the protein supplement.
If your dog is still munching on it, take away the remaining amount. Be sure to store it out of reach of your dog.
Next, you’ll need to assess the situation. How much did your dog eat? What are the ingredients? It’s best to write these things down, so you can tell your vet if needed.
If the protein product contains xylitol, you’ll need to call your vet or the pet poison helpline. The Pet Poison Helpline is available at all times, and provides a database and calculators. They can be reached at (855) 764-7661.
You can tell them what your dog ate, the amount, and their weight, and they will let you know what you should do. If you need to go to the vet, they can forward the information to them to help with the treatment plan. It’s a fee-based service, but it’s less expensive than an unneeded vet bill.
If your dog seems fine, you can simply monitor them. Have your vet or the Poison Helpline contact information nearby, along with the information about what your dog consumed, just in case things change.
Mild stomach upset is nothing to be concerned about. However, if your dog is vomiting or pooping blood, has tremors, seizures, loses consciousness, is very hyper or lethargic, or disoriented, seek help immediately.
It’s important to monitor your dog for at least 12, and preferably 24, hours to ensure that they will not have any serious effects.
Why Are Your Protein Bars Bad for Dogs?
First, dogs already have a lot of energy that most of their owners cannot keep up with, so they certainly do not need that protein bar. But that’s not why it is bad for them – the ingredients that make you healthier and more energetic are the same ones that may disturb your pet’s health. Here are the reasons protein bars are bad for dogs:
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar found in berries, oats, mushrooms, and various other fruits. However, it is a very concentrated form of sugar that can cause side effects in dogs within ten minutes to an hour of consumption. The resultant health conditions may be hypoglycemia or liver failure, which can cause fatality.
This one is a no-brainer; every dog owner worth their salt knows that chocolate or other byproducts of cocoa can be deadly for dogs. And cocoa is a go-to additive for protein bar brands because it makes an incredible flavor and, therefore, great sales. However, the theobromine content makes these protein bars highly unsuitable for your fur baby, and consumption may cause mild symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, but seizures and death are worse-case scenarios.
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