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If a dog eats a piece of chocolate cake, it is best to contact a veterinarian–the animal’s regular care provider, if possible–immediately. Do not try to make the dog vomit at home, warns the Michigan Humane Society. If it’s necessary, the veterinarian will administer charcoal or another chemical to induce vomiting.
The specific chemical in chocolate that negatively affects dogs is theobromine. The amount of the chemical depends on the type of chocolate; baking chocolate having the heaviest concentration of theobromine, while semi-sweet and milk chocolate contain lesser amounts respectively. The severity of a dog’s reaction depends on how much chocolate the animal ate, the dog’s size and the dog’s sensitivity to the compound, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicines Animal Health Literacy Campaign.
It is best to keep the dog in a calm and quiet area after receiving veterinary care. Depending on how severe the chocolate poisoning, the animal may need an IV to receive fluids for a day or longer while recovering. In the following days be sure to feed the dog a bland diet, recommends PetMD.
Theobromine toxicity can manifest in a range of symptoms, many mimicking those of more simple gastrointestinal illnesses, according to the Michigan Humane Society. These can include diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, increased heart rate, frequent urinating and seizures. Severe cases may see more advanced issues, such as cardiac arrest, comas and other neurological issues.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of your dog, it could cause a serious medical emergency. If you know your dog has eaten chocolate, it’s important to monitor them for signs of toxicity. Learn how much is too much, which types of chocolate are the most dangerous, and what signs to look for that may signal your dog needs treatment.
How can you tell if your dog has chocolate poisoning?
For many dogs, the most common clinical signs are vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, and racing heart rate. In severe cases, symptoms can include muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure.
How Much Chocolate Can Kill Your Dog?
While chocolate cake might be a tasty treat for many humans, their canine companions shouldn’t eat the dessert. Chocolate can be toxic for dogs, causing symptoms ranging from vomiting to seizures and even death, depending on the amount of chocolate a dog ingests.