Chocolate toxicity in pets can cause a pet poisoning emergency

Preventing a pet poisoning is important throughout the year, but as we head toward Valentine’s Day and Easter, providing a few safety reminders is always a good idea. While we all do our best to protect our pets accidents do happen. Knowing the red flags of toxicity is a must, as well as training ourselves on how to react when a pet is in peril.

It’s Chemistry

The reason that chocolate is toxic to animals is because it contains the compound theobromine. Different chocolates have different concentrations of theobromine. For example, the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, baker’s chocolate, and products with a high percentage of cacao are particularly dangerous. Milk chocolate has less, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to leave out for your pet to sample!

The Dose

The severity of a pet poisoning depends on their size and how much they consume. Symptoms may include hyperactivity, nervousness, or overexcitement. Left alone, this type of pet poisoning can result in the following:

●      Trembling

●      Vomiting

●      Diarrhea

●      Increased drinking and urination

●      Rapid heart rate

●      Muscle tremors

●      Seizure

Chocolate toxicity can be fatal, but with quick thinking and swift intervention, many pets can recover from the experience. Before you handle things on your own, please contact us. We can let you know whether you can help your pet at home or direct you on how to transport them for emergency care. Supportive treatments may be necessary depending on your pet’s symptoms, weight, and how much you know or suspect they ingested.

All Pets?

A pet poisoning resulting from chocolate can happen to all pets regardless of species, breed, age, gender, or lifestyle. That being said, dogs are typically more curious about food and don’t discriminate. Cats, on the other hand, don’t have receptors on their tongue to process sweets, so they aren’t as drawn to chocolate as their canine counterparts.

Prevent a Pet Poisoning

Knowing the signs of a pet poisoning and reacting quickly are the best ways to help your pet if they eat something dangerous. However, to prevent a pet poisoning entirely, always be sure to store products securely, so they can’t be accessed when you’re not home, asleep, or otherwise engaged.

The team at Fairview Veterinary Hospital is always here for you and your pet. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.