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What is the risk of a dog who has eaten chocolate? Are all chocolates dangerous for the dog? How to react when your dog has accidentally eaten chocolate?
My dog ​​ate chocolate: what are the risks?
Most dogs love chocolate and are hopelessly drawn to its sweet taste. Unfortunately, chocolate is one of the very toxic foods for dogs. Its toxicity is due to theobromine, a substance contained in cocoa and which is responsible for its bitterness.
In dogs, this substance can cause:
digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhoea and vomiting,
nervous disorders such as anxiety, restlessness or conversely prostration, movement coordination disorders (ataxia), convulsions and coma,
heart and respiratory problems such as heart rate or rhythm disturbances, rapid breathing and/or difficulty breathing,
his death in the event of severe poisoning.
Signs of poisoning appear 1 to 12 hours after the dog ingests chocolate.
Signs of cardiac and nervous toxicities may appear upon ingestion of 60g of 50% cocoa dark chocolate or 250g of milk chocolate in a 10kg dog.
There is a serious risk to the life of the same animal when the quantity of chocolate eaten reaches 200g of dark chocolate or 500g of milk chocolate. In other words: a small dog weighing 5kg is likely to die after eating only half a bar of dark chocolate!
Are all chocolates dangerous for the dog?
The severity of chocolate poisoning depends directly on the dose of theobromine ingested by the dog. It is both conditioned by:
the richness of chocolate in cocoa and therefore in theobromine. The richer the chocolate in cocoa, the more toxic it is to the dog. Thus, dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate and the higher the percentage of cocoa in dark chocolate, the more toxic it is to dogs. It is enough for the dog to swallow smaller quantities to cause signs of intoxication. White chocolate, consisting mainly of cocoa butter and sugar, contains only traces of theobromine. Generally speaking, it does not cause intoxication to speak of, but all the same, some digestive disorders or even pancreatitis because of its high-fat content if the dog eats large quantities.
the amount of chocolate swallowed by the dog,
the dog’s weight. The smaller the dog, the faster he will reach doses of chocolate that are toxic to him. In other words, much less chocolate will be enough for her to reach doses responsible for severe poisoning and even death.
Chocolate is therefore inherently toxic to the dog, regardless of the form in which it is eaten by the dog: in the form of a chocolate bar, assorted chocolate candies, cocoa powder, spread containing cocoa, cake or cookies containing chocolate and more generally any product containing cocoa.
Chocolate: watch out for chronic poisoning!
Giving a tiny dose of chocolate to a dog will not make him sick immediately, but if given that same small dose every day, it will gradually intoxicate him. This is called chronic intoxication. So also refrain from sharing the little piece of chocolate that accompanies your daily coffee with your dog!
My dog ​​ate chocolate: what to do?
If your dog has eaten chocolate, IMMEDIATELY contact a clinic or veterinary practice regardless of the amount of chocolate swallowed by the dog and regardless of the time at which the incident occurred.
Do not try in any way to induce your dog to vomit on your own or to swallow anything else and gather the information that will be useful to your veterinarian, such as:
the time at which the chocolate ingestion took place, or at least the time range in which the incident occurred,
your dog’s weight,
the amount and nature of the chocolate swallowed. If you can, save the chocolate wrapper that may have the cocoa percentage of the chocolate ingested on it for presentation to your veterinarian.


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