Pet Care Advice

Peace of Mind Pet Care

Peace of Mind Pet Care are very happy to have teamed up with Andy Downing BVetMed MRCVS of Banstead Village Veterinary Surgery to provide us with the latest in veterinary pet care advice.

Andy will be writing a monthly article for us covering pet care advice, seasonal information and much more.

Please see below for our latest article, but don’t worry if you have missed one, all our previous articles are available to view.

For veterinary advice and treatment please call Banstead Village Vets on 01737 210011 or visit their website at www.bansteadvillagevets.co.uk

Is Chocolate Poisonous to Dogs

Peace of Mind Pet Care

Can it be true? Is chocolate poisonous to dogs? The answer is yes. The hazard to your dog however, depends on the type of chocolate, the size of dog, and the amount consumed.

The component of chocolate that is toxic to dogs is called theobromine. Whereas humans easily metabolise theobromine, dogs process it much more slowly allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system.

Size does matter!

A large dog can consume a great deal more chocolate than a small dog before it will suffer ill effects. It’s also worth remembering that different types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine. Cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate have the highest levels while milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest.

A small amount of chocolate will probably just give your dog an upset stomach. He may vomit or have diarrhoea. Large amounts though, will have a more serious effect. In sufficient quantities, theobromine can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding, or a heart-attack.

What to look out for:

The onset of theobromine poisoning is usually marked by severe hyperactivity.

Don’t worry if your dog has eaten a single chocolate or helped himself to the last square of your bar, because this won’t provide a large enough dosage of theobromine to hurt him. If you have a small dog though, and he has eaten a box of chocolates, you need to get him to the vet immediately. If you’re dealing with any quantity of dark or bitter chocolate, err on the side of caution. The high level of theobromine in dark chocolate means it takes only a very small amount to poison a dog; just 25 grams may be enough to poison a 20 kg dog.

The usual treatment for chocolate poisoning is to induce vomiting within two hours of ingestion. There are other things we can do if it’s been longer than this. If you are worried that your dog may have eaten a large quantity of chocolate do not hesitate to call your vet. Time is of the essence. Lastly, make sure those Easter Eggs are out of reach!!