As we pointed out in our list of human foods to keep away from your dogs, chocolate is deadly to canines. You should never EVER let your pet consume it.
However, we know what our dogs can be like. It’s not uncommon for them to get their noses somewhere that they shouldn’t, some there is the off chance a chocolate meal makes its way to their stomach.
Is that the end though? Can you not do anything at all? Well, there are a few things you can do before any damage is done. Here’s the steps to take if your pal manages to sneak a bit of chocolate into their diet.
Signs of Chocolate poisoning
As early as 4 hours after consumption, signs of chocolate poisoning can start to appear. They can also last for a few days as well as being fatal, so that’s why you should immediately take actions.
The signs includes the following:
– Frequent urination
– Elevated heart rate
If your dog is older and has any health conditions already, specifically heart conditions, then it there is a much higher increase of sudden death.
What to do
If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, then the first thing to do is to immediately call your vets. The sooner you’re aware then obviously the better, so if you find empty wrappers lying around and it’s obvious who has eaten them, then it can be better safe than sorry.
Depending on the amount consumed, the vet may give different advice. If it is a small amount then you may just be asked to monitor your dog for any of the above signs and to be in touch if it worsens.
If it’s a fair bit of chocolate, then you will likely be given an emergency visit. If the chocolate was consumed within the last few hours and no signs are showing yet, then the vet will probably induce vomiting. More serious cases such as seizures will likely require overnight monitoring.
How to prevent it
Dogs have no idea that chocolate is bad for them. It smells and tastes just as good to them as it does to us, so it’s our duty to make sure they never get anywhere near it!
First thing is first though, just keep anything with cocoa or chocolate well out of your dog’s reach. There’s no reason for it to be anywhere accessible by any of your pets, so keep it all on high shelves where only humans can reach.
Also, remind family, friends and guests of the dangerous of feeding dogs chocolate. Not everybody is as familiar with dogs as us pet lovers, so it’s always good to teach them what is and isn’t good for them.
One more life saving method to keep chocolate away from your dog is to teach the “leave it!” command. If there’s chocolate or any offending human food on the floor and you feel your dog is going to get there first, this simple command will keep the situation under control. It’s surprisingly easy to teach to your pooch as well! [We will cover how to teach this command soon]
You should now be knowledgeable on how to handle any chocolaty situations if your pets ever get themselves into trouble. If there’s anything you feel we’ve missed regarding this subject, please let us know in the comments!
Image credit: wagwalking.com, labradorcenter.com