My Dog ate chocolate and I didn't need to call the vet or the poison control hotline because the truth is pretty simple. Dogs and chocolate are the topic of this weeks Dog Talk Tuesday.
The title is a bit tongue and cheek and we'll get to why, but here's the introduction.
While a dog can get a hold of chocolate any time, especially if you have kids who leave things out, I'd hate to see you panic like I did when my drawer opening little Houdini raided my stash.
I had always heard chocolate was poisonous for dogs so I was very careful to keep it away from them.
Then one my dog Lily found my chocolate stash. She actually opened the drawer herself and chowed down.
(That's my little cutie pie in the picture with me.)
She ate 2 or 3 candy bars and nothing
happened at all. No vomiting, no diarrhea. Zippity dooh dah.
In the meantime my sister gave her Sheltie dog an Oreo chocolate cookie every day for the 15 years her dog lived, so go figure.
Of course you should watch what your dog eats and certainly any type of chocolate or sugary candy treat is still a no-no. But dogs do get into things occasionally so the point is to know how much is too much and avoid pointless panic. Here we go.
I've broken it down into three categories with the approximate dosage you may worry about. Of course your dog is an individual so after the dosages, I have signs and symptoms of chocolate overdose.
I'll also give a tip on what to keep on hand just in case your dog ingests something bad.
Keep in mind, the more you worry, the more your dog will act odd. After all, he's attuned to your feelings.
We'll go from least to most toxic.
(Remember there are 16 ounces in a pound.)
Example: 7 ounces for a 10 pound dog - that's just over a 1/2 pound!
Example: 20 ounces for a 10 pound dog - that's 1 1/4 pounds!
Now I did read from one veterinarian that as little as 1 pound could cause severe toxicity for a 20 pound dog.
I just have to comment here. If I ate a pound of chocolate at one time, I'd be sicker than a dog! (Sorry, I just had to use that phrase.)
This is usually the chocolate chips for baking.
(Example: 3 ounces for a 10 pound dog) That's less than 1/4 pound because this form of chocolate is stronger.
Example: 13 ounces for a 10 pound dog, although six ounces could pose a problem.
So if your got a bag of chocolate chips before you made the cookies, I'd give him some activated charcoal (explained more below).
Now we have a concern. If my dog ate chocolate like this, I might head for the medicine chest (over a few squares of the stuff) because it has the highest concentration of caffeine and theobromine. Therefore, as little as two small one-ounce squares of baking chocolate can be toxic to a 20-pound dog.
If you don't bake your own home made confections, you won't have this around the house anyway.
I've never left any out on the counter or the table but I have a hard time believing a dog would eat it. Maybe because I couldn't. It's so bitter.
We'll go from minor to major symptoms:
After nearly 30 years of concern and actively remembering to keep chocolate off coffee tables, end tables and the kitchen table (I've always had big or huge dogs) while raising three kids and half the neighborhood; I was wasting my time!
I worried myself silly for nothing. When my dog ate chocolate she weighed 70 pounds and the candy bars were under 3 ounces each of milk chocolate. Those 8 or 9 oz. didn't even cause loose stools.
I guess what it all comes down to is believing what you hear without checking the facts... it's kind of like gossip.
* * *
If you would like to be prepared for an emergency, get activated charcoal in capsule form.
Charcoal is highly adsorbent. It is often used to support the body’s cleansing and detoxification mechanisms as it helps bind toxins in the digestive tract. It may also help the body’s efforts to expel intestinal gas. Charcoal has been used safely for ages.
If you are in my NSP Group, the next time you order your dog's supplements you can add it to your order for about $14.00. (It's #366)