Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
Seeing your dog with a guilty look and an empty Reese’s Cup wrapper on the floor might be a fur parent’s worst nightmare.
While chocolate may be a beloved treat for us, it’s unhealthy for our pets—especially in large amounts.
Dogs and chocolate don’t mix.
Also, not all types of chocolate are equally toxic to dogs; certain additives can be just as deadly.
In this post, you will learn more about chocolate poisoning and what you can do should you find yourself in such a predicament.
By taking these steps and staying informed, you can help your canine companion recover from this chocolatey mishap.
Don’t let a simple treat turn into a dangerous situation!
- Common Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
- Determining Risk Levels of Chocolate for Dogs
- Size of the dog: Big vs. small dogs
- Amount of chocolate consumed: One ounce of milk chocolate can be toxic
- Type of chocolate: Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate
- Weight of the dog: Small dogs are more susceptible to toxicity
- Age of the dog: Senior dogs and puppies are more sensitive to toxic substances
- Pre-existing medical conditions: Dogs with health issues are at increased risk
- Time since consumption: Veterinary prompt treatment is essential
- How Much Chocolate is in a Reese's Cup?
- What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Reese's Cup?
- Treatment Options for Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
- How to Prevent Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- In Conclusion: My Dog Ate a Reese's Cup
Common Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
As a pet parent, you have to be aware of the common symptoms of chocolate poisoning so that you can act quickly in an emergency.
Here are the common symptoms of chocolate poisoning to watch for:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Tremors or seizures
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Panting or rapid breathing
- Collapse or coma
Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: What to do if my dog ate grapes?
Determining Risk Levels of Chocolate for Dogs
Regarding chocolate, there are two things to know; the health condition of your dog and how much they consumed.
Below are the factors affecting chocolate toxicity in your dog:
Size of the dog: Big vs. small dogs
Larger dogs can handle more chocolate than smaller dogs.
Small dogs are more susceptible to theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic in large doses.
Therefore, small amounts of chocolate can still be harmful to them.
Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: My dog ate wood, now what?
Amount of chocolate consumed: One ounce of milk chocolate can be toxic
A toxic dose of theobromine is about 100-150 mg/kg of the dog’s body weight.
For example, a 10-pound dog would need to eat only one ounce of milk chocolate to reach a potentially toxic level.
Therefore, monitoring the amount of chocolate your dog consumes is vital.
Type of chocolate: Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate
Dark chocolate contains the highest amount of theobromine among the chocolate family, ranging from 130 to 550 milligrams per ounce.
Milk chocolate contains 28-58 milligrams per ounce – in other words very little theobromine.
Therefore, dark chocolate is more toxic to dogs than milk chocolate.
Weight of the dog: Small dogs are more susceptible to toxicity
Small amounts of chocolate are less likely toxic to large dogs, but even small amounts can harm smaller dogs.
Therefore, it is vital to know your dog’s weight and check its chocolate intake.
Age of the dog: Senior dogs and puppies are more sensitive to toxic substances
Senior dogs and puppies have weaker immune systems than adult dogs, which makes them more sensitive to chocolates.
Therefore, they are at a higher risk of developing health problems from chocolate consumption.
Pre-existing medical conditions: Dogs with health issues are at increased risk
Dogs with heart disease, diabetes, and kidney problems are more prone to serious consequences from chocolate consumption.
Time since consumption: Veterinary prompt treatment is essential
The onset of health problems can occur within hours to days after ingestion of chocolate.
Therefore, If your dog has eaten a chocolate-containing product, you should seek prompt vet treatment.
Time is running; the quicker you seek treatment, the better the outcome.
You can prevent potentially life-threatening situations by knowing your dog’s size, weight, age, pre-existing medical conditions, and chocolate intake.
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Doggy says, you might be interested to read this too: Corgi not eating?
How Much Chocolate is in a Reese’s Cup?
About the amount of chocolate in a Reese’s Cup, Hershey, the company that makes them, doesn’t publish an exact figure.
Instead, they describe each cup as containing “chocolatey goodness.”
It’s safe to assume that each cup has a decent amount of chocolate.
It forms a thick layer around the peanut butter cup—an essential component of the candy’s taste.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups come in different sizes, ranging from 1.5oz to 13.75oz.
The amount of chocolate depends on the size. Larger cups contain more chocolate.
Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Dog ate too much Galliprant
What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Reese’s Cup?
You know how curious and adventurous our little furry friends can be.
Sometimes, they may go exploring and find something unexpected like a Reese’s Cup on your coffee table.
While we all love to give in to the occasional indulgence, remember that chocolate harms your dog and can cause serious health issues if ingested.
Here’s what you can do if your dog eats a Reese’s Cup:
Stay calm and assess the situation to determine
The first thing to do is stay calm and assess the situation. Feeling anxious is normal, but thinking rationally and determining if your dog has ingested a potentially toxic amount of chocolate is essential.
Call your veterinarian or an animal poison control hotline
Call your vet or an animal poison control hotline immediately for guidance on what to do next. In the US, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is available 24/7 at (888) 426-4435.
Induce vomiting (if instructed)
Use hydrogen peroxide only if your veterinarian or poison control center instructs you to induce vomiting. Use a 3-percent solution to make your dog throw up.
Monitor your dog closely for symptoms of chocolate poisoning
Watch your dog closely for signs of chocolate poisoning. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and abnormal heart rate or rhythm.
Keep your dog comfortable and quiet
Provide a comfortable and quiet space to minimize any discomfort they may be experiencing.
Do not feed your dog any other food for the time being
Feeding your dog anything else may interfere with the treatment and diagnosis of chocolate poisoning.
Instead, wait for several hours or further instructions from your vet before giving your dog any food.
Wanna learn more dog care tips? Check this out: My Dog Sounds Like He Has a Hairball: What Do I Do?
Treatment Options for Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
Chocolate is a delicious treat for us, but it’s one of the most dangerous treats for dogs.
If your dog has ingested chocolate, you need to act quickly.
The following are possible immediate treatment options for chocolate toxicity in dogs:
Activated charcoal is a popular treatment for dog chocolate poisoning.
Here’s more information:
- Administration: Activated charcoal is typically given orally or by enema in dogs.
- Binding Time: It takes minutes to hours to bind with cocoa and prevent its absorption into your dog’s bloodstream. Yet, it can also prevent diarrhea and vomiting when absorbed into the digestive tract.
- Organic Ingredients: Organic substances used, like coal and coconut shell, make activated charcoal, making it a natural and safe treatment option for dogs.
If your dog shows signs of dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea, IV fluids are necessary.
These fluids can also help prevent the body from absorbing more cocoa after giving activated charcoal.
Your vet may prescribe medications for seizures, irregular heart rates, or other symptoms.
In severe cases of chocolate poisoning, hospitalization may be necessary for monitoring and supportive care.
How to Prevent Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs?
The number of symptoms depends on how much your dog consumes, from mild digestive upset to seizures or even death.
But with a few simple precautions, you can easily prevent chocolate toxicity in your dog and keep them safe and healthy.
Continue reading for some easy steps to protect your dog from the dangers of chocolate.
Keeping chocolate products away from your dog
- Store all chocolate and chocolate-containing products in secure containers and cabinets.
- Dispose of all chocolate wrappers and containers properly.
- Teach your dog the “leave it” or “drop it” commands.
Educating yourself on chocolate poisoning
- Learn about the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs.
- Monitor your dog’s behavior for any signs of chocolate consumption.
Feeding dogs alternatives to chocolate
- Offer your dog safe and healthy options for chocolate.
- Feed multiple dogs separately to prevent competition over food.
Visiting or hosting gatherings
- Be cautious when visiting or hosting gatherings where chocolate may be present.
- Ensure guests are aware of the risks of feeding your dog chocolate.
In case of accidental chocolate consumption
- Contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Monitor your dog for any symptoms of poisoning.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What makes chocolate toxic to dogs?
Chocolate consists of theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. The more bitter and darker the chocolate is, the greater the danger. The chemicals can significantly affect your dog, giving rise to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures.
How much chocolate is too much for a dog?
The toxicity level depends on the type of chocolate, the dog’s size, and how much they consume. Eating just 2-3 ounces of dark chocolate could poison a 20-pound dog.
Can dogs eat any type of chocolate?
No, dogs shouldn’t eat any chocolate! It’s toxic for them, and they can get sick. Theobromine, a chemical found in all types of chocolate, causes dogs to get sick. And It is harmful if consumed in large amounts.
In Conclusion: My Dog Ate a Reese’s Cup
Unfortunate things do happen, so don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself in this situation.
This should highlight the importance of vigilance in pet care, so ss responsible pet owners, let us be mindful of our surroundings, educate ourselves on potential hazards, and strive to create a safe environment for our beloved companions.
You can get it right!
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