Not giving our dogs any table food is a general rule that we may break from time to time. However, all dog parents know that there are certain foods our dogs can’t get into without experiencing serious side effects. The most well-known of these dangerous foods is chocolate. But while we know that we can’t give our dogs chocolate, not all of us know what to do if our dogs get their paws on some sweets lying around the house. Whether you’re just curious or have a dog that recently ingested some, here are some tips on what you should do if your dog eats chocolate.

My Dog Ate Chocolate: What to Do

Step 1: Alert your veterinarian and prepare to induce vomiting

Finding out that your dog has eaten chocolate can be alarming, especially if you don’t know how much they’ve consumed. The first step is to alert your vet and let them know what has happened. This will let them know that, should their symptoms progress, they may need to be taken in for emergency care. Once you’ve called your vet, and if your dog hasn’t vomited already, ask them if making your dog vomit will be necessary.

If so, you will need to feed your dog a small meal then administer one tablespoon of three percent hydrogen peroxide for every 10 pounds your dog weighs. You can do this through a turkey baster or a medicine dropper. They will begin to vomit less and less as their stomach settles.

Step 2: Keep an eye out for signs of poisoning

Pet parents can, unfortunately, experience a wide variety of close calls — but hopefully, your dog doesn’t experience any negative side effects. However, if they have consumed a large amount of chocolate, inducing vomiting may not be enough. It’s important that you carefully watch your dog for any symptoms of poisoning. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning will show up anywhere from six to 12 hours and will include:

  • Signs of dehydration and increased thirst
  • Pacing and nervous energy
  • Panting
  • Shaking
  • Diarrhea or vomiting (unrelated to the induced vomiting)
  • Seizures
  • Excessive urination
  • Drooling

These symptoms can be an indicator of serious health problems and requires immediate action on your part.

Step 3: Take your dog to the vet immediately if their condition does not improve

If you see any of the symptoms listed above and your dog’s condition isn’t improving, call your vet again and get your pup emergency help. Your veterinarian will then administer the necessary treatment methods to help your dog purge the chocolate from its system and recover from the poisoning.

Moving Forward

Dealing with this type of situation can be scary but it’s important that you learn from it. The first most important step to take is to make sure that all potentially dangerous items and foods are hidden from your dog and placed where they can’t reach it. The second step is to make sure that you have the proper pet insurance for your pup. Getting them the medical care they need can be quite expensive, especially when you consider exam fees, emergency vet visits, emergency surgery, vaccinations, and any care they may need for chronic conditions. Having the right medical insurance for your dog will keep both of you protected in the event of an emergency. Don’t know where to find the best pet insurance? Use a service like iSelect to compare pet insurance providers and coverage options to find the pet insurance plan for you.

Having a dog that gets into something dangerous for them can be scary. However, this is part of being a pet parent, and prevention and knowledge are vital to keeping them safe. Whether your dog has already ingested chocolate or you want to know what to do if they do, use the brief guide above to take the right course of action in the event of an emergency and prevent their symptoms from progressing.