My dog ate chocolate, what should I do?

Although chocolate is generally harmless for humans, it represents a real danger for dogs. Indeed, unlike us, dogs are unable to digest theobromine, naturally contained in cocoa, efficiently. This molecule, in high doses, is comparable to a deadly poison.
However, chocolate is often found in our homes, especially during holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Every year, many dogs unfortunately suffer from it, deceived by their greed… But what to do if it happens to yours?

First reflex: contact a veterinarian

Many factors can help to evaluate the degree of urgency after ingestion, but nothing beats the diagnosis and advice of a specialist. This is why, as soon as you notice the facts, you must immediately call your veterinarian so that he can analyze the situation. Your veterinarian, especially if he knows your dog, will be able to tell you what the risks are and what to do.
If you haven’t caught your pet in the act, but you have doubts, do the same. It is best to be cautious, as the outcome can be fatal. There are several symptoms that can alert you: vomiting, hypersalivation, panting, rapid breathing, tremors, etc. Be vigilant.

Gathering the necessary information for an accurate diagnosis

Calculating your dog’s risk depends on 3 main factors. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much cocoa has been ingested? More than the chocolate itself, it is actually the concentration of theobromine per kilo that will determine the toxicity of the dose. For example, white chocolate, very low in cocoa, does not represent a real threat for your pet. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is very dangerous.
  • How heavy is my dog? In the same way, the size of the dog will influence the urgency of the situation. Indeed, for the same quantity of cocoa, it will be more or less harmful depending on whether it is a small dog, such as a Chihuahua, or a large one, such as a St. Bernard.
  • At what time was the chocolate eaten? Finally, knowing when the events took place is also important. Indeed, theobromine diffuses very quickly in the body, reaching its peak after 4 or 5 hours. It is better to intervene before the critical phase.
    Rest assured, if your four-legged friend is taken care of in time and depending on the severity of the initial situation, he or she can recover normal health. After that, it will be necessary to take all possible precautions to prevent the situation from happening again, always making sure to keep all sources of chocolate out of your dog’s reach.