Fort Worth Animal Emergency is here to help!

Our goal is to help you assist your pets and potentially prevent visits to our ER. We want to give you valuable information to recognize early warning signs and provide the best possible care for your pets, be it with us or with your general care doctor.

Chocolate toxicity in dogs

With Valentine's Day approaching, it seemed appropriate to start with chocolate toxicity. It's one of the most common toxins we see in pets. Dogs, like humans, enjoy chocolate but can't process its active ingredient, which can cause a range of symptoms.

What symptoms can chocolate toxicity cause in pets?

Chocolate toxicity can cause anything from mild diarrhea to vomiting, restlessness, rapid heart rates, arrhythmias, high blood pressure issues, severe abdominal bloating, and even debilitating conditions like seizures, coma, and death.

Is there a way to treat chocolate toxicity?

Fortunately, with prompt treatment, chocolate toxicity is usually not fatal. We can treat and recover them. It's important to recognize the signs and understand the level of chocolate that is toxic for your dog.

Is there a difference in toxicity levels among various types of chocolate?

Yes, there is a range. White chocolate, which isn't really chocolate, is generally not toxic, besides the issues associated with excessive sugar. However, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and the most toxic types—baker's chocolates and dark cocoa powders—can be harmful.

What should we do if our pet ate a toxic dose of chocolate?

It is advised to call the ASPCA Poison Control hotline. They can guide you based on the amount and type of chocolate your dog has ingested, and their size. You can call them while en route to us, as the first step in treating chocolate toxicity is to induce vomiting in your pet.

What happens when we are on the way to the ER after our pet has consumed chocolate?

While you're on the way to the ER, call ASPCA Poison Control. They can guide you, and we can discuss the best treatment options based on their level of toxicity.

Are there any other ingredients in chocolate that can be toxic for dogs?

Yes, raisins and xylitol, often found in sugar-free chocolates, can be toxic for dogs.

What is the final advice for the pet owners?

Keep your chocolate away from your dogs, especially during times of indulgence like Valentine's Day. If they do consume it, we're here 24-7 and more than happy to assist.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (817) 263-2900, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram