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Dog owners urged to learn 8 signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs

Lisa Walden
Photo credit: Capuski - Getty Images

From Country Living

Chocolate can be toxic for dogs. As well as dangerously speeding up their heart rate, it can cause them to become incredibly sick. But would you be able to spot the tell-tale signs and symptoms that your pet has eaten chocolate? It's important every dog owner learns them – it could be life-saving for your pet.

With many treats lying around the home this Easter, it can often be a challenge to monitor exactly everything your dog has consumed. So read the below and keep a close eye on your dog's behaviour...

What are the signs of chocolate poisoning in a dog?

While you might not be able to tell straight away if your dog has consumed chocolate, signs of poisoning may begin to show within six to 12 hours after.

These include...

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Restlessness
  4. Increased urination
  5. Increased heart rate
  6. Seizures
  7. Excessive thirst
  8. Tremors, where your dog will twitch one or more body parts

It's important for owners to pay attention to the signs and to act quickly if your dog consumes any chocolate treats.

The BBC reported on a Labradoodle from North East Lincolnshire this week, who ate four chocolate Easter eggs. The report said he is "lucky to be alive" after his owners rushed him to the vets. It could have been life-threatening, but vets managed to take good care of him.

"Having heard the quantity of chocolate he had eaten, it was very important that we saw to him straight away," explained vet Heather Sparks in the BBC report. "Luckily for Bosley, he has got an incredible owner who acted quickly, who knew exactly what to do and within half an hour we were able to provide aggressive treatment that was needed."

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What should you do if your dog has eaten chocolate?

If you do notice any of these signs, ensure you call your vet immediately. Don't wait for them to improve as it could be too late. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) if you are unable to get an emergency appointment.

In older or weaker dogs with heart conditions especially, chocolate poisoning can cause the sudden risk of death. Monitor your home this Easter to ensure eggs or chocolate treats are kept well out of sight.

Give your dog another animal-friendly treat, or get your hands on a dog Easter egg so they still have something delicious to indulge in.

Make sure you...

  • Check your bins are dog-proof and leftover eggs are removed from reach
  • Don't leave chocolate out in the open, especially if egg hunts are taking place
  • Ensure guests and children know not to feed your dog

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