Valentine’s Day & Your Pets!

While you are busy enjoying chocolates from your loved ones this Valentine’s Day, remember to keep them away from the other loves in your life…the four-legged ones!

Chocolate is harmful to dogs for a few reasons. The amount of sugar in chocolate is enough to cause vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog already has a sensitive stomach, it can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas gland. The main concern with chocolate is the ingredient theobromine. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more theobromine it contains, so dark chocolate contains more than milk chocolate and is more toxic to your dog.

The following is a guideline regarding chocolate toxicity – always call us first. We have special charts that can let you know whether to be concerned or not following chocolate ingestion!

Milk Chocolate

100gm bar
10lb dog: Severe toxicity
30lb dog: Mild toxicity
60lb dog: Mild toxicity

Dark Chocolate

99gm bar
10lb dog: Severe toxicity
20lb dog: Severe toxicity
30lb dog: Moderate toxicity

Treatment depends on how much chocolate was ingested. When calling the clinic, be ready to tell us the approximate weight of your pet, how much was ingested and when. Mild cases will often be treated easily. We medically induce your pet to vomit and then administer a charcoal treatment. The charcoal absorbs any theobromine left. Moderate to severe cases will need to be hospitalized on IV fluids and monitored for worsening symptoms.

Mild Symptoms

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Moderate to Severe Symptoms

  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Salivation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Twitching
  • Seizures
  • Death

We are only a quick phone call away if there is a chocolate emergency. If it happens to be after our clinic is closed, you can call either the WCVM at 306-966-7126 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. Both have operators 24/7 to assist with emergency needs!

Written by Raeanne Boyd, RVT