While chocolates make for a delicious dessert for people, they can be deadly to dogs, including Poodles. The darker the cocoa content of the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is to dogs.
However, it’s always not worth putting your dog’s life on the line just because of something they’ll only enjoy for a minute or less! Even the slightest chocolate intake may provoke a dangerous reaction in Poodles, and it’s better you avoid giving it to your pet. And as a responsible pet parent, you always need to keep a keen eye on what your dog eats.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work that way, and just noticed that your Poodle “stole” and ate some chocolate. What next? Well, that’s what we have for you today!
If you believe that your dog ate chocolate, ensure that you seek treatment as soon as you can. Call your vet as soon as possible to seek advice on what you should do next!
Why Chocolates Are Dangerous for Poodles
Before we sink deeper into our today’s topic, let us begin by asking ourselves the obvious question.
Why Is Chocolate Dangerous for Poodles?
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are chemical stimulants known to adversely affect the nervous system and heart of dogs. Theobromine is also a diuretic, which means they make them urinate more than usual.
The thing is, the amount of chocolate your Poodle can take before it becomes dangerous vary from case to case and largely depends on the size and age of your Poodle as well as the theobromine content in the chocolate.
The smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat before exhibiting dangerous symptoms. You see, two ounces of chocolate can be poisonous for a ten-pound poodle, but it will take a whole lot more to affect a larger dog!
On the other hand, theobromine content is a strong indicator of what you should expect from your dog. According to experts, it takes 10-30mg theobromine per pound of weight for a dog to show signs of poisoning.
Are All Chocolates Dangerous for Dogs?
Well, the fact is that no chocolate is 100% safe for dogs. However, their toxicity levels differ depending on the cocoa content.
With that said, below is a list of chocolates in the order of their toxicity to dogs;
- Cocoa powder (most toxic)
- Unsweetened bakers chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate (least toxic)
From the list, chocolate poisoning is more likely for dogs exposed to cocoa powder. Symptoms are more likely to show up within 1-3 hours after ingestion of the chocolates, but this time can vary depending on the size and type of Poodle as well as the amount they ate.
Signs of Chocolate Poisoning
So you are just suspecting that your Poodle ate chocolate. However, he looks so innocent that you can’t tell whether or not he actually ate it. Well, you can look out for these signs to help you confirm your suspicion;
- Increased heart rate,
- Increased urination
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased temperature
- Death, etc.
When you notice at least one of these signs, it could be a sign of chocolate poisoning.
Nevertheless, one thing to remember is that lacking any of the signs doesn’t mean that your Poodle didn’t eat chocolate. Keep in mind the manifestation of the above signs depend on the type of chocolate, the size of your dog, and the amount taken.
Further, the above signs are also seen in cases of other toxicities including xylitol toxicity. So it will be better to consult with a professional.
Provided that you know the type and amount of chocolate your Poodle ate, as well as their weight, it’s possible to calculate the level of toxicity in their systems by using this Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter
Tips To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Chocolate
While it’s still may be possible to save your dog’s life after eating chocolate, you don’t want to take things that far. The best thing to do is prevent your dog from taking chocolate.
Keep the chocolate away
Ensure that all chocolate items are out of your dog’s reach. For example, keep them in cabinets with doors that you can close to keep your Poodle off the chocolate!
Make it known to the juniors
Kids are more likely to bring chocolates inside the house. So ensure that they know not to give any chocolate to your Poodle. Teach them how dangerous it is for your dog to take chocolates.
Train “Leave It” Command:
Teaching your dog the “leave it” command is also helpful in these circumstances. For example, when your dog is about to get his teeth on the chocolate jar, just say “leave it” and immediately pick him up. The idea here is that you give them something rewarding, like play or food.
Crate Training May Help:
If you still feel like you won’t be able to monitor your Poodle 24/7, consider crate training him. Crate training gives you the opportunity to train your dog to stay alone and away from things that could harm them, including chocolates.
What Treats Can You Use Instead of Chocolate?
Since they are dangerous, the best idea is to avoid giving your Poodle chocolate completely. But if you need to give them something sweet, whether for mere pleasure or for positive reinforcement during training, try using these treats instead;
All of the above are safe for dogs and can be used as a replacement for chocolate in your dog’s diet. However, no matter the treat, always remember that it should be taken in moderation and shouldn’t exceed 10% of their daily caloric intake.
Are All Dogs AT The Risk of Chocolate Poisoning?
Yes. All dogs are at the risk of chocolate poisoning, but there are still some that are more vulnerable than others;
- Small dogs- Their small weight means that even a small intake of chocolate can lead to serious poisoning.
- Old dogs- Old dogs don’t metabolize poisons as fast as young and healthy dogs.
- Pregnant and lactating bitches- They should stay away from chocolate at all costs because it can cause harm to their unborn or nursing puppies.
- Young dogs (Puppies)- Still growing, young dogs are more vulnerable than adult Poodles. Also due to the fact that they don’t understand their limits yet when it comes to food intake.
On this note, it’s always best to keep all types of chocolate away from your Poodle in order to avoid any chance of poisoning. At the same time, be sure to provide them with a healthy and nutritious diet.
Poodle eating chocolate is not something you would want to happen, but if it does remember to contact your vet immediately. Signs may exhibit, but failure to manifest doesn’t mean your dogs are on the safe side.
Toxicity levels differ depending on the amount and type of chocolate eaten, and the weight of your dog, so always proceed with caution.
Ultimately, preventing your Poodle from eating these treats is always ideal. So always keep them away from their reach! Where you must use treats, consider healthy options instead!