As a dog lover, you have to stay on top of what goes through your dog’s mouth. You do not want to cause your dog discomfort by feeding it something that could harm it. Among the many types of foods, humans eat chocolate pudding. But can you share this delicious dessert with your dog? Read on to learn more about chocolate puddings and dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate Pudding?
In short, no. It is not safe for your dog to eat chocolate pudding. If they consume it, they may suffer harmful consequences. To be safe, keep your chocolate pudding away from your dog.
Why Can’t My Dog Eat Chocolate Pudding?
The reason chocolate pudding is not safe for your dog is because of the ingredient chocolate or cocoa. Chocolate contains methylxanthines such as theobromine and caffeine. While these two ingredients are safe for humans even when taken in high doses, the same does not apply to your dog. Even if your dog ingests a small amount, it might have some adverse effects.
How Much Theobromine is in Chocolate Pudding?
There are different types of chocolate puddings. However, for every 100 gm of pudding served, the amount of theobromine is about 70mg. That means the more chocolate pudding a dog takes, the more theobromine they have ingested.
Are the Other Ingredients in Chocolate Pudding Bad?
Another reason chocolate pudding may cause danger to dogs is because of the high fat and sugar content. Apart from the chocolate content, chocolate pudding has about 17% sugar and 5% fat. Of course, the real danger here is theobromine. Still, when you add these two ingredients, you will put more pressure on the dog’s already overwhelmed system. Therefore, the body will struggle to process everything. It is like the system is being attacked on various fronts.
Is Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding Dangerous to a Dog?
As long as there is chocolate in it, you cannot dismiss the dangers it will have on your dog. Also, buying a sugar-free variety can place your dog at even greater risk. Some sugar-free products have a chemical called xylitol which is toxic to dogs. The problem is that a dog’s system cannot process this chemical, and it can cause huge spikes in its blood sugar level. There are a few sugar-free chocolate puddings that use artificial sweeteners like maltitol. Note that all artificial sweeteners pose a danger to dogs, but maltitol will not poison your dog. However, it will still upset the stomach, which is something you want to avoid.
What Happens When a Dog Eats Chocolate pudding?
A dog’s body cannot metabolize or break down the compound theobromine the way humans do. This will lead to discomfort and chocolate poisoning. The symptoms you might notice depend on the amount taken and the type of chocolate used in the pudding. If the amount is small, it may not affect the dog. But if the amount ingested is relatively high, the dog will have severe symptoms.
How Long Does It Take For The Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning To Start Showing?
Symptoms can start appearing within 6-12 hours after the chocolate has been ingested. These symptoms may last for about 72 hours.
What Signs Should I Look Out For?
If your dog has ingested chocolate pudding, there are certain signs to watch out for. Also, note that the signs will vary depending on the amount consumed and the dog’s size.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
These are the first two signs a dog will exhibit after chocolate poisoning. If the amount taken was small, your dog might vomit and have diarrhea several times, then feel better. In severe cases, some of the symptoms that will continue showing have been listed below.
Excessive thirst and urination
Both Caffeine and theobromine are diuretics. A diuretic is a substance that causes the kidney to get rid of excess salt and water from the body via urine. These two substances will make the dog extremely thirsty and cause them to urinate a lot.
This is due to the caffeine substance in the chocolate, which will lead to the dog becoming restless. The darker the chocolate used in the pudding, the higher the caffeine compound. Even when a dog has ingested only a small amount, it may still become restless.
High heart rate
A high heart rate is dangerous as it can lead to cardiac arrest. The risk is especially higher in dogs with an underlying condition or older dogs. Since monitoring your dog’s heart rate at home may be difficult, it is advised to take it to the vet immediately for treatment and monitoring.
This is at the extreme end of chocolate poisoning. This symptom is only likely to occur if the amount of chocolate ingested is high. If your dog experiences this symptom, you should see a vet immediately. The consequences are likely to be fatal without treatment.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Chocolate Pudding?
If it was simply a lick, you do not have to worry or do anything. However, if the amount consumed was a lot, you may want to call a vet immediately. The sooner your dog receives treatment, the better the prognosis will be.
What is The Treatment for Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs?
The first thing a vet will do is give your dog some medication to cause vomiting. Activated charcoal can also be administered as it can absorb the theobromine in the system and minimize the number of toxins that can get into the blood. Your dog may be given the charcoal every 4 to 6 hours, and so there is a possibility your dog will stay at the vet for a while to be monitored.
The vet may also administer a drip which will stabilize the circulation of body fluids and eliminate toxins. If the dog has an abnormal heart rate, it may be given other medication. It can be scary for a dog owner to witness their dog having a seizure. The vet will react quickly and treat all signs of poisoning. With quick treatment, your do will be back to its original state.
Can I treat My Dog for Chocolate Poisoning at Home?
There are a few things you can do at home if your dog has ingested some chocolate.
Using about 3% of hydrogen peroxide solution, mix it with water in a 1:1 ratio. For every 5 pounds the dog weighs, use one teaspoon of the mixture. Do not use more than three tablespoons for any dog above 45 pounds. Since the dog needs to swallow the mixture, get a syringe and squirt it as far back into the dog’s throat as possible. Hold the mouth closed so that the dog swallows.
Give It Some Activated Charcoal
Give your dog activated charcoal to help it block the absorption of theobromine into the dog’s system. This may be all you need, especially when the amount taken is tiny. For the first 24 hours, give it charcoal every 4 to 6 hours to prevent the theobromine from being reabsorbed and recirculated into the body. Depending on the amount ingested, you should dose the dog between 1 to 5g per kilo of the dog’s body weight. This treatment works best when administered within an hour after ingestion.
Give Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay can be used with activated charcoal or alone to remove toxins from the body. It will absorb or bind with toxins before they get processed by the kidneys or liver. Since it protects the lining of the gut from allowing toxins through, it can reduce your dog’s vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Since it is not digested, when leaving the body, it carries toxins with it. Simply add it to wet food and use plastic utensils only.
How Much Chocolate is lethal to a Dog?
The higher the level of theobromine content, the more lethal it is to a dog. However, it also depends on the size of the dog. In simple terms, 0.3 ounces of pure chocolate per pound of a dog’s body weight is considered lethal. For milder chocolates like white and milk chocolate, it will take more to affect your dog. Dark and baked chocolate plus cacao powder have a high theobromine content, making them more lethal to dogs even when small amounts are ingested.
What is the Prognosis For Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs?
The prognosis is good if a dog has ingested a small amount of chocolate and only displays mild signs. When the amount consumed is high and the dog displays symptoms like collapse and seizures, the prognosis is often poor.
How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Recover from Chocolate Poisoning?
Recovery from chocolate poisoning depends on how severe the problem was and how the early treatment was administered. Either way, as a pet recovers from chocolate poisoning, it needs to be monitored until it gets well. It can take about three days for the dog to recover fully. However, when treatment is done early, say within 2 hours of ingestion, recovery can be faster.
Will My Dog Be Okay If He Ate a Little Bit of Chocolate?
A small amount of chocolate is not lethal to a dog. However, the question is, how little is little? Smaller dogs will get affected by even a tiny amount of chocolate. A small piece that may not affect a big dog may have different reactions to a small dog. However, if treatment is administered early, then your dog will be okay.
How Much Chocolate Can a Dog Eat Without Dying?
As noted earlier, it depends hugely on the type of chocolate and the size of the dog. Small amounts of white and milk chocolate cannot kill your dog. On the other hand, small amounts of baking chocolate and cacao powder can kill your dog, especially if it is small. To be safe, keep away any form of chocolate from dogs.
Can Chocolate Kill Dogs?
It is possible for chocolate to kill your dog. Unfortunately, if the amount ingested is a lot and the dog does not receive treatment in time, it might die.
How Long Does it Take for Chocolate Poisoning to Kill a Dog?
A dog’s body will take about 17 hours to eliminate about half of the theobromine consumed. During this period, remember your dog is facing severe symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, high heart rate, and seizures. Without treatment, these symptoms are likely to overwhelm the dog and lead to its death.
How to Keep My Dog Safe From Eating Chocolate
- Avoid giving your dogs any treats that have chocolate. Even if a small amount of chocolate is harmless, if the dog takes chocolate continuously, the effects will be seen in the near future.
- Warn all family members that the dog cannot have chocolate or chocolate products.
- Store any chocolate products where a dog will not be able to reach.
- Train the dog to leave things you want it to stay away from. The ‘leave it’ command can be helpful here.
- Get a suitable cage for the dog so that it will not eat anything harmful when you are away.