Chocolate is not for pets

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

A dog consuming chocolate can cause various medical problems and sometimes can lead to the animal’s death.

Dogs of any age usually have a habit of going through things they shouldn’t. This habit can become serious if the animal consumes chocolate.

Caitlin Palmer with Picayune Veterinary Clinic said that ideally, it is best to prevent a pet from consuming products containing chocolate, but if it does happen it is important for the animal to be brought to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Chocolate is dangerous to dogs because it is made out of cocoa seeds, which has toxic properties that dogs react to. Palmer said the darker the chocolate, the worse it is for the animal. Symptoms associated with a dog that has consumed the confection include vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, seizures and rapid breathing.

“Any time your dog feels bad, you will notice it right away and you have to proceed quickly in order to avoid any further problems,” Palmer said.

Once the dog is brought to a veterinarian, the animal will undergo a physical exam and based on those results the necessary steps to provide the proper care will be followed.

Palmer said sometimes medical staff will induce vomiting or they might need to give the animal an injection.

“It is also important for the animal to drink plenty of fluids, so they won’t suffer from dehydration because of the vomiting,” Palmer said.

Other things to keep away from dogs includes table scraps, cooked bones and any type of seasoned food.

“Cooked bones can break and cause tears in the animal’s intestines,” Palmer said.

While it is not as common, if a cat consumes a chocolate product, it could also require medical care.

“We recommend pet owners keep any kind of chocolate in a place where the animal can’t reach it,” Palmer said.