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What to do during a chocolate emergency?

April 09, 2023 2 min read

Dog sitting next to blocks of chocolate
Chocolate and Cocoa with a Big Red "No" Sign

Ah, chocolate. A treat for us but a potential hazard for our furry friends. If you're among the 60% of Australian households with pets, you've likely had that heart-stopping moment when you discover your dog has had a little chocolate feast. But before you hit the panic button, let's get some facts straight: not every chocolate incident is an emergency.

The Dose Makes the Poison

The toxicity of chocolate is dose-dependent, meaning a small nibble isn't necessarily a one-way ticket to the vet. Here's a quick guide to help you assess the situation:

Step 1: Know Your Chocolate

  • What type did your dog consume? White, Milk, Dark, or Baking?
  • How much did they eat? For context, favourites/roses are approximately 10g, a chocolate bar ranges from 50-90g, and a block of chocolate is about 200g.
  • When did they eat it?

Step 2: Do the Math

You can either use our online Chocolate Toxicity Calculator below for an immediate assessment or follow a general rule for a 10kg dog (adjusting based on your dog's weight). For instance, a 10kg dog can tolerate up to 30g of baking chocolate, 90g of dark chocolate, or 120g of milk chocolate. Our Pet First Aid Kit also includes a handy table in the instructional cards to guide you.Pet First Aid Kits

Step 3: Take Action

If you've determined that your dog has ingested a dangerous amount, call your local vet or emergency vet immediately. They'll likely administer a drug called apomorphine to induce vomiting and may follow up with an anti-nausea injection and possibly activated charcoal.

Beyond the Emergency: Holistic Care

If your dog shows clinical signs of chocolate toxicity, such as trembling or a racing heart, they may require intravenous fluids and medications to manage heart rate and potential seizures.

Free First Aid Training by Shy Tiger

For those who want to be well-prepared for any pet emergency, I offer free training videos on various topics, including how to manage skin wounds, assess a limp, and even how to check your dog's pulse and breathing rate. You can find these valuable resources on our Shy Tiger Vet Training page.

Chocolate emergencies can be stressful, but understanding the basics can make a world of difference. And remember, when it comes to first aid, being prepared is half the battle won. So why not equip yourself with our comprehensive Pet First Aid Kit and take advantage of our free first aid training? Knowledge is power, after all.

Dog Chocolate Toxicity Calculator

Dog Chocolate Toxicity Calculator

This tool is provided as both estimator and guide. It's recommended that you consult with your Veterinarian

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Chocolate Toxicity Calculator for Dogs