Is chocolate bad for dogs - will it kill them?

Posted on August 19, 2013 by  Lee Mccoy | 0 Comments

This is a personal story and a warning I'd like all lovers of dark chocolate to head. This isn't another of those articles you'll find strewn across the internet aimed at making you click stuff so they can earn a few more pence. This one comes from the pure pain and discomfort my little Labrador suffered because of my own stupidity.

We moved house last month. In that process I obviously filled black bags and put them out of my way. One of those black bags contained virtually an entire 100g bar of 75% chocolate. I know, I threw out chocolate, but you must realise that a lot of chocolate passes my way, and not all of it great. This bag was left over from my reviews rom and as it was half full I put it in the shed as the main bin was full. When it came to sorting out the shed I left it in the garden - along with my very inquisitive black lab.

Dot’s a terror. She'll find the exact things I don't want her to find. She has a nose for trouble, and this time it nearly got the better of her. Her misery, I hope, however, will save your dog from the same intense distress she suffered. I look at her jolly self now and I'm just so grateful that I took action and had a whole heap of luck.

This is the first tip I'll give if you wanted to be ready for the same thing if it happened to you: get your vet's phone number on speed-dial and make sure you have their out of hours number handy too. Dot ate the chocolate on Saturday lunchtime. If it was during a week day I would have driven her straight down to the vets, but as they were shut I called them and that call put my mind slightly at rest. We talked about how much I think she ate and what her weight was (make sure you know this too). You've got to be honest with them though. I said Dot hat eaten 15g. To be honest I don't know. Based on my guestimate of her weight the vet called back and said that she was border-line and that I should keep an eye on her.

I don't know if I did the right thing, but I also gave her a double helping of her dried dog food, a tin of high-sensitive chicken dog food and a load of milk. Basically I panicked. Whether this helped or not - who knows.

That evening was terrible. You could see the pain and discomfort on Dot's face. She'd sit down for ten seconds and then move to the hallway where she'd sit down again for a bit. She'd then move to the dining room. She was just so unhappy. I slept on the sofa bed downstairs that night so I could keep an eye on her. I was wrought will guilt. I couldn't sleep myself. Eventually I dozed off at which point Dot jumped on the bed for a bit of sympathy.  She then threw-up what I thought was all of the chocolate. Seeing as we had another dog and she'd also eat anything I thought I best keep them apart. I put Dot to bed in the dining room and hoped for the best. 

The morning came and Dot had been ill many more times during the night. I was glad for wooden flooring and that I kept my other Labrador, Simba in another room. 

The rest of the day saw a gradual improvement in Dot's condition. But all I could think about was her painful, red eyes the night before. She's a bouncy, lovely dog now, but I realise how close I came to losing her because of my own stupidity.

Of course I've got a house full of chocolate, most of it dark and much of it toxic 100%. We know that dogs can't metabolise the theobromine found in quality chocolate, but we still leave chocolate hanging around – this sort of thing only happens to other people. I have learned my lesson. I just hope you keep your chocolate away from your pets too. a


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