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What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate

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Your Dog Ate Chocolate. Now What? continued...

The most common way vets treat chocolate poisoning is to use fluids and IV drugs, he says. For example, they'll use a drug called apomorphine to force vomiting, stomach pumping to flush the stomach with fluids, and medicine called activated charcoal to prevent the chocolate from getting into your dog’s blood.

Most dogs survive because of quick-acting owners, says Kinnarney, who's also president of the Reidsville Veterinary Clinic in North Carolina.

The ASPCA’s 24-hour poison hotline (888-426-4435) receives about 27 calls a day involving dogs and chocolate. “It’s not the No. 1 thing we get calls about, but it’s way up there,” Wismer says.

No Amount of Chocolate Is Safe

Even a little bit of chocolate can make your dog ill.

Dark chocolates, baking chocolate, and dry cocoa powder are more dangerous than white or milk chocolate. But 1 ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight could still be deadly.

And unlike most cats, which don’t have a sweet tooth, dogs will eat almost anything. They also don’t know when they’re full, Wismer says. “They will eat as much as they can get ahold of. A 10-pound dog can easily eat a pound of chocolate.”

Cocoa Shell Mulch: A Little-Known Danger

Think twice before you spread cocoa shell mulch on your property. It’s dangerous for pets, Wismer says -- especially since dogs like its sweet smell.

Use shredded pine, cedar, or hemlock bark instead, the ASPCA suggests.

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