Halloween is the time of the year where many homes have an abundance of sweet treats like chocolate. Did you know chocolate poisoning is always high during Halloween? The veterinarians from Petplan put together and shared with us a step-by-step plan to help dog owners if they find themselves in this situation on Halloween.
Petplan pet insurance found that pets are 32% more likely to suffer food poisoning during Halloween week versus any other time of the year. Among the top toxins? Chocolate!
How do you know when your dog is in danger of chocolate poisoning?
Chocolate is poisonous to dogs because it contains toxic theobromine.
Dog toxicity varies because different types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine. Baking chocolate has the highest concentration and is, therefore, the most toxic – followed by dark, milk and then white chocolate.
3 Things You Need To Know If Your Dog Consumed Chocolate?
1. Know how much theobromine the chocolate contains.
2. How much your dog ate?
3. How much your dog weighs?
If your dog ingests close to 20mg of theobromine per pound of body weight, he/she is in the danger zone for chocolate poisoning.
Milligrams of theobromine per ounce:
Baking chocolate – 450mg/oz
Dark chocolate – 160mg/oz
Milk chocolate – 64mg/oz
White chocolate – 1mg/oz
Calculating how much chocolate is toxic
Multiply the ounces of chocolate ingested by the milligrams of theobromine per ounce and divide that by the weight of the dog in pounds. The closer the resulting number is to 20, the worse the toxic effects will haunt him. For example:
A 25-lb. dog who eats 3 ounces of milk chocolate:
3oz x 64mg/oz = 192/25lbs = 7.7mg/lb (non-toxic level of theobromine)
A 25-lb. dog who eats 3 ounces of dark chocolate:
3oz x 160mg/oz = 480/25lbs = 19.2mg/lb (dangerous level of theobromine)
A number close to 20 indicates a toxic level of theobromine that can terrorize a dog’s health. Take your dog to your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.