As a dog owner, you have to be cautious and dedicate your undivided attention at times to your furry friend. In the case of accidents or unwarranted behavior, you can't just have a simple conversation with them to stop them from doing certain things.
This means there are instances you cannot control, and sometimes things can get out of hand.
Like eating chocolate cake or the crumbs of chocolate cake off the floor.
If you're aware of what they can and can't eat, then you will most likely know that chocolate can be dangerous for dogs.
Chocolate can be toxic for dogs because there are dangerous chemicals known as theobromine, caffeine, and methylaxines, which can cause the dogs metabolism to slowly break down the chocolate. Depending on your dog's weight, it can only tolerate a certain amount of chocolate.
Once it's had too much, it can experience diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, agitation, increased thirst, racing heart rate, and high blood pressure. At worst, your dog can experience seizures, cardiac failure, tremors, and death.
What chocolate is the worst for dogs?
Well, ultimately, chocolate is bad for dogs. Certain types of chocolate contain high theobromine content: cocoa powder, unsweetened bakers chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate.
But what about chocolate cake?
Yes, we know that's just chocolate and not a chocolate cake. But you should still be cautious if your dog does happen to munch on some, whether it's with intention or by accident.
After all, chocolate cake contains cocoa powder, and this ingredient can be fatal to dogs. However, before you consult with a vet, we recommend calculating how much chocolate they've eaten.
There are websites like PetMD that have a chocolate toxicity calculator. You can enter its weight, chocolate type, and the amount consumed in ounces on the calculator. Once done, it will provide you with advice on if they've consumed too much and it's dangerous, or if it's safe for your dog.
Do note, though, that not all dogs react the same way, and some can respond to chocolate differently to others. On average, though, according to the American Kennel Club, it takes around 6-12 hours for symptoms to show the adverse effects of eating chocolate.
If you have used the calculator and it shows high levels, your dog is showing symptoms, or you just don't want to take the risk, you should contact a vet. When we say to contact a vet, we mean to call them immediately.
You may find your local vet, may want to take your dog in for observation, and undergo a full body check. The vet will take blood tests, a urine sample, and other tests.
If your dog's symptoms are severe, the vet may admit your dog and put it on an IV, provide it a bland diet and give it fluids to recover. Don't be surprised either, if your vet gives your dog charcoal, so they can vomit out the toxic chemicals.
How do I stop my dog from eating chocolate cake or chocolate?
If your dog hasn't eaten chocolate or chocolate cake and you're simply cautious, there are a few steps you can take to prevent this from happening.
First of all, you can hide the chocolate cake, i.e., in the fridge or in a cupboard, where they can't reach or climb.
Similarly, you could train when it comes to obedience and teach it to be left when required. Finally, you can crate train it, and this will restrict it from eating chocolate, as they will be inside a cage.
Chocolate is toxic for dogs of any breed, and that also goes for dogs eating chocolate cake. The reason behind this is that a chocolate cake contains cocoa powder.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can take up to 6-12 hours for the signs to show. Typical symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and in the worst cases, seizures, high blood pressure, cardiac failure, and death.
If your dog has consumed chocolate cake or cocoa powder, you can figure out if it's harmful via a chocolate toxicity calculator. However, if you're worried and don't want to take the risk, or they start showing symptoms, then we recommend for you to consult advice from your veterinarian immediately.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.