Dogs and cats cannot metabolize the theobromine (caffeine like) in chocolate, potentially causing serious stomach upset, nervous excitement, fast heart rate and/or blood disorders. As little as one ounce of milk chocolate per 20 pounds is enough to create toxin signs. Semi-sweet chocolate and baker’s chocolate require much less amounts to cause serious signs.
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Hyperactivity and excitement
- Severe depression
First Aid: Transfer the animal to a veterinary facility as soon as possible. You may or may not be instructed to induce vomiting.
Prevention: Keep all chocolates well out of reach of pets. Remember, the smell is intense, they will chew through bags, jump, or climb on counters to reach the treat. Beware of placing any wrapped gift packages within pets’ reach especially during holidays, they may contain chocolates.