Veterinarian Column: Chocolate Poisoning [If your pet has eaten chocolate]

by Alice's Dog & Cat獣医師

Since it's Valentine's Day, I would like to explain chocolate addiction this time.

Veterinarian Column Chocolate Poisoning: What to do if your pet eats chocolate

■ How to prevent chocolate poisoning

As most people are aware of chocolate addiction, the cause of addiction is stolen food . Dogs are more likely to steal chocolate than cats. Cats physiologically do not feel sweetness. Dogs use their excellent sense of smell to find chocolate, and they also eat unusual foods quickly, leading to food theft.

The important thing to prevent chocolate poisoning is to store it in a place where your pet will never be able to access it . When eating, do not spill the food ( especially in households with small children ) and do not leave it on the table . Sometimes you end up eating something while you're going to the bathroom.

Dogs behave in ways that their owners wouldn't expect. They find chocolates in places they don't think they'll reach this far, or in bags, and steal them. This often happens especially when you are away from home, so be careful.

■ Causes of chocolate poisoning

The cause of chocolate poisoning is excessive intake of a substance called methylxanthine (theobromine, caffeine, etc.) contained in chocolate.

Veterinarian Column Chocolate Poisoning: What to do if your pet eats chocolate

■ Toxic amount

Mild abnormalities are said to occur with the ingestion of 20 mg / kg of theobromine .

(If a 3 kg dog eats about 30 g of milk chocolate.)

Signs of toxicity are said to occur after ingesting 100 mg / kg of theobromine.

(It is dangerous for a 3 kg dog to eat about 150 g of milk chocolate.)

*The toxic dose is an approximate amount, and sensitivity to chocolate varies depending on the individual.

 Symptoms of poisoning

Symptoms appear 1 to 4 hours after ingestion.

- Loss of calmness, hyperactivity


・Vomiting, diarrhea

・Tachypnea, tachycardia, bradycardia, arrhythmia


- Can lead to convulsions and death

・Secondary pancreatitis

 If you eat chocolate

Don't wait and see. When you eat something that is addictive, it is important to know how much and how long ago you ate it . The amount of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate, so check the type of chocolate and the approximate amount your dog has eaten, and check with your veterinarian.

Treatment performed at a veterinary hospital

・If within 6 hours of ingestion, induce vomiting to prevent further absorption. (If time has passed, do not induce vomiting.)

・Administration of adsorbent

・If you have convulsions: Administer drugs to stop convulsions

・Intravenous drip

Most cases of chocolate poisoning are due to carelessness on the part of the owner, and most cases involve stealing food.

Veterinarian Column Chocolate Poisoning: What to do if your pet eats chocolate

Also, in the unlikely event that your cat ingests chocolate, it is best to have it examined at a veterinary hospital. When you call or visit the doctor, tell them the type of chocolate you ate ( package if available ) , the amount you ate, and the time you ate it.

Chocolate poisoning can be prevented if you are careful, so be careful when managing chocolate if you have pets in your household.