I was pretty sure I learned everything there was to know about chocolate and dogs after my chiuhauha had once licked a Milky Way bar and my ex decided to google “how long chocolate death dog?”. The dog was fine and the google term became a running joke often repeated in a super hero voice.
Turns out the legitimate answer to how long it takes before chocolate can start to really kill a dog, is around 6 hours. Thats how long it takes for the caffeine in chocolate to fully absorb into your pups bloodstream and raise its heart rate to the point of inducing a seizure or making it pump at such an accelerated pace, that it just gives out. The darker the chocolate, the more the caffeine percentage, the more likely the outcome.
What the hell, Charlie? You can protect me from the undead but can’t handle a little bit of candy?!
Why do I know about it this time around? My room mate left an ounce of 70% dark chocolate out for Charlie while I was out, yesterday. When I came home she was really hyper and alert. Just tweakin out! My room mate kept saying they should pump her stomach or feed her hydrogen peroxide. I thought she was nuts but apparently both are theories that work. Only when caught almost immediately after the dog ingests, though.
The emergency vet told me that her heart rate was over twice of what it should be. Indicating that the caffeine had already set in, making it too late to pump her little stomach. The only thing they could do at that point, is pump her full of water and charcoal in order to filter the toxins through her kidneys. Basically the same regimen that our household gives ourselves after a night of hard drinking. Something I went to after I saw the vet bill.
So heres what I’ve learned of what to do when you’ve poisoned your dog:
- Do not waste your time calling poison control. They don’t deal with animals.
- Don’t waste your time calling the ASPCA hotline. The try to charge you $65 dollars for advice, which in these cases, is always “take your pet to the vet”
- If you’re dog ate milk chocolate, I wouldn’t panic too much because of the low cacao percentage.
- If you’re dog ate dark chocolate, I’d suggest a quiet panic, as to not excite the canine any more.
- If you’re dog eats it within an hour or so, try force feeding it peroxide to induce puking. (1 tsp for smaller dogs, 2 tsp for larger dogs)
- According to this article, my toy poodle would have been able to digest charcoal pills. In retrospect, I should have given her a charcoal pill while continuously force feeding her water for 24 hours. I may have still be able to pay my rent next month, if I had known.
Luckily, she’s alright and I get to pick her up from the hospital soon enough to be able to watch Saturday Night Live together.