Dogs are keen little creatures that never get to turn down any brownie bar you share with them. However, there are still stories where dogs sneak a few pieces or devour an entire pan of chocolate brownies.
My dog ate brownies! What now?
If you notice that your pooch has eaten brownies, report immediately to your vet. Important information like the type and the quantity of the brownie as well as the weight of your dog will help your vet determine the severity of the condition and give proper management.
Usually, the vet will advise you to induce vomit with the aid of hydrogen peroxide or give activated charcoal but in more serious cases where you will have to visit the vet, your dog will be placed on oral medication or IV therapy.
Why Are Chocolates Bad For Dogs?
Indeed, chocolates are unsafe and toxic for your dog. The toxicity of chocolate is attributed to its theobromine and caffeine contents. These toxic chemicals are under a class of chemicals known as methylxanthines. They are known to cause elevated blood pressure, smooth muscle relaxation, dilation of blood vessels and nervous system stimulation.
Dogs do not have the same ability as humans to digest theobromine and caffeine. As a result of this, they can be more sensitive to the toxic effects of these chemical components.
Depending on the type of chocolate your dog ingests, the level of theobromine varies, so does the toxicity of the chocolate. Below is a list of different types of chocolate arranged in the order of their degree of toxicity from the lowest to the highest.
- Milk chocolate (lowest toxicity)
- Dark chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate
- Unsweetened baker’s chocolate
- Cocoa powder (highest toxicity)
Moreover, you also need to factor in your canine weight. Large dog breeds or older dogs will require a greater amount of chocolate to be poisoned than their small or younger cousins.
Symptoms to look out for if your dog ate chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain. Seizures, heart failure, and death may be possible outcomes in more severe cases.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Brownies?
Once you notice your dog has ingested some brownies, it is important that you take immediate actions to correct this condition before it gets out of hand.
1) Take All The Brownies Away From Your Dog
Make sure that your furry hound doesn’t have any of those brownies in his possession. Keep them hidden from your dog. A closed room or somewhere high up, like your kitchen cupboard, would suffice.
Try to remove any piece of brownie in the mouth of your dog before he swallows it.
2) Collect The Necessary Details
As much as you can, try to have important information such as the kind of brownies, the quantity consumed and the weight of your dog. You should also be able to tell how long ago they consumed the brownies.
Particularly, fudgy brownies often contain more cocoa butter or lesser flour content than cakey ones. This calls for a higher amount of theobromine in fudgy brownies. Also, fudgy brownies are usually darker, gooier, and denser, making them more toxic when compared to cakey brownies.
You should also know the quantity of brownie he has consumed. If they have been sliced into smaller squares, find out the number of those squares they have eaten. Knowing the cocoa content of the brownies will also be helpful to your vet.
A puppy or a small toy dog like a chihuahua will reach their toxic levels more readily therefore, they should be taken very seriously.
3) Report The Incident To Your Vet
Next, pick up your phone and call your veterinarian to seek expert advice.
The symptoms you are expecting such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting may take as long as 6 to 12 hours to manifest. It is advised not to wait for the signs to appear before taking recovery steps.
Your vet may ask you the kind and quantity of brownies your doggie has eaten, the size of your dog and how long since they consumed the brownies.
Taking immediate action is very paramount to the recovery of your dog. The majority of successful treatment for chocolate poisoning occurred because owners responded quickly.
4) Follow Your Vet’s Instructions
After your vet has accessed your dog to find out how serious the condition is, he may direct you to induce vomiting by oral administration of hydrogen peroxide to your dog.
In addition, you may be directed to give your pooch activated charcoal. This will absorb the toxins in the stomach and lead to their excretion via feces, preventing them from gaining access into the bloodstream. According to ASPCA, the typical therapeutic dosage of activated charcoal is 1-3 grams per kg of body weight.
If your vet has directed you but you are quite unsure of what to do, it is wise to take a trip to the clinic so he can manage the condition with a better approach and more effective medications, increasing the chances of recovery. If the condition is serious, your pooch will be given supportive therapy, usually an IV administration, and monitored overnight to ensure that he is in good health before returning home.
Vets often recommend giving bland diets (preferably a mixture of white rice and chicken breast) to your dog and giving enough water to restore the lost body fluid.
What Happens If A Dog Eats Chocolate Brownies
What is found in brownies is often a little amount of flour with more cocoa powder and cocoa butter, which are the ingredients that contain theobromine.
Brownies are often denser and contain a higher concentration of theobromine when compared to chocolate cakes. As a result, they are almost as toxic as dark chocolates. This means more harm to the little guy.
When your pooch has eaten some chocolate brownies, you may not see any sign of toxicity immediately but It is important to act quickly because the effect of chocolate poisoning can be potentially life-threatening.
The early signs of theobromine poisoning include:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased thirst and urination
- Abdominal pain
In high dose poisoning or untreated cases, the condition may advance to symptoms like:
- Cardiac failure
- Epileptic seizure
In the worst-case scenario, there is coma and death.
Chocolate brownies often contain a high concentration of sugar, which can cause GI discomfort.
How About Few Chocolate Brownies?
Sometimes, it’s quite tempting to lend few pieces of those brownies to your dog as a treat but my dear friend, resist any urge to do so. Brownies are densely packed with cocoa powder or butter therefore, only a little amount of those can induce toxicity.
The amount of chocolate needed to cause toxic symptoms in a dog varies from one dog to the next. Similar to how humans respond to alcohol, some people become inebriated after one bottle of beer, while others remain sober after two bottles.
As stated in the MSD Veterinary Manual, the fatal dosage of theobromine is 100-150 milligrams per kg of bodyweight. So the bigger your dog, the less potent this toxic chemical will become.
To see if your dog has consumed a toxic quantity of chocolate, use an online dog chocolate calculator tool.
But with that said, there is no means to determine upfront whether a certain amount of chocolate will poison your dog, so you are better off allowing your vet to step in.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Your Brownies
First, make sure you don’t give chocolate to your dog as a treat. It is pretty obvious yet some owners still fail to keep to it. I’m sure you have had a neighbor who doesn’t care very much about what their dogs eat.
It is better to be safe than sorry. By simply hiding those brownies in closed confinement or a high position keep your vet away. This is not just for brownies but any other food harmful to your furry friend.
Do well to make the entire household or any guest aware so they don’t leave the confinement open or forget to put them in their proper position after picking up some of those brownies.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your fur baby is, training him to understand when to eat and when not to so that leftovers and garbage can don’t suddenly become your dog’s new cuisine.
Keep your dog in mind while you are celebrating Christmas or other fun holidays, where chocolate brownies are often rampant, and keep those treats safely away from your fur baby.
My Dog Ate A Whole Pan Of Brownies
Whether your dog ate a whole pan or half a pan of brownies, such large amounts could be fatal and it is advised that you visit your vet immediately. Do not try to treat your dog at home without veterinary advice.
Hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal may not be as effective as needed, therefore, having your vet take care of this condition will ensure that your dog gets the best medications for quick recovery from methylxanthine toxicity.
You do not have to wait till your dogs gobble up a whole pan of chocolate brownies before you seek veterinary intervention. Even one brownie can make a dog sick, especially for smaller breeds or pups. Your dog may not show symptoms immediately but that should not make you overlook this condition.
As a dog parent, when it comes to the food your pooch eats, you must apply great caution, because unlike humans, the little guy doesn’t have a special intelligence to know what is dangerous to him.
Chocolate brownies should be a no-go for your little friend. You may be enjoying some chocolate bars and just want your dog to have the same experience as you, well, it all ends with another sad story of a visit to the vet.
Early treatment is paramount for your dog’s survival and reduces the risk of further progression to seizures or death.
Above all, make sure your furry friend is eating the right food and take no chances when it is a matter of his health.