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Some food items that we eat on a daily basis like Chocolates can be dangerous for our little pooch. But beagles are known for being naughty and mischievous. They will eat something they are not supposed to every now and then.
And if they find a piece of chocolate lying around, they won’t be shy. So what to do if your Beagle ate chocolate?
Immediate medical attention may be needed if you beagle ate chocolate. Chocolate is toxic for dogs and can even be fatal so call your veterinarian immediately for advice.
Let’s have a look at what makes chocolate so dangerous for dogs and things you will need to do if you believe your beagle ate chocolate.
Figure out the Situation
Chocolate can be toxic for your Beagle. You will be able to figure out how critical the situation is by checking on a few things:
What kind of Chocolate did you Beagle eat?
Dark chocolate can be extremely dangerous for your Beagle. But if your Beagle just ate a small bite of white chocolate or licked off the icing from a cupcake, then there is no need to panic.
Anything other than that should be a cause of worry. So if you spot your Beagle pup with chocolate on their paws, it would be a good idea to err on the side of caution and make an emergency appointment with your vet.
How much chocolate did your Beagle eat?
If you spot your Beagle dart its tongue out and sneakily taste a small portion of chocolate, you need not worry. Just make sure that you stop your Beagle from sneaking in another taste.
However, if you see that your pup has wolfed down half a bar of chocolate, then that will require an emergency trip to the vet.
How much does your Beagle weigh?
The same amount of chocolate consumed can affect different dogs differently. An adult Beagle might be okay with ingesting a small piece of chocolate. But the same amount can be toxic for a small puppy.
The answers to the above questions can help you determine the severity of the situation. Let us address a few more questions.
Why is Chocolate harmful to your Beagle?
It is also important to understand why the consumption of chocolate is so dangerous for your Beagle. Let us take a look at the core ingredients and see how they affect your Beagle:
Methylxanthines like theobromine act as a vasodilator – it widens blood vessels and manipulates blood flow.
It functions as a heart stimulant – it can interfere with your Beagle’s heartbeat and cause fatal irregularities and disruptions to its heart rate.
Also, it can stimulate your Beagle’s nervous system and display an alarming number of symptoms.
In large quantities, it is fatal for all dogs. The toxicity of chocolate is caused by the time it takes for theobromine to break down in your Beagle’s body. In humans, theobromine breaks down within 6 to 10 hours. But it can last in your Beagle’s bloodstream for 20 hours.
It takes a lot more time for your Beagle to metabolize theobromine. The longer time it remains in your Beagle’s system, the more dangerous it becomes for your Beagle’s health.
Cocoa powder has the highest amount of theobromine content.
Sugar is not good for your Beagle when consumed in high quantities.
Your Beagle could be lactose intolerant. Milk is a key ingredient in most varieties of chocolates. If your Beagle is lactose intolerant, it could cause severe repercussions like pancreatitis.
What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning?
Different dogs react differently to chocolate poisoning. However, some common symptoms are:
- Excessive thirst
- Loss of mobility
- Elevated heart rate
- Death (in extreme cases)
These symptoms usually occur within 3 to 12 hours of chocolate consumption. If your Beagle displays any abnormal behavior, then you should contact your vet right away.
However, if your Beagle is okay for 24 hours after consumption of chocolate, then chances are that your Beagle is unlikely to suffer from any serious consequences.
But it’s not recommended to wait 24 hours for any symptoms. If you believe that your beagle has swallowed chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately and see advice.
What to do if your Beagle ate chocolate?
Here is a step-by-step process for you to follow if your Beagle has eaten chocolate
1. Keep your Beagle calm and inactive.
2. Try to find out how much and which chocolate he ate.
3. Call the veterinarian immediately, tell him/her everything you know, and seek advice.
4. Go to this dog chocolate calculator and fill in the required data like how much your pet weighs, how much chocolate was consumed, and the type of chocolate eaten.
5. Book an emergency appointment with the vet if any of the following options hold true:
- Your puppy is unhealthy and too young.
- Your puppy is displaying any of the concerning symptoms discussed above.
- The calculator mentions that your Beagle is at risk.
What will the vet do to treat your Beagle’s chocolate poisoning?
Your vet will most likely try to get rid of the theobromine from your Beagle’s system by inducing nausea – by giving a teaspoon of salt or a tablespoon full of hydrogen peroxide orally.
They might give activated charcoal to your pet – that would prevent theobromine from being absorbed into your Beagle’s stomach. The vet could also try to treat some of the symptoms displayed by your Beagle.
How to keep your Beagle away from chocolate?
Hide your Stash: Hide your chocolate stash far beyond your pet’s reach. And be extra cautious on holidays.
Training: Train your Beagle to stay away from chocolate.
Commands: You can teach your Beagle to obey commands like STAY AWAY, KEEP AWAY, NO, and LEAVE IT. So that even if they manage to track down your secret stash, your command will make them drop the chocolate immediately.
Crate Training: You could keep your Beagle in a crate when you cannot watch over your pet. You could create a comfortable space for your pet to relax in – with a comfy bed and a few chew toys. Here are some of the best crates for beagles.
Which kind of chocolate is okay for your Beagle to eat?
The simple answer to this question would be NONE!
Dark chocolate has the highest content of theobromine. So, it will be in your Beagle’s best interest to completely avoid this variant.
Milk Chocolate has lesser theobromine content. So this is safer than dark chocolate. But still not completely safe.
White chocolate has the least traces of theobromine content. So it is relatively safer for your Beagle to eat white chocolate. However, it does contain a high quantity of sugar. So, it is not entirely safe, especially for small puppies.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should not panic. Stay calm and take care of your Beagle. Call your vet immediately and seek advice.