Pet Doc with Nikki Burdine: Valentine’s day can be dangerous, even deadly for your pet

Weekend Extra

Did you get candy for Valentine’s Day?  If you have a lot of great chocolate around the house right now keep it away from your dog.

Nikki Burdine talks with Dr. Staci Cannon at Metro Animal Care and Control. 

Nikki: What do we need to know?   

Dr. Cannon:  Sure, Valentine’s Day, a lot of people are giving chocolate as gifts, that might be out of the ordinary.  So if our dogs get a hold of a box of chocolates, that can be really dangerous. 

But it depends on a lot of factors.  The size of our dogs, how much they weigh.  Also, how much chocolate they eat. And the type of chocolate as well.  

Chocolate that contains a lot of caffeine or theobromine, or things like baking chocolate, the dark chocolates, those are more dangerous than something like white chocolate that has a lot lower caffeine content.  

The most important thing is if you notice or realize that your pet might have eaten chocolate is to contact your vet right away or an emergency clinic.  

If it’s been within a couple of hours, often they can induce vomiting to bring all that chocolate back up and then your dog is not going to get a toxic fix.  

If it’s been a little longer you might start to see signs like vomiting or they might be really hyperactive, or they might be twitching. Basically, they are having a caffeine overdose.  In high enough doses that could be fatal to your pet.  

If they consume chocolate the best thing to do is to take them to the veterinarian or get them on the phone. Or even to contact pet poison control to talk about the dose and how much they have eaten and what steps to take.  

Nikki Burdine:  So the best advice is just to keep the chocolate out of their reach because they are going to get it. 

Dr. Cannon:  Yes, definitely. We like it, it tastes good to us, our dogs are going to want to eat it as well so keep it out of reach, yes.

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