The Short Answer is:
In general dogs who eat chocolate oranges will recover quickly with little to no long-term health effects. When the theobromine has been expelled from their system they normally need to rest for a day or two before they bounce back to their normal selves.
In this research you will know the answer to the query “My Dog Ate A Chocolate Orange?“.
- Why is chocolate dangerous for dogs?
- How much theobromine they ate
- Why is a dark chocolate orange more dangerous than a milk chocolate orange?
- Why does the size of your dog matter?
- What are the signs of chocolate toxicity?
- Heading to the Vet
- Are any other ingredients in chocolate orange oxic for dogs?
- My Dog Ate A Chocolate Orange (Watch Video)
A situation like this can easily make you panic but you should do your best to stay calm.
Donot forget that accidents happen and our furry friends can often create their own mischief.
However right now they need you to collect as much information as possible to make sure they do not get sick or worse.
Why is chocolate dangerous for dogs?
Because this is an research and not an emergency lets take a moment to understand why chocolate is so dangerous for dogs.
Cacao plant leaves contain a chemical known as theobromine which is used to make chocolate.
Dogs cannot metabolize this chemical since it is harmless to many animals and humans. They are poisoned because it is absorbed into their bloodstream.
Different people have different reactions to eating something that disagrees with them. As with humans dogs react differently to chocolate depending on a variety of factors.
How much theobromine they ate
The amount of theobromine they ingested is one of the most significant variables.
Comparing eating a single piece of chocolate orange to eating an entire chocolate orange there is a large difference.
Their likelihood of experiencing a negative reaction increases as they ingest more theobromine.
The type of chocolate orange they consumed is also important to consider.
Theobromine levels in milk chocolate oranges are much lower than in dark chocolate oranges.
We’ll find out why in the next section…
Why is a dark chocolate orange more dangerous than a milk chocolate orange?
There are 5.5 milligrams of theobromine per gram of dark chocolate. Theobromine content per gram of milk chocolate is only 2.4 milligrams.
A third type of chocolate that some people believe is dog-friendly though admittedly less popular is white chocolate.
Cocoa butter is used to make white chocolate instead of cocoa powder.
The result is .01 milligrams of theobromine per gram of white chocolate.
Most vets agree that white chocolate is unlikely to cause toxicity in dogs but they point out that chocolate has a high sugar and fat content which is still unhealthy for them.
Why does the size of your dog matter?
Taking into account your dogs size is also important when it comes to chocolate consumption. The larger your dog is the less likely it will be affected by theobromine.
You might wonder why does size matter? If dogs cannot metabolize theobromine should not both large and small dogs be affected equally?
Take a look at how size can affect humans when they consume alcohol.
It is typically easier for a larger person to consume large amounts of alcohol with fewer side effects.
Alcohol is less concentrated overall when it is spread out more due to a larger body mass.
Dogs with theobromine experience the same thing. Dogs with more body mass spread the toxicity of theobromine over a larger area resulting in lower concentrations and a milder reaction.
In the same vein as humans there are always exceptions to the rule.
Some people of smaller stature react similarly to alcohol to those of larger stature.
The same thing can happen to dogs. There is a story about a three-pound dog that ate an entire chocolate orange eaten by a friend. He wasnot hurt.
Even though these stories are entertaining they do not offer expert advice about what to do if your dog eats a chocolate orange. It is not safe to assume that if you have a larger dog they will be able to eat some of a chocolate orange.
A few larger humans have very acute reactions to alcohol and your large dog might have an acute reaction to just a little theobromine.
What are the signs of chocolate toxicity?
If your dog ingests a chocolate orange in whole or in part its important to know the signs they’re having an adverse reaction.
Most dogs will show negative symptoms within six to twelve hours of taking theobromine but they can show signs as soon as one hour after ingesting it.
You do not need to wait until your dog starts showing signs of toxicity before calling your veterinarian about ingested chocolate.
You may not be able to tell if your dog has eaten chocolate or perhaps it was only a little bit and you do not know if they need to go to the vet just yet.
The following are some of the most common signs that your dog is suffering from chocolate toxicity:
- Excessive Hyperactivity
- Pain in the stomach
- Drinking more than usual
- Racing heartbeat
It is probably time to call your vet and to schedule an appointment right away if you notice several of these symptoms.
Here is a handy tool you can use to determine if your dog might be experiencing toxicity if you are not sure if you should call your veterinarian.
Heading to the Vet
Before you go
If you plan to take your dog to the vet you may want to gather some information first. Finding the packaging for the chocolate orange they ate is the best thing you can do. A side-by-side comparison of milk (left) and dark (right) is shown below if nutritional information is available.
What is really important here is the list of ingredients not all the information here.
The ingredients are listed in descending order on packaging like this.
Sugar is the key ingredient in milk chocolate oranges whereas bittersweet chocolate is the key component in dark chocolate oranges.
Your veterinarian needs this information as it can tell them more about what your dog ingested.
Your dog will be able to tell how much theobromine was in the product he ate from the packaging.
Donot forget to let the vet know how much chocolate orange your pet ate. You should again provide them with as much information about your dog as possible when you get there so that they can make an informed decision about his health.
The last piece of information your vet will need is any symptoms your pet is currently experiencing.
Having said that there is a slight caveat here. Many people get caught up in the listed symptoms such as hyperactivity.
However dogs like humans sometimes have strange reactions so maybe your dog is sluggish instead of hyperactive.
They may be experiencing this as a result of eating a chocolate orange or they may be experiencing something else. Anything out of the ordinary that your dog does ought to be reported to your vet.
At the Vet
You will take your fur baby to the vet so that they can examine him or her.
A veterinarian will typically give a dog that has eaten chocolate medicine that induces vomiting.
The goal is to get any undigested chocolate out of their stomachs.
Additionally they can feed them activated charcoal which will absorb theobromine from their stomach and prevent it from entering their bloodstream.
You may need to keep your dog overnight while administering activated charcoal every six hours depending on how much chocolate they ate their size and other factors.
It is important to note that every case is unique and your veterinarian will make the most informed decision based on the facts available.
After the Vet
In general dogs who eat chocolate oranges will recover quickly with little to no long-term health effects.
When the theobromine has been expelled from their system they normally need to rest for a day or two before they bounce back to their normal selves.
Are any other ingredients in chocolate orange oxic for dogs?
As we saw earlier chocolate contains a long list of ingredients.
Its well known that cocoa contains dangerous theobromine but what about its other ingredients?
Many products in the market claim to be the safest chocolate for dogs. White chocolate as we mentioned earlier contains low levels of theobromine so many people think its safe for dogs.
Despite the fact that there are no other ingredients that are specifically dangerous for our dogs it is still not recommended to give them any chocolate.
Dogs are exposed to high concentrations of fats sugars and cholesterol in chocolate along with many other sweets.
This is unlikely to have any immediate negative effects on them but consuming snacks high in sugars fats and cholesterol can cause weight and health problems in the long run.
Carob powder is a good substitute for chocolate if you really wish to give your dog a treat that is like chocolate but safer.
Online you can find many recipes for homemade treats with carob powder or purchase pre-made treats that will arrive at your door ready to eat for your four-legged friends.
If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.