Sweet treats can be toxic to pets | SummitDaily.com

Sweet treats can be toxic to pets

Karen-Jo Dolamore
Ask Dr. Dolamore

Valentines day has passed, but treats like chocolate and candy can be deadly for pets. Keep these items out of their reach.


Of all candies, chocolate poses the biggest threat to dogs. Dogs like the smell of chocolate, and, when they see you eating it with such pleasure, their interest is piqued even more. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more poisonous it is. Darker = dangerous.

The primary toxic chemicals in chocolate are theobromine and caffeine. A single ounce of Baker’s chocolate can make a 50-pound dog very sick. Semi-sweet chocolate and gourmet dark chocolates are also toxic. Foods covered/dipped in chocolate can also be dangerous, and the food inside can be toxic to pets. The most dangerous are chocolate covered raisins, espresso beans and macadamia nuts. Remember M&M’s contain chocolate, too. Milk chocolate is less toxic, and white chocolate has an insignificant amount of theobromine.

Symptoms to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, tremors and, in severe cases, seizures.

Candy and sweets overindulgence

Candy and other sweet foods — especially those containing poisonous xylitol (artificial sweetener), can also be toxic to pets. Signs include a decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain and, potentially, kidney or organ damage.

What to do? If your pet has eaten chocolate, immediately call Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680 or . The cost is a $39 per consult fee. They will determine if the amount your pet has eaten is toxic. If it is in the past hour or so, you may be able to remedy the situation on your own.

*Information from http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com. Dr. Dolamore is a retired veterinarian in Summit County. She is currently a real estate agent at Omni Real Estate. Send your pet questions to askdrdolamore@gmail.com.

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