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The Truth behind K-9's and Chocolate

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Did you know?

The National Animal Poison Control Center Hotline phone number is 1-800-548-2423.

If less than two (2) hours has passed since your dog ate chocolate, we can induce vomiting to get the Theobromine containing chocolate out of their system. If it has been more than two hours since ingestion (or you are unsure) bring your pet in for evaluation.

Placing chocolate of any kind in a plastic container with a sealable lid will help keep four legged family members out of the chocolate. Take precautions one step further and place these containers high in a cabinet with a child proof latch.

We have all heard people say things such as "Don't give your dog chocolate, it will kill him!" or "Even a small amount of chocolate will kill a dog." Fortunately for all cabinet opening dogs out there, the truth to the chocolate rumors lies somewhere between the chilling truth in the refrigerator and the trash. Let's explore the truth behind chocolate and dogs, and what to do if you find your dog has a sweet tooth.

Chocolate is usually associated with being bad for just dogs, but it can be bad for any pet.
It's important to know that it is not the actual chocolate that will harm your pet, but an ingredient known as "Theobromine" which is toxic to pets. The amount of Theobromine varies from chocolate to chocolate. This ingredient increases urination and affects the central nervous system in pets.

What to do if your pet gets into your secret stash:

It might not be necessary to run out to the emergency veterinary clinic on Christmas or Thanksgiving if your pet decides on a new snack. As soon as you realize your pet got into the goodies, asses the situation. If your pet


snatched a stray M&M that the children dropped on their way through the house, you can relax and move on. If the entire box of chocolate candy bars is gone, start gathering information to give to the vet or veterinary technician you speak with.

Look at the packaging and see how much chocolate your pet ate. Packaging must include the contents weight. Hopefully you will know if the package was already open and about how much was left inside.

Examine the type of chocolate. Unsweetened bakers chocolate is considered Theobromine dense. Milk chocolate has the least amount of Theobromine, while semi-sweet chocolate falls in the middle of the chocolate road.

Consider your pet's weight. A large Great Dane will not be as affected by the Theobromine as a small Maltese dog.

Assess how your pet is reacting. Did you notice the chocolate had been eaten because they acted funny? Are they vomiting, do they have diarrhea? Increased urination is another side effect. Go ahead and give us a call if your pet experiences any of these symptoms.

Understand that just like humans, dogs who have tasted chocolate can actually crave more of it. Never give in to your pet that keeps eyeballing that chocolate chip cookie from under the table. Letting your pet have a taste of chocolate will leave them looking for more and more.

Call us at 413-584-1629 or email us to make your appointment today!

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Dr Allen is absolutely amazing. I contacted her because my elderly cat Clara was very ill, and needed to be put to sleep. My regular veterinarian did not do House Calls and I wanted Clara's passing to be as comfortable as possible- in her own home, on her own bed, surrounded by peace and love. Dr Allen came to my home within three hours of my phone call. She was overwhelmingly kind to both Clara and me. Clara's passing was completely serene, which was exactly what I wanted. I CAN NOT recommend Dr Allen's veterinary services enough. She is simply a WONDERFUL veterinarian, and all pets deserve a doctor like her.

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