Everybody loves chocolate!
Why would we expect our Shih Tzu to be the exemption to the rule. Unfortunately, chocolate poisoning in dogs may cause serious health implications. Avoiding chocolate toxicity in dogs is important if you want to keep your pet healthy. This means that we all need to be responsible dog owners. Preventing chocolate ingestion in the first place is key to optimal pet health.
Keeping your Shih Tzu away from chocolate may be hard if you have young children. Picture the child sitting at the table with a dripping rocky road ice cream cone. I’ve raised three children. I can vividly remember this scenario back in the day. Unfortunately, this scenario can lead to a very sick dog.
I’m not saying to avoid chocolate Ice cream or other delicious chocolate treats. I’m simply saying to have a plan of action to protect your Shih Tzu from coming in contact with chocolate. For instance, maybe have your Shih Tzu in a different room or a playpen when consuming chocolate. This is especially important during the holidays when there is no shortage of delicious chocolate delicacies.
Chocolate toxicity is even more of a risk in a small breed dog like a Shih Tzu. Shih Tzus are a toy breed and small in size. Shih Tzu Puppies are at an even higher risk of chocolate toxicity. Shih Tzu puppies are smaller than a full grown Shih Tzu. I am a Shih Tzu breeder. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t take much chocolate to make a four pound Shih Tzu puppy ill.
The type of chocolate that your dog consumes is important to know if accidental consumption takes place. Dark chocolate is one of the most dangerous offenders because of the high amount of the toxic chemical theobromine. Typically the darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of theobromine. Cocoa powder, baking chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate also contain theobromine.
Some of the most common signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs include the following:
- Lack of coordination
- Frequent urination
- Loss of consciousness
Please call your veterinarian immediately if you notice any signs of chocolate poisoning. Your vet may want you to induce vomiting with peroxide. Or, your doctor may want your pet to come into the clinic. It’s best to always consult with your veterinarian when it comes to your Shih Tzu’s health. If it is after hours or the weekend don’t hesitate to seek emergency veterinary services. If your dog is showing symptoms of chocolate toxicity time is of the essence.