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What to do When Your Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t

What to do When Your Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t

We all have experienced a time where our best friend sticks their nose some place they shouldn’t. Maybe it was the trash, the kitchen table, or one of the many other places they’re able to sneak into. Either way, you move on and begin to clean up when you notice a path of scraps trailing away from the scene of the crime to your dog’s bed and that’s when you see pieces of dark chocolate littering the trail.

Chocolate, when consumed in large amounts, can be potentially fatal for dogs. Would you know what to do in this or any similar situation? Acting quickly can lead to a better outcome for your best friend.

Step 1: Get any remains away from the dog

Be sure to immediately take away anything your dog is still trying to eat and remove your pup from the area. Depending on what is eaten, the more consumed (like chocolate), the worse it may get. Be on the lookout for any type of plastics, wrappers, or packaging that could either have been eaten or hidden away as well.
Additionally, if you can determine how much your dog consumed it will be very helpful to share with your veterinarian later on. If possible, save any wrapper or a sample of the material as well.

Step 2: Check your dog for any signs of illness

Check to make sure your dog isn’t choking, gagging, or having difficulty breathing. Depending on what was eaten, your dog may naturally vomit on their own. If your dog does seem to be experiencing any difficulties, do not try to feed them a homemade medicine of any kind. Even if your dog isn’t showing any symptoms, don’t wait for any warning signs. Problems can take 6 to 12 hours to even show up.

Step 3: Call your Veterinarian

Your veterinarian is the best person to tell you what to do in this situation. The veterinarian’s office will ask you a series of questions. They can then advise how to best handle your situation.

What you’ll need to tell them:

Your Dog’s age, breed, weight
•What was eaten
•How long ago
•How much
•Any strange behavior (ex. Pacing, shaking, extreme thirst, rapid breathing)


If your veterinarian’s office is closed, they may suggest an emergency veterinarian in your area. If not, the next step would be to search for an emergency pet hospital near you and to contact them via phone.


If All Else Fails

If you find your dog to still be at risk then you should immediately take them to the nearest vet or emergency vet. What your pet needs can vary on a case by case basis. Or, if you are unable to go, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. Note: The Pet Poison Helpline charges a per incident fee, so be sure you know what the costs are when you first call.

Always Remember…

The best thing you can do for your dog is to always take preventative measures. Make sure anything that can be potentially harmful for your best friend is far from their reach. For your reference, here’s a short list of items that can be harmful depending on the amount eaten by your dog:




Macadamia Nuts




Yeast Dough

Apple Cores

Xylitol (often found in gum and candy)




Peach/Plum Pits

Cleaning Products

Human Medicine/Vitamins

Please note: 
This advice is not a substitute for a proper consultation with a veterinarian and is only intended as a guide. The best way you can help your dog will vary on case by case basis. Please contact your local veterinary practice for advice or treatment immediately if you are worried about your pet’s health.


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Do you have questions about what to do if your dog eats something they shouldn't? Or have other thoughts to share with us regarding this topic? Please feel free to reach out in the comments section below!

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