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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience in the practice of small animal medicine
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My dog ate peanut M&Ms and chocolate. What should I do?

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I just figured out my dog ate a bag of peanut M&Ms last night and regular chocolate balls - she seems fine this morning. What should I do?

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 years ago.

While chocolate is considered toxic to dogs, it takes a lot of it to be a problem. For milk chocolate that is found in M&M's it takes about 1 ounce per pound of body weight (e.g., a 20 lb dog would need to ingest about 20 ounces of choclate) for it to create a problem. That would have to be just the chocolate, and does not include the peanut portion. If the dose ingested was considerably lower than this, then chances are your dog is going to be just fine.
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, rapid heart rate, agitation/restlessness. Usually you will expect these symtpoms to begin to occur within 12 hours of ingestion. If you see these symptoms, you will need to seek medical care for your dog.
If you think the ingestion may have occurred within the past 2 - 4 hours, you could try inducing vomiting, but it sounds like this probably occurred longer ago than this. If you need instructions on how to induce vomiting in dogs, just let me know.
Many dogs that eat chocolate will have diarrhea over the next 24 hours. This can be addressed by feeding a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice for a few days if you see this happening. Another possible side effect (not really due to the toxic effects of chocolate but rather a result of the fat content that is present in chocolate) is pancreatitis - these dogs will usually have decreased appetite and vomiting. This can take a couple of days to develop, so if you see these symptoms within the next few days, be sure to let your vet know. Pancreatitis is potentially very serious and not something you will be able to deal with alone at home.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have additional questions on this topic, please let me know.

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