Those stashes of stocking chocolate waiting to be delivered on Christmas Eve can be deadly for your dog if they find it early. Chocolate poisoning is one of the most common causes of canine poisoning. Chocolate’s deadliness to pooches, however, depends on the size of the dog, how much chocolate was munched, the quality of that chocolate and whether it was milk, white or dark chocolate.
Older dogs, puppies, and dogs with other health issues are also more vulnerable. The symptoms of a toxic dose of chocolate begin within the first few hours after consumption — vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity. As time passes and more theobromine is absorbed, your dog’s heart rate will increase, which can cause arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and/or excessive panting. The third phase is muscle tremors, seizures, coma and even death.
Read this article for full details of how dangerous is chocolate for dogs.
My dog last year binged on four stockings full of chocolate and he is still here, thankfully. So, for this holiday season, I wanted to share with you the most recent experience I had with Prince, my lab, his chocolate-binging, and how I handled it.
My dog is a Labrador retriever who is dedicated to finding any forgotten treat, food or snacks in bags, coat pockets, or on the counter. He could work in airport security he is so thorough. He opens bags and finds food that has long been forgotten. His technique for opening the bag usually does not damage the bag, somehow he has figured how to work the zipper. If he goes for a treat in a pocket, he makes a tiny hole on the inside of the jacket pocket. I am usually in the dark when it comes to his shenanigans until I put my hand in my pocket.
Luckily for me, he does not devour the packaging if he has had a binge-fest which is how I found out about his latest misadventure with chocolate last week. Turns out he had treated himself to 3/4 of a bar of 85% cacao, which he had extracted from a friend’s backpack. I have been down this road before with him (and his eating of dark chocolate) so I know how quickly it affects him as well as how dangerous it is and the price tag for the vet. I knew I needed to act quickly to rid the toxic cacao from his system. You have a window of about 4-6 hours after ingestion to act with positive results.
Without telling him a thing, I put him on the leash and handed my friend the bottle of hydrogen peroxide. We went outside and I told her to pour in some hydrogen peroxide when I get his mouth open. Vets encourage to give a few teaspoons at a time to induce vomiting, but I know from past experience that if I don’t get enough down him the first time, he is not coming back for more. Hydrogen peroxide works quickly and it is amazing to watch my black dog literally turn a dark green and start vomiting. After emptying his stomach of all the chocolate he looked at me deflated and betrayed. But, he was still alive and we were going to get a good nights’ sleep. The next treat was activated charcoal – it is suggested you make a nice slurry but I knew there was not a chance I could pry his mouth open again. So a capsule hidden in peanut butter went down the hatch. The charcoal binds to many types of poisons and thus prevents their absorption into the bloodstream.
He settled down for the night – giving me a wide berth for the rest of the evening. We slept through the night with him eagerly showing up for breakfast the next morning.
As the holiday season is starting to get into full throttle with parties, events, and school breaks, often the dog or the cat is forgotten in the sense of being told what is going on. Having held space for hundreds of conversations for people, I know that the family pet is essentially the Family System Therapist. They spend their lives in our worlds observing and responding to the energy, often taking on jobs within the family to keep the energy flowing, absorbing emotions of their people or acting out to get stuck energy moving. They know when something shifts energetically and disrupts their routine, especially holidays and big events. If they are not told the details around why their routine will be disrupted, they often absorb the stress, overwhelm, and start acting out.
I have spoken with several animals this week who have specifically asked for more information about what is going on. They asked for us to update them on plans as soon as they are made to help them understand this energetic shift. They actually want to be told what is happening day to day – even it is the same old routine of a walk, work, home, walk, play, and sleep. And they are requesting you to spice it up with information with details such as, “I have a big meeting today and I am tired and unprepared.”
Just you speaking about what is going on for you out loud helps them understand what they are energetically feeling. By speaking it, you own it, and they don’t have to worry about trying to absorb your stress.
Regarding the holidays, again, they want specifics such as; who is coming to dinner, the timing of it, what their job is during the dinner and to hear any other details more information the better. They will be more relaxed and you have one less thing to worry about.
This might be a new for you to tell your animal beloved companion everything and it may feel strange, ridiculous, or silly. Don’t worry, you can do this because all of our thoughts automatically get turned into images which the animals can understand.
I encourage you to try it consistently throughout the holidays and observe if there is a difference in their behavior as well as your stress level after telling them. They are amazing therapists!
For more tips about planning for the holidays that includes traveling read this post Approaching the Holidays with your Animal.
If you’re interested in learning more about what Animal Communication is, go here.
If you’re stressing about the holidays and your companion animal,
book an Animal Communication session with me.
In November I lead my first Animal Experiences. It was two separate Salmon Experiences with spawning salmon at Piper Creek in Carkeek Park. I guided participants how to tune into their own innate intuitive abilities and listen for guidance from the salmon around a certain question or their intention. On both days all of the participants were able to receive wisdom from the salmon even when the amount of salmon present and the height of the creek was wildly different.
One day the creek was running clear and slow teeming with salmon and the other running high, fast and very murky with a few struggling salmon navigating their way upstream past many dead salmon.
The salmon’s teachings and wisdom as well as how the messages were heard/received either as a thought, a feeling, a knowingness, an image or hearing words, was different for each person because we all receive messages in our own unique way.
Upcoming Animal Experiences
I have mapped out more experiences with wild animals for the next couple of months. I invite you to join me to play outside and learn from the animals. Nature is the gym to strengthen your intuitive muscle and learn how to be open and receptive to receiving messages. And besides, it’s good clean fun. I have tentative dates and meeting locations which may change based on migration patterns and where the animals are showing up.
Eagles experience – Rescheduled to January 13 – Skagit River or Nooksack River
Eagles offer wonderful insights in trusting in spirit and learning to see the big picture and the interconnection in your life, and much more.