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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.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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