Christmas Presents can be Deadly for Dogs

I would like to advise everyone with dogs to think twice before following instructions on a gift that read do not open until Christmas. A...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Dec 6th 2008


I would like to advise everyone with dogs to think twice before following instructions on a gift that read do not open until Christmas.

A very nice family I met last night received a Christmas present from an acquaintance. They placed it, still wrapped, underneath their tree. Unbeknownst to them the package contained a pound and a half of dark chocolate.

Although the family had no way of knowing the package’s contents, their dog sniffed it out in short order. He consumed the entire block of chocolate and most of the wrapping.

Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Small amounts may cause no symptoms, or may cause mild agitation. Larger quantities can cause muscle spasms, high body temperature, and severe agitation. Fatal doses cause seizures, heart palpitations, and death.

This dog had consumed a potentially fatal dose. The family sought veterinary attention immediately. We were able to save the dog with intensive overnight management. But for much of the night a favorable outcome did not seem certain. Without prompt medical attention the dog certainly would have died.

In my mind, this story is a good reason to treat yourself to the pleasure of opening all of your gifts as you receive them.

Image originally found here.