Thursday, August 18, 2011

On Dogs and Cocoa- a word to the wise

Yoshi is the chow hound of our 3 dogs (Katy is still a foster, but we are coming to think of her as ours now).  Actually, Yoshi is really a greyhound; we just call her a chow hound.


She’s our “lightest” dog at 66 pounds, but you wouldn’t think so with all she eats!

I envy her metabolism.

This dog is totally food driven.  She goes outside only because she knows that when she comes back in she’ll get a treat.

Sometimes she gets lazy and declines to go out with the other two but still comes running to the kitchen when I let them back in…expecting a treat anyway!

So it was no surprise to me last night when she declined to go outdoors after eating her dinner.  Normally she eats, determines there’s nothing more to be had and then goes upstairs to bed without even a backwards glance.

We had one of Mike’s nephews over to visit last night and were outside at the outdoor kitchen where Mike was fixing a nice dinner. 

Sandy and Katy were outside with us.

After we ate I went inside and noticed something on the floor…on closer inspection it was a brown plastic lid.

Where did that come from?

I turned the corner to the living room and there was Yoshi, sprawled out on a dog bed, an 8 oz can of Hershey's Cocoa powder between her paws and her nose thrust all the way into the can. 


She happily looked up at me and licked her chops.

I screeched!

The can was nearly empty!


Where on earth did she get hold of that?

Then I looked back in the kitchen and saw the corner lazy susan cabinet, which we use for spices and other baking ingredients; was open.

Mike had come into the house to grab some spices to cook dinner and forgot to roll the cupboard shut.


I called the our vet’s office and got the number for the emergency clinic.  I called them up and explained how much cocoa our dog had just eaten, (it was an open canister, but we figure it was at least half full if not more.)

Get her in here NOW! was the response.

So off we went, with a very happy Yoshi dog still licking her chops.

She wasn’t so happy when she came out of the emergency clinic, having been made to vomit out all the chocolate AND her dinner.

We had caught it quickly enough that it hadn’t absorbed into her system yet. 

No issues, thank God.

Just a bill for $247.

In retrospect I think the cocoa needs to be stored in a different place from now on.  That is, IF I ever buy it again.

So, do you have dogs too?  If so, where do you store your cocoa powder?

Did you know that baking cocoa is the most deadly of all chocolates to a dog?  It’s pure cocoa!


Oh, and one more thing, do you have Syrup of Ipecac on hand? 

(I’ll be picking some of that up today to add to my first aid kit)

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  1. I am just so glad that Yoshi is OK. I don't have dogs just Charlie Kitty but I do know how dangerous Cocoa is for them. I keep mine high up in a cabinet. So scary!

  2. Oh my goodness!! That will teach hubby not to leave cabinet doors open!

    Glad that Yoshi is ok!

  3. Oh my gosh! That face! That snout! buried in a can of cocoa! I just can't believe that a dog would "love" that bitter taste of cocoa. Silly pooch. I'm so sorry all that happened, but I am so thankful all is well with your sweet Yoshi!
    I have moved my cocoa from the bottom cupboard to a higher location. (because I too, am known for not shutting cupboard doors)
    I'm glad you brought this to our attention. We all love our pets.
    sure hope you're having a great day!

  4. Yikes! Our Misha (another chow/greyhound) scarfed down 12 freshly baked choc cupcakes...wrappers and all. Without moving the tins from the counter!! He was a BIG boy and when I called the vet, Gordon said he hadn't gotten enough cocoa to hurt him BUT I might want to make him sleep outside that night! Good advice :-( His charge for the consult? A half dozen fresh baked choc cupcakes! LOL

  5. I'm glad Yoshi is okay. Dogs love chocolate and we've had a couple of close calls with dogs we've had in the past. I keep our chocolate in a top cupboard. Trixie has never gotten into anything she wasn't supposed to but there's always a first time.

  6. Glad she is okay. What a scare! We keep our cocoa high on a shelf in a bin in the pantry. We've had our scares though. One of our labs ate an ant trap we had sat out (and was rushed to the vet and made to throw up too) and the other lab has eaten too many crazy things to mention (how about a glass ornament and a couple of packages of the things they put in shoe boxes that say do not eat just to name two). There have been quite a few times I thought she had just eaten her last meal...but she's still with us. We had that Ipecac on hand when our son was little just in case but never thought to have it for a dog. That's a good idea!

  7. WOW, I'm glad I read your post. I never thought of cocoa powder being bad for a dog. We have a miniature dachshund, one year she got into the Christmas stockings and devoured some chocolates. Our vet said milk chocolate is not so bad as dark chocolate. But we were instructed to make her swallow a teaspoon of salt. That wasn't easy but it did the trick and she vomited it all out including the wrappers!! Our children learned to always put the stockings, Easter baskets or Halloween candy up high.

  8. Fur children can cause a lot of worry. I am so glad you realized the nature of the emergency and that Yoshi is okay.

  9. So glad Yoshi only lost dinner and her sneaky treat! My greyhound is a chow hound as well. It may be genetic!

    Cocoa and chocolate aren't the only dangerous substances for a dog. Grapes,raisins and avocado among other things can kill them as well.There are lists you can find online naming all the dangerous foods and plants for dogs.

  10. I'm glad Yoshi is doing okay. Another thing that is bad for dogs is that cocoa mulch that you can use in your garden. Dogs have died eating that.

  11. My cocoa powder is in an upper cabinet. However, what my doggie got into was Ibuprofen! Yikes! Even a few of those can be lethal for a dog. We ALWAYS make sure there is nothing he can get into when we leave the house... this time, my husband forgot it and I did not see it behind his alarm clock on the nightstand.

  12. Oh, I forgot- the vet had us give Max (short for Maximum Chaos) 2 TBSP of hydrogen peroxide with a bulb syringe to make him vomit rather than the Syrup or Ipecac.

  13. One of my dogs ate about 2 lbs of Easter chocolates and the vet recommended about 2 tbsp of hydrogen peroxide. Take the pup outside and give it to them and they will throw up in about a minute. I have used this trick many times since then. It saved my dogs from rat poison once as well.

  14. Wow - some interesting things doggies have gotten into! The very first weekend with our rescued racing greyhound (now over the bridge) was Easter. The kids had dyed eggs. We set them in the center of the dining room table to dry and went out to lunch. We came home to half of them eaten shells and all! That was the weekend it stormed like crazy so no escaping the aromatic results of hard boiled eggs on our counter cruising canine!

  15. I knew that chocolate was bad for dogs, but reading the other comments was enlightening! I had to idea grapes and avocados were bad for dogs, too.

    I'm glad Yoshi is OK!

  16. Our newest dog has a passion for a Mocha from Starbucks. Luckily a few licks off an empty cup is all she's had. I store all my baking supplies in jars, try as she might, she can't eat them (like she does everything else in the house, grrr)

  17. Oh my! Poor Yoshi. Poor you, for that bill! Save off on buying the ipecac. You can use hydrogen peroxide. I've had to do it twice with Henry. The last time he ate a bunch of corn cobs. Just the cobs! It's not a pleasant thing to have to do but there was no vet bill. :)

  18. so glad your pooches gracias is okie dokie. we love our dogs don't we?
    i keep my cocoa in my spice cabinet, top cabinet.

  19. I too once had to give my dogs the hydrogen peroxide. The Animal Poison Control recommended it in milk so they would drink it up without a fight. Saved us a vet bill. My dogs, after many times going over to my mom's house, all of a sudden decided to eat the cherries off her Jerusalem Cherry plant. Not only is food like chocolate, raw egg whites, onions, grapes, and raisins bad, but you have to watch your houseplants too. So glad your baby is okay!

  20. Wow, Yoshi is one lucky dog. Good thing you caught it so quickly. I would have never thought that cooking chocolate would have been so tasty, lol.

  21. HEAVENS above Rose....How LUCKY you were able to get the little BUGGER up to the Vets in time....We have cats who aren't into 'sneaking' food....PHEW....!!

    Mr SVJ grew up with Boxer dogs & he says once his family came home from an outing to find Humphrey sprawled out on his dog bed surrounded by a frothy yellow substance (he'd thrown up)....The 'substance' turned out to be MARGARINE....He'd opened the fridge & pulled the container off, dragged it off to his bed & eaten the WHOLE 1kg (2.2lb) tub....Yeckkkkkkk....!!!

    I'm GLAD Yoshi's OK....!!!!!

    Tamarah :o)

  22. I'm really glad that Yoshi is okay after his trip to the vet. You don't need ipecac ... Hydrogen peroxide works wonders when you have to get a dog to vomit. (We call it a Peroxide Highball.) For a greyhound size dog, you can give them up to four ounces (a turkey baster works great for this). If this doesn't cause vomiting within a few minutes, follow it up with a turkey baster full of water and (I'm not kidding here) shake the dog around to get it to mix in his stomach and make him vomit ... got this trick from a vet tech, and it works like a charm. Our Daniel is known to eat whatever he finds laying around (kids socks used to be a favorite target) and he now cringes at the sight of the turkey baster.


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