My Dog Ate a Reese's Cup: Here Are 5 Things You Must Urgently Do

FEB 13, 2023 AT 01:20 PM

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If you’re reading this, you probably already know, based on symptoms or suspicion, that your dog ate a Reese's Cup. You have observed your dog, which shows distress, lethargy, and probably vomiting or diarrhea. But what should you do next? What are signs to look out for? In this post, we will help you understand why ingesting Reese's cups is harmful to dogs and how to deal with it.

As a dog owner, you know how important it is to take care of your dog. But sometimes, even when you are careful, something can go wrong with dogs unexpectedly, which can be pretty scary. For instance, when your dog has eaten Reese's toxic cup, it becomes sick because of the poisoning.

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While your dog may not die from ingesting the Reese's Cup, it could quickly become ill. On top of that, if you don't act fast, the dog may experience long-term health complications that could cause pain and suffer even long after the incident. In this case, it’s essential to act fast and get the dog to the vet as soon as possible. 

What Makes Reese's Cup Toxic?

Before we detail what you need to do once you notice your dog has eaten Reese's cups, let’s first define what they are and their poisonous ingredients. Reese's cups contain chocolate with theobromine, a toxic chemical compound harmful to dogs when ingested. The chemical turns to xanthine, which affects the dog’s health.

The dog may begin showing symptoms of illness within 6 to 12 hours after eating Reese's cup. Also, Reese's cup contains caffeine, another compound present in chocolates, and it's toxic to pups too. 

Notably, the amount of Reese's cups the dog consumes determines the severity of the symptoms it may experience. Sometimes the symptoms may be unnoticeable, while at other times, the dog may exhibit severe symptoms of intoxication, such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore any sign you may notice, even if the symptoms are mild.

To ensure your dog gets help immediately, you should call a veterinarian who will provide further instructions in case there is no animal health center near you. The veterinarian may recommend inducing vomiting or taking your dog to an animal health facility for treatment. 

5 Things You Must Do urgently

Now let's explore the 5 things you must do urgently. Usually, by taking immediate action when you know your dog has eaten Reese's Cups, you have some hope of saving the dog from permanent health complications caused by the consumption of Reese's cups. The following are practical actions you can take:

1) Take Your Dog to the Nearest Animal Health Center Right Away

If your dog has eaten a Reese's Cup and it becomes sickly, whether immediately or after a few hours, take it to the nearest vet center immediately. The sooner you get them in there, the better the chances of the dog making it through this crisis. If there is no animal health center near you, you can call your animal vet for advice. 

The vet will advise you on what to do based on the details about the dog’s condition you share with him. He can advise you to take the dog to the animal health center if the dog’s health condition is stable. Alternatively, the vet can instruct you to induce vomiting.

2) Check the Reese Cup Ingredients

The Reese's cup contains harmful substances that could be toxic to your dog and can be life-threatening. For instance, chocolate in Reese's cups contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Notably, the amount of theobromine depends on the type of chocolate. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate have higher amounts of theobromine than milk chocolate. You need to check all these details and tell the vet. The information will enable the vet to recommend the best treatment option for the dog. 

3) Monitor Symptoms 

Usually, the severity of symptoms depends on the dog's size and the type and quantity of the reese cup they ate. If they have taken high doses of the reese cup, the symptoms may begin showing within a few hours and become life-threatening if you don't act promptly. Therefore, keep a close eye on your dog and watch for common symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, increased peeing, restlessness, rapid breathing, and abnormal heart rate. If these symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian immediately or take the dog to an animal health center.

4) Give the Dog Plenty of Water

Offer your dog plenty of water to help prevent dehydration. The theobromine chemical and caffeine compounds in Reese's cup are diuretics that can cause severe dehydration. Also, the water is good for flushing out toxins from the body. Notably, during all this time, keep a close eye on your dog. If the symptoms worsen, seek veterinary care immediately.

5) Call the Vet as Soon as Possible

If your dog has ingested Reese's cup, it is recommended that you call your veterinarian immediately. Let the professional assess the severity of the situation and see if medical attention is required. If they feel the details you have provided over the phone are not sufficient, they may ask you to bring your dog to an animal health facility for an examination. 

Mainly, your vet will professionally assess your dog and advise you more about your dog's condition, what he thinks might be causing the sickness, and what steps you should take next. Importantly, your dog's vet may even advise you on preventing such an incident from happening again.

What else can I do to protect my doggo?

The following are other things to do to ensure your dog gets the necessary care, recovers without complications, and such an incident does not recur:

  • Answer all the questions the vet will ask you.Provide the veterinarian with crucial information such as the type of chocolate, the amount consumed, and the size and breed of your dog.
  • Figure out if there is any other thing that is affecting the dog’s health condition.Other underlying health issues can trigger similar symptoms. Therefore, sometimes, it may not be the Reese cups causing the dog to behave sickly, mainly if the dog consumed small amounts or there is no evidence that the dog ate the Reese cups. Therefore, you must thoroughly assess the real cause of a dog's health problem and inform the vet. This will help the vet offer the right medical advice. 
  • Keep Reese's cup wrapper. Sometimes, you may not have the time to establish the type of Reese's cup the dog ate and in what quantities. Also, sometimes you may forget the details, especially if the symptoms are severe and you are just rushed to the emergency facility. Therefore, you can bring the wrapper of Reese's cup with you to the vet, as it will help establish the type and amount of chocolate consumed, which will be helpful information in treating your dog.
  • Stay calm.By staying calm, you can think clearly, and assess the situation appropriately. Also, you can take the necessary action promptly. Therefore, avoid freaking out when you find your dog eating Reese's cup or suspect it has already eaten your Reese's cup. 
  • Remove and store Reese's cup from the dog’s reach. If you find your dog is eating Reese's cups, and you know it’s toxic, the first thing to do is to remove the Reese's cups and store them away from the dog’s reach. Don't let the dog continue eating them. 
  • Follow the veterinarian's instructions. Some of the common instructions include inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal to absorb the toxin, or providing supportive care. Significantly, do not induce vomiting unless instructed or supervised by a professional.
  • Ensure the dog is comfortable and stays calm.Limit your dog's physical activity. Staying calm prevents the fast absorption of nutrients and ingested toxins into the system. Therefore, please keep your dog calm and prevent it from exercising to slow the absorption of Reese's cup into its body.
  • Continue monitoring your dog’s healing progress. Monitor your dog's symptoms and behavior after treatment. If your dog's condition worsens, take it back to the veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion

After reading this post, you now know why Reese's cups are toxic to dogs and what you should do immediately to prevent the symptoms of toxicity from becoming lethal. Therefore, if you are a dog owner, you don't have to panic when your dog eats Reese's cups. 

Importantly, as a precautionary measure, if you love chocolates or Reese's cups and have a dog, keep them away from the dog’s reach. You can safely keep them in a lockable place where the dog can't access them. But, even with this measure, it’s likely inevitable that the dog will eat some chocolate at some point, especially when you have other house occupants who may not be as careful. But now you know what to do. 

Apart from keeping Reese's cups out of reach of dogs to prevent such incidents, you know the things you can do urgently. Therefore, when your dog eats the Reese cups, and the symptoms persist, you need to contact a vet immediately with the correct information for advice and medical intervention.