Home Magazine

Dogs and Chocolate: The Facts

By David13676 @dogspired

Dogs and Chocolate: The FactsJust as with many other human foods, chocolate should be kept away from dogs at all times. The problem with dogs and chocolate is that dogs will actually crave it once they have had a taste, and will seek it out if it is nearby. Although the type of reaction from chocolate consumption will vary from dog to dog, chocolate is in fact poisonous and may very well kill a dog if enough is consumed.

The longer chocolate stays in your dog’s system without treatment, the more damage it may do. Chocolate poisoning may eventually lead to seizures and cardiac arrest if left untreated. Chocolate ingestion is actually one of the most common reasons for a trip to the veterinarian.

Why is chocolate bad for dogs?

Contrary to popular belief, chocolate IS, in fact, very poisonous for dogs. Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine. Theobromine is found in the cocoa bean and causes increased urination and affects the nervous system and heart. It is a chemical stimulant that belongs in the same category as caffeine and theophylline.

Most chocolates vary with the amount of theobromine they contain, but even a small dose can create a large problem for your dog and can make him very sick. There is no known antidote to cure a dog with chocolate poisoning, so it is very important to take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible if he has eaten chocolate.

What does chocolate do to dogs?

A dog’s system cannot handle chocolate because theobromine metabolizes much more slowly in a dog than it does in a human. Chocolate can stay in your dog’s system for up to 20 hours. During this time, it may interfere with your dog’s nervous system, heart muscles and kidneys.

How chocolate will affect your dog depends on his size, reaction to theobromine, how much he ate, what kind of chocolate was consumed, and his overall health. Symptoms will likely start to show within 12 hours of ingestion.

Symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

-  Vomiting and diarrhea

-  Hyperactivity

-  Increased heart rate

-  Muscle spasms

-  Increased urination

-  Increased water consumption

Types of chocolate

The amount of theobromine varies in different types of chocolate. Certain types of chocolate may not pose a serious risk for your dog, but may just give him a bout of diarrhea and vomiting. However, some types of chocolate may cause serious damage and lead to death if they do not get treatment right away.

The following list shows the types of chocolate from least harmful to most dangerous:

-  White chocolate

-  Milk chocolate

-  Semi-sweet chocolate

-  Baker’s (unsweetened) chocolate

White chocolate contains roughly 1mg of theobromine per ounce of chocolate, while baker’s chocolate contains about 465mg of theobromine per ounce. This is a huge difference, and will be a very important factor in the symptoms your dog may show.

If you suspect your dog may have eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately.

For more information about dogs and chocolate, symptoms, what to do in an emergency situation and more, visit www.dogsandchocolate.net

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog