While we love to indulge in decadent chocolate, this is one food celebration you don’t want to allow your pet to enjoy. Chocolate is extremely toxic to our furry pals! A local veterinarian offers some information on chocolate toxicity in dogs below.
What makes chocolate so toxic? A chemical called theobromine is the culprit. It is a lot like caffeine, and causes the same reactions in the body. It’s a heart stimulant, muscle relaxant, diuretic, and blood vessel dilator. Your dog can’t metabolize these chemicals, and can get extremely sick. Plus, chocolate has a lot of fat and sugar that may lead to pancreatitis. Fido doesn’t need to eat very much to get sick from it. Chocolate is toxic at just one pound per body weight.
Watch out for symptoms of chocolate ingestion. These include increased water consumption, diarrhea, vomiting, elevated heart rate, panting, and increased or excessive urination. Severe reactions might include seizures, muscle tremors, and possibly, death. These signs generally appear within a few hours after it’s been eaten, and can last for several days. Call your veterinarian immediately if you see any of these warning signs, or if you know or suspect that Fido ingested chocolate.
Some types of chocolate are more toxic than others. Generally, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Dark chocolate can have as much as 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, which is a very dangerous dose for your dog. The least dangerous is white chocolate, as it only contains about 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce.
What about the kitties? Chocolate is just as toxic for them as it is for pups. However, Fluffy is less likely to eat it, as she is a bit finickier overall.
Dogs are extremely opportunistic eaters. If your furry friend has a habit of grabbing anything that falls to the floor, watch your pup closely whenever you’re eating chocolate. You’ll also want to be careful if you have young kids around that are eating chocolate, as children often innocently give their food to pets, not understanding that our four-legged friends can’t always have the same foods that we do.
Do you have questions about dogs and chocolate toxicity? Contact us today!