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Dogs and Chocolate

July 15, 2021

Sweet chocolate is a treat that most people love to indulge in. But, this decadent dessert is not for everyone, and it’s definitely not for your pet. Chocolate is delicious, but you don’t want Fido to join in. Chocolate is extremely dangerous to our furry pals! Below, a local veterinarian provides some information about this.


 Toxicity

Why makes chocolate so dangerous? Theobromine, a substance in chocolate, is the culprit. This substance is a lot like caffeine, causing the same bodily reactions. Theobromine is a muscle relaxant, diuretic, blood vessel dilator, and heart stimulant. Your dog is unable to metabolize theobromine, and may get very sick. Also, the sugar and fat in chocolate can lead to pancreatitis. Your pooch doesn’t have to eat a lot of chocolate to get sick. Actually, chocolate has a toxicity that can be deadly at only one pound per body weight.


Symptoms

Watch out for symptoms of chocolate ingestion. These red flags include diarrhea, vomiting, panting, increased water consumption, elevated heart rate, and increased or excessive urination. Severe reactions can include seizures, muscle tremors, and even death. These symptoms generally appear within a few hours after ingestion, and may last for many days. Call your local pet clinic as soon as you notice any of these symptoms, or if you’ve seen or believe that your pooch ate chocolate.


Types Of Chocolate

Some types of chocolate are more toxic than others. Generally, darker chocolate is more dangerous than light chocolate. Dark chocolate can contain as much as 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, which is a very toxic dose for your furry friend. White chocolate is not as dangerous, as it just has about 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce, but it’s still not safe.


Cats

Chocolate is just as dangerous for Fluffy as it is for Fido. Fortunately, cats probably won’t eat it, as they are a little more finicky in general. 


Precautions

As we all know, dogs will take every opportunity they can to eat … everything. If your canine companion has a habit of snapping up whatever falls to the floor, keep a close eye on him whenever you’re eating chocolate. Also, you’ll want to watch young children that are indulging in this treat, as children will innocently share their food with pets. They don’t realize that our furry friends can’t always eat the same foods that we do.


Do you have questions about chocolate and your pet? Call your local veterinarian for more information.

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