What is more decadent than chocolate? Absolutely nothing! When you indulge in this delightful dessert, keep in mind that this food fiesta isn’t something you want to let your pet participate in. Chocolate is toxic to our furry friends! In this article, a local veterinarian provides some information on dogs and chocolate toxicity.
What makes chocolate so dangerous? A substance, called theobromine, is the culprit. Theobromine is a lot like caffeine, causing the same reactions in the body. It’s a heart stimulant, muscle relaxant, diuretic, and blood vessel dilator. Dogs can’t metabolize these substances, and can get very sick. And, the sugar and fat contained in chocolate can lead to pancreatitis. It doesn’t take very much of it to make your dog sick. In fact, chocolate is toxic to dogs at only one pound per body weight.
Watch out for symptoms of chocolate ingestion. These include diarrhea, vomiting, panting, elevated heart rate, increased water consumption, and increased or excessive urination. Severe reactions might include muscle tremors, seizures, and sadly, death. These signs generally show up within a few hours after ingestion, and can last for several days. Call your local animal hospital immediately if you see any of these warnings, or if you know or suspect that Fido ate chocolate.
Types Of Chocolate
Some types of chocolate are more toxic than others. Generally, the darker the chocolate is, the more toxic it is. Dark chocolate can contain as much as 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, which is an extremely toxic dose for Fido. White chocolate is the least dangerous, as it only contains approximately 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce.
What about your kitty? Chocolate is just as toxic for cats as it is for dogs. However, felines are less likely to eat it, as they are a little bit pickier.
As every dog lover knows, pups are very opportunistic eaters. Fido has a habit of grabbing anything that falls to the floor. Watch him closely whenever you’re eating chocolate. You’ll also want to be careful if you have young kids around that are eating some, as children often innocently offer their food to pets, unaware that dogs can’t always eat the same foods as people.
If you have any questions about dogs and the dangers of chocolate, call your local animal clinic!