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Your Dog and Chocolate

July 1, 2021

Chocolate lovers rejoice: World Chocolate Day is July 7th. However, while we are delighted to honor this important holiday, this is one celebration you definitely don’t want to let your pet partake in. Chocolate is extremely dangerous to our furry friends, and can even be deadly! A local veterinarian offers some information on this below.


Toxicity

Have you ever wondered why is chocolate so dangerous? The culprit is a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is very much like caffeine, which is also present in chocolate. It causes the same reactions in the body. It’s a diuretic, heart stimulant, muscle relaxant, and blood vessel dilator. Fido can’t metabolize theobromine the way we can, so he can become quite sick from it. Plus, the fat and sugar in chocolate can also cause pancreatitis, another very dangerous medical issue. Your canine buddy doesn’t have to eat very much to get sick from it. In fact, chocolate is toxic at just one pound per body weight in dogs.


Types Of Chocolate

Some types of chocolate are more dangerous than others are. As a rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Dark chocolates, such as baker’s chocolate, may contain as much as 450 mg of theobromine per ounce. White chocolate is the least dangerous, as it only contains about 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce. However, it’s still unsafe.


Symptoms

Keep an eye out for signs of chocolate ingestion. Some red flags include vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption, panting, elevated pulse, and increased or excessive urination. Severe reactions may include muscle tremors, seizures, and unfortunately, death. These symptoms generally appear within a few hours after ingestion, and can last for days. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs, or if you know or suspect that your pup ingested chocolate.


Cats

What about cats? Chocolate is just as dangerous for kitties as it is for dogs. However, our feline pals are less likely to ingest it, as they are a bit pickier overall. 


Precautions

As we all know, Fido is a very opportunistic eater, and has a habit of snapping up anything that falls to the floor. Keep a close eye on your pooch whenever you are indulging in chocolate. You’ll also need to be careful if you have young children around that are enjoying some chocolate, as little kids often innocently share their food with their furry friends, not realizing that pets can’t always have the same foods we do.


Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us today!

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