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Your Dog and Chocolate

July 1, 2021

World Chocolate Day is coming up on July 7th! We are more than happy to do our part in honoring this important holiday. However, this is one celebration you don’t want to let your pet partake in. Chocolate is very dangerous to our four-legged friends! A local veterinarian offers some information on this below.


 Toxicity

Ever wondered why chocolate is so dangerous? The culprit is a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is very much like caffeine, and causes the same reactions in the body. It’s a diuretic, heart stimulant, muscle relaxant, and blood vessel dilator. Pets can’t metabolize theobromine, and can become quite sick. The fat and sugar in chocolate can also cause pancreatitis, another very serious problem. Your furry pal doesn’t have to eat very much to get sick from it. In fact, chocolate is toxic at just one pound per body weight.


Types Of Chocolate

Some kinds of chocolate are more dangerous than others. As a rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Dark chocolate may contain as much as 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, which is a very dangerous dose for Fido. White chocolate is the least dangerous, as it only contains about 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce.


Symptoms

The signs of chocolate ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption, panting, elevated pulse, and increased or excessive urination. Severe reactions may include muscle tremors and seizures, and can sometimes be fatal. Symptoms typically appear within a few hours after ingestion, and can last for days. Contact your vet or emergency clinic immediately if you notice any of these red flags, or if you know or suspect that your pet has ingested chocolate.


Cats

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


Precautions

As we all know, dogs are opportunistic eaters. (Actually, that’s putting it mildly.) Man’s Best Bud has a habit of snapping up anything that falls to the floor. Keep a close eye on Fido 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 animal 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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