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Your Dog and Chocolate

July 1, 2021

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


 Toxicity

Why is chocolate so dangerous? The culprit here 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. Fido could become quite sick after eating just a little chocolate.  In fact, chocolate can be toxic to dogs at just one pound per body weight. Plus, the fat and sugar in chocolate can cause pancreatitis, which is also quite dangerous.


Symptoms

Keep a close eye out for signs of chocolate ingestion. Red flags include vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption, panting, elevated heart rate, and increased or excessive urination. Severe reactions may include muscle tremors and seizures, and unfortunately, death. Symptoms typically appear within a few hours after ingestion, and can last for days. Contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately if you notice any of these red flags, or if you know or suspect that your pet ingested chocolate.


Types Of Chocolate

Some types of chocolate are more dangerous than others. As a rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to Fido. Dark chocolate may contain as much as 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, which is a very dangerous dose for pets. White chocolate is the least dangerous, as it only contains about 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce, but it should still be considered poisonous to pets.


Cats

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


Precautions

As we all know, dogs are rather opportunistic eaters. Fido has a habit of snapping up anything that falls to the floor. Keep a close eye on your canine buddy whenever you are indulging in chocolate. You’ll also need to be careful with giving young children chocolate around pets. Little kids often innocently share their food with pets, not realizing that our four-legged pals can’t always have the same foods we can. 


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

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