It is true? Is chocolate poisonous to dogs? The answer is yes. The risk to your dog however depends on the type of chocolate, the size of the dog, and the amount consumed.
The component present in dog-toxic chocolate is called theobromine. Unlike humans, dogs metabolize theobromine much slower and this causes the toxic level to build up in their system.
Can Dogs Eat chocolate?
Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the most loved foods. But can dogs eat chocolate?
Absolutely not! Chocolate can be lethal for our four-legged friends. Find out everything there is to know about chocolate poisoning in dogs and what to do if your dog eats chocolate.
A large dog can consume more chocolate than a small dog before experiencing any unwanted effects. Furthermore, it is worth remembering that different types of chocolate contain different levels of theobromine. Cocoa, chocolate, and dark chocolate contain the highest rate while milk chocolate and white chocolate the lowest.
A small amount of chocolate will only cause your dog a stomach upset. He will likely reject or have diarrhea. However, a larger amount will lead to more serious side effects. Theobromine taken in sufficient quantities can produce muscle tremors, fits, irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding, or heart attack.
What to do if the dog eats chocolate?
In any case, avoid giving your dog chocolate. If your dog eats it, the consequences could be fatal. Make sure you always keep your dog away from any kind of chocolate.
Why can’t dogs eat chocolate?
The reason dogs can’t eat chocolate is that it contains substances that are toxic to them. In particular, chocolate contains theobromine, a natural substance found in cocoa plants. Theobromine is not dangerous for people, because, in order to cause intoxication, excessive doses of chocolate would be needed. For dogs, however, it is easy to ingest a quantity capable of poisoning them.
How Much Chocolate Can A Dog Eat?
Granted that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate at all if your dog happens to eat a small amount (like a bite of a cookie), it’s not necessarily dangerous or fatal. It depends on the following factors:
- the type of chocolate
- the amount
- the size of your dog
Dark chocolate and cocoa contain the highest doses of theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. So even a small amount of chocolate could poison your dog. On the other hand, white chocolate and milk chocolate contain a lower dose of theobromine and, although they are less toxic, they can still be dangerous.
Less than 25 grams of dark chocolate is enough to poison a 20kg dog, according to Hills Pet .
What happens if a dog eats chocolate?
As previously stated, chocolate poisoning could be fatal for your dog – your favorite treat could kill your puppy. Clearly, this is the worst nightmare for dog owners. In case your dog accidentally eats chocolate, the following symptoms may appear :
- Upset stomach
- He retched
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle tremor
If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms following chocolate ingestion, immediate action is required. Here’s what you can do!
What to do if your dog has eaten chocolate
Call your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate.
Keep the box of chocolate your dog ate so your vet will know exactly what he ingested and how to best treat your dog.
Go to the vet right away if your dog eats chocolate (especially dark, which is high in theobromine) or exhibits any of the symptoms listed above.
Your vet may make your dog vomit to excrete the toxic substances, or they may give him activated charcoal, a substance that prevents theobromine from entering the blood. The important thing is to act quickly to treat chocolate poisoning as soon as possible. In severe cases, it may be necessary to leave your dog at the vet for one or more nights.
How can I protect my dog from the dangers of chocolate?
Dogs, like us, are attracted to sweets and want to eat everything you eat. Since dogs are likely to eat chocolate if they have the opportunity, it’s important to make sure they never come in contact with it.
Here are some tips to make sure your dog stays away from chocolate:
- Make sure the people who come in contact with your dog know the dangers of chocolate.
- Keep the chocolate out of your puppy’s reach – for example in a locker that he cannot reach.
- Use a child safety gate to keep your dog out of the kitchen or dining room.
- Keep an eye on children when they play with the dog and teach them that chocolate should never be given to dogs.
- Teach your dog the command “let go” .
Whenever you are eating chocolate in the presence of your dog, remember that it is a danger to your puppy. Keep your four-legged friend safe by keeping the chocolate out of his reach! In any case, it is important to give your dog a healthy diet.
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