Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?
As a pet owner, you find yourself constantly buying your pet treats. Additionally, at times you may like to share your snacks with your pet. But, do you know which food is good for human beings but toxic or poisonous to your pet, in this case, your dog?
Without all the information you may need about what treats are healthy for your dog, you may end up visiting the veterinary clinics very often. Before you get yourself a furry friend, do your research and arm yourself about what is healthy for them.
In this article, I’d like to answer the question, “Can dogs eat chocolate?” in as much detail as I possibly can.
So, Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?
Sadly, if you love chocolate and have a dog you love dearly, you cannot share it with them. Although many people love chocolates and snack on them once in a while, they are very toxic to dogs and can cause serious health issues.
Although chocolate poisoning is rarely fatal, if your dog consumes large amounts of chocolate, it may be fatal, and it may develop a severe illness or even die!
What Makes Chocolate Toxic To Dogs
Different types of chocolates have different levels of toxicity since they contain a varying portion of methylxanthines compound. The dark chocolate, cocoa and the chocolate that we used for cooking contain the highest level while the white and milk chocolates have the lowest amount.
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which human beings can metabolize; thus, it is not harmful to us. On the other hand, dogs cannot metabolize either of the two chemicals, resulting in significant illnesses.
The darker type of chocolates contains theobromine that is 3 times more compared to the white chocolates. Baker chocolate has a higher theobromine than the dark chocolate.
However, the type and amount of chocolate the dog consumes will determine how fatal the case can be.
The darker and bitter the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is to give to your dog as a treat. Thus, baking chocolate and gourmet chocolates are very dangerous to dogs because they contain up to 130-450 mg of theobromine per ounce.
However, milk chocolate contains very little theobromine and is not considered a severe health risk to most dogs.
A dog with an average weight of 16 pounds would only need to ingest a pound of white chocolate in order to reach that dangerous toxic level. Furthermore, it only requires an ounce of cocoa powder for your dog to experience the side effects of methylxanthines. This is why you should never feed your dog with any types of chocolate. In case you suspect that your dog unintentionally ingested a chocolate, you have to seek the help of your veterinary at once.
What If My Dog Eats Chocolate?
If you have a dog, then you may have noticed that they love eating almost anything that comes their way. We are talking about pets that chew on their owners’ shoes or anything else they can get their mouths on!
Therefore even when you are extremely careful, your dog may find a piece of chocolate and eat it without your knowledge.
If this happens, you should observe your dog and note the symptoms it will show. That way, you can determine whether it is a severe or mild condition.
Additionally, if the symptoms worsen, you can call your veterinary, who will ask questions before advising you on a course of action.
What Are the Signs Of Chocolate Poisoning?
As we mentioned earlier, chocolate poisoning is rarely fatal. However, it is advisable as a dog owner to look out for signs of chocolate poisoning so that you can reach out for help if necessary.
If a dog consumes a small piece of chocolate with low levels of caffeine and theobromine, it may be agitated and hyperactive.
Additionally, it may vomit, drool, and suffer from diarrhea which may smell like chocolate.
If your dog consumes chocolate with a high concentration of caffeine and theobromine, it may show cardiac signs such as a racing heart and high blood pressure. And if it starts experiencing muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure, it must have ingested chocolate with a very high dose of theobromine and caffeine.
At this point, you should seek immediate professional help. Additionally, if your dog is old or has a history of heart conditions, consuming even a tiny amount of dark baking or gourmet chocolates may lead to cardiac arrest and sudden death.
How is Chocolate Poisoning Treated?
Veterinaries use various methods to treat chocolate poisoning depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested. If poisoning is detected early, the veterinarian may induce vomiting to expel theobromine from the body.
Alternatively, they may choose to administer activated charcoal that blocks the absorption of theobromine into the body.
Lastly, as a pet owner, you should closely monitor your dog until it makes a full recovery and if his or her conditions worsen amid treatment, seek further advice from a veterinarian. You should also ensure that you are more careful in the future to prevent a repeat of the same issue.
As a dog owner, you want what’s best for your dog, and thus you will do anything to ensure their well-being. That said, ensure that before buying them any treat, it is safe for them to consume.
You should always refrain from giving your dogs with chocolate as a reward. This is not just a myth, and a small piece of this treat can harm or kill our beloved pets.
Check the description below for some of our recommendations.
Always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.