For most of us, dogs are like our best friends. And we humans seem to have this natural tendency to often share chocolate with our best friends. Well, except in some cases. But is it ok to share chocolate with our little tail chasing friends? Can dogs eat chocolate?
While treating your dog with some chocolate might seem like a good idea at first, you should know that it’s actually a very bad one, as chocolate can even cause death to our canine friends. You might have heard this idea before, but let’s find out more about the matter of dogs and chocolate.
Dogs and Chocolate
This sweet treat might be a delicacy to most of us, but for dogs it’s plain poison and it can lead to sickness in your dog and even death.
Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which contain two substances that are actually toxic to dogs. They are theobromine and caffeine. The theobromine in cocoa beans comes in a higher concentration than caffeine.
The problem with this substance is that a dog’s body metabolises it very slowly, causing it to remain in his bloodstream for far too long, sometimes even up to 20 hours. That further causes problems in the dog’s body functions by over stimulating the central nervous system and affecting the kidneys and heart.
The lethal dose for both theobromine and caffeine is between 100 and 200 mg, depending on the dog’s body weight and structure, general health and the type of chocolate.
How Much Chocolate is Too Much Chocolate?
Ok, chocolate poisoning occurs at certain doses of those substances so doesn’t that mean that dogs can still eat a little bit of chocolate?
Well, the safe answer here is that any amount of chocolate is bad. Even a small chunk can make your dog ill. On top of that, dogs don’t know when to stop eating and we all know they love to eat almost anything. So better safe than sorry. Better hide that chocolate away.
Also, you should be aware that dark chocolate, dry cocoa powder and baking chocolate are more dangerous than the usual milk chocolate as they contain more of those toxic substances for dogs.
What if somehow your dog managed to get himself a good piece of chocolate?
Normally, the dog will regurgitate everything by himself. The symptoms of chocolate poisoning though will appear after 6 to 12 hours, so if you suspect that happened, you’d better consult the vet.
Symptoms include diarrhea, extreme thirst, panting, shaking, seizures and it will feel like your dog has too much energy.
Always keep in mind the fact that the dogs who survived chocolate poisoning did it due to their owners who acted fast and contacted the vet right away to consult and give the dog the right treatment as fast as possible.