Why Can’t Dogs Eat Chocolate?
Other than chocolate being high in sugar which is unhealthy for dogs, chocolate contains caffeine as well as a chemical called theobromine. These chemicals act the same way in dogs as they do in us by exciting the nervous system and increasing heart rate. However, unlike us, dogs can’t metabolise and break down caffeine and theobromine, so the effects are much more exaggerated. If left unchecked, these chemicals can cause toxicity in their blood leading to liver failure, seizures, heart failure and death.
How Much Chocolate is Toxic For Dogs?As dogs vary in size, even small amounts of chocolate can be toxic for some, particularly pint-sized pooches such as Pomeranians and Chihuahuas. Therefore it's safest to simply avoid chocolate at all costs.
Different types of chocolate also carry different levels of risk. Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate contain the highest concentrations of theobromine with around 500-1000mg per 100g. Whereas, white chocolate only contains around 0.9mg per 100g, meaning most doggies would have to eat their entire body weight in this type of chocolate to experience toxicity.
According to the AKC around 28g of chocolate per pound of body weight can have toxic effects on doggies meaning that even if your dog were to eat one milk or dark chocolate bar they could have serious health consequences.
What are The Signs of Chocolate Poisoning?Now that you know the answer to “can dogs eat chocolate?” it’s impawtent to be clued in on the signs of chocolate poisoning.
If you think your dog has eaten some chocolate, keep a close eye on them for the next twelve hours as this is when symptoms of toxicity tend to develop.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:
- Vomiting and Diarrhoea.
- High temperature.
- Increased heart rate.
- Excessive panting or drooling.
- Twitching, tremors or seizures.
- Frequent Urination.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate?If you see a chocolate wrapper on the floor and think your doggy might have gotten into it, or if they develop any of the symptoms above, it’s important to act quickly and either call your vet or the Animal Poison Line on 01202 509 000.
If you see a wrapper make sure you have it handy when talking to a health professional so you can tell them what type of chocolate your dog may have eaten. Also, give your vet a rough timeline of when they may have first gotten their paws into the chocolate so that they have enough detail to assess the level of danger your pooch might be in.
Once with your vet, they will try to decontaminate your dog by inducing some vomiting. Sometimes this is all they need to rid your fur baby of the toxins, however, sometimes activated charcoal may need to be used to prevent absorption of theobromine into their bodies.
Remember, never try to make your dog vomit yourself unless directed by your vet as this may harm your furry buddy.
After they’ve been treated at the vet they will likely be given IV fluids to help push any excess theobromine through their system before letting you take them home to rest. Once at home continue to monitor them closely whilst they recover and keep your vet in the loop with any concerns.
Prevention of Chocolate Toxicity: Look Around Your KitchenPrevention is better than treatment for chocolate toxicity in doggies. It will save your dog a scary trip to the vet and yourself a whole lot of stress!
Chocolate is in so many things around the kitchen. From chocolate biscuits to ice creams to syrups and candies. Always make sure that all chocolate products are out of reach from your pooch to reduce the risk of them getting into trouble.
Scrumbles Offers The Best Dog Food and Treats About!
At Scrumbles we offer a wide collection of nutritious dry dog food and wet dog food, loaded with 100% natural ingredients and all of the goodness your pooch needs to thrive.
We also add powerful probiotics to all of our dry food as well as prebiotics to our wet food and dog treats to support healthy digestion and settle sensitive tummies.
Our dog treats are super popular amongst pawrents and are the safest way to reward your furry best friend.
You can choose between our:
- Gnashers Daily Dog Dental Sticks: made with a special ingredient SHMP clinically proven to reduce plaque by 80% and ward away nasty doggy breath. Use it as a crunchy treat or nightly reward after your bedtime teeth-brushing routine.
- Nibbles Dog Calming Treats: designed to calm stressed-out pooches. With naturally calming turkey, lemon balm and chamomile they’re the best way to give your dog a chill pill to help them get to sleep or keep them calm during stressful fireworks season.
- Softies and Chonks: these are our popular dog training treats. They’re designed for optimal taste and nutrition for when you want to reward your pups for being the extra good boys and girls that they are. They also contain high levels of digestible meat to impress even the fussiest of pooches.