Dogs and chocolate can be a lethal mix. With Easter approaching, it is a good time to talk about the dangers of chocolate for dogs. The symptoms of chocolate poisoning can vary from mild to life threatening. It all depends on the type and amount of chocolate your dog, or cat, consumes.
Continue reading to learn why dogs and chocolate don’t mix!
Why dogs and chocolate don’t mix.
Chocolate contains a potentially fatal compound for your dog, called theobromine. Theobromine has been used in the pharmaceutical industry as a diuretic, a heart stimulant, a blood vessel dilator, and a muscle relaxant.
The symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include restlessness, excitement, hyperactivity, nervousness, trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, increased drinking and increased urination, increased heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and possibly death.
The toxicity of theobromine is dose related. This means that a smaller pet would only need to eat a small amount of chocolate to become ill. Also, the amount of theobromine in chocolate will vary depending on the type and quality of the chocolate. White chocolate and milk chocolate don’t contain as much of the compound as dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate. While your dog would probably have vomiting and diarrhea after eating just a little milk chocolate, it would most likely not be life threatening. Large amounts of milk chocolate, however, can cause chocolate poisoning. And, even a very small amount of baker’s chocolate or good quality dark chocolate could lead to life threatening symptoms.
While chocolate poisoning mainly occurs in dogs, it is also just as dangerous for cats, too. Don’t take any chances with your kitty. Keep those Easter baskets and baking supplies out of their reach, too!
What to do if you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate.
If you suspect that your pet has ingested even a small amount of chocolate, you should contact your veterinarian right away! Chocolate poisoning can be treated by inducing vomiting and with supportive therapy, such as IV fluids. The more quickly your react, the more likely a good outcome will be for your pet!
Obviously, prevention is the best medicine! Keep those Easter baskets and baking supplies out of reach of your pets. Also, make sure you teach your children about the dangers of chocolate for animals!
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