Why Chocolate is Bad
It’s almost Easter and with the holiday is commonly the availability of chocolate around the house. Chocolate can be toxic to dogs. The best way to prevent a problem is to keep the chocolate out of your pets reach.
Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?
Chocolate contains nervous system stimulants in the form of caffeine and theobromine that when ingested in high levels, can be toxic. Chocolate is available in many different forms and each has its own level of stimulants. Another important fact about chocolate is that is contains high amounts of fat. Even though your pet may not have eaten a toxic dose of chocolate, vomiting and diarrhea may occur due to the dietary indiscretion.
What Are Signs of Chocolate Toxicity?
Signs of chocolate toxicity in dogs include restlessness, pacing, excessive panting, increased urination and muscle twitching. The stimulants can cause seizures and arrhythmias and without treatment these signs can progress to seizures and possibly death.
How Is it Chocolate Toxicity Treated in Dogs?
Depending on the amount of chocolate ingested and how long ago the ingestion occurred, we may recommend that your pet come in to induce vomiting to prevent toxic signs. In severe cases, some pets need to be hospitalized with sedatives and intravenous fluids. Small ingestions may not be treated.
Will My Pet Live After he Eats Chocolate?
With treatment, pets that show toxic signs of chocolate ingestion generally do well.
How Much Chocolate is Toxic?
There are different types of chocolate with varying amounts of the nervous system stimulants, caffeine and theobromine. For example:
- White chocolate contains very little true chocolate. Ingestion of 200 oz per pound of body weight is required to cause toxicity. (This means a 20 pound dog would have to eat 250 pounds of white chocolate!)
- Milk and Semi-sweet Chocolate – Ingestion of 1 oz per pound of body weight is required to cause toxicity. This means a 20 pound dog would have to eat about 20 ounces (about 1 ½ pounds)
- Baking Chocolate – this is the most toxic chocolate. Ingestion of 0.1 oz per pound of body weight is required to cause toxicity. (This means a 20 pound dog would have to eat 2 ounces of chocolate to be toxic!)
If you have further questions about chocolate toxicity, please contact us at 740-587-1129 for more information.