chocolate bad for dogs

Why is Chocolate Bad For Dogs ?

Both humans and dogs find chocolate delicious. But chocolate contains substances that are toxic to dogs when consumed in high doses. Small dogs are the most sensitive, simply because of their size. A relatively small amount of chocolate can contain much more toxic substances than their little bodies can handle.

What happens if a dog eats chocolate ?

Chocolate contains theobromine, a strong stimulant which dogs are unable to metabolize effectively, and caffeine in smaller amounts.  Theobromine acts on the respiratory system, and stimulates the central nervous system and the heart of the dog, increases blood pressure and accelerates intestinal peristalsis.

What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning ?

The symptoms of the toxic effect of this substance are anxiety, nervousness, thirst, vomiting and diarrhea. Severe poisoning can cause loss of coordination, seizures, coma and death.

Dark chocolate and chocolate used for cooking contain higher doses of theobromine. Milk chocolate, white chocolate and products containing a small amount of cocoa contain this substance in a lower concentration.

How much chocolate is toxic to a dog ?

Like we mentioned before, dark chocolate and milk chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine. So for dark chocolate the toxic amount is about 42.5 grams (1.5 oz) per 10lbs of body weight of the dog. So, for example, if a small dog that weights 15lbs eats 63g (~ 2.2 oz) or more dark chocolate, it will definitely get poisoning.

For milk chocolate the amount is a bit higher and equals to 99.5g ( 3.5 oz) for 10 lbs of bodyweight. So a 15lb dog will get poisoned if it consumes around 150g ( 5.25 oz) or more milk chocolate.

How long after eating chocolate will a dog get sick ?

It takes roughly 6-10 hours for a dog to start showing the symptoms of chocolate poisoning after it has eaten the chocolate. Although the dog may seem OK short after it consumes the chocolate, be sure to make it vomit as soon as possible and take it to the vet.

How to diagnose the dog ?

If you know that your dog has eaten a large amount of chocolate, tell the veterinarian the amount and type of chocolate. The amount required to produce a toxic effect depends on the type of chocolate and the size of the dog like we mentioned above.

If the dog has consumed a large amount that could be harmful, prompt treatment can reduce the poisoning condition. A serious problem arises when the dog eats a large amount of chocolate, and the owner does not know about it. This prevents the vet from easily making the correct diagnosis.

How to act if the dog eats a large amount of chocolate?

Taking the dog to the vet within the next 4-6 hours can prevent a large amount of the toxin from entering the bloodstream. The first step is to induce vomiting and give multiple doses of activated charcoal to decontaminate. Then get your dog to the nearest veterinarian. They will give your dog intravenous fluids and sedatives to keep the dog calm.

So react in time, and don’t leave it to chance, to sort out the situation by itself.

You might also be interested :

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Are Grapes Safe For Dogs ?

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