One of our favorite days is coming up: World Chocolate Day is July 7th. However, while we humans are more than happy to do our part to honor this important holiday, this is one celebration you do not want to let your pet partake in. Chocolate is extremely dangerous to our furry friends! A local vet offers some information on this below.
Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is very much like caffeine, and causes the same reactions in the body: it’s a diuretic, heart stimulant, muscle relaxant, and blood vessel dilator. Fido can’t metabolize theobromine or caffeine, and could become quite sick. Plus, the fat and sugar in chocolate can also cause pancreatitis, another serious issue. Your pup doesn’t have to eat very much to get sick from it. In fact, chocolate can be deadly at just one pound per body weight.
Watch for signs of chocolate ingestion. These include panting, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption, elevated heart rate, and increased or excessive urination. Severe reactions may include muscle tremors and seizures. These symptoms typically appear within a few hours after ingestion, and can last for days. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these red flags, or if you know or suspect that your pooch ingested chocolate. Unfortunately, ingestion can be fatal.
Some types of chocolate are more dangerous than others are. As a rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Dark chocolates can contain as much as 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, which is a potentially deadly dose for Fido. White chocolate is the least dangerous, as it only contains about 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce, but it’s still not safe.
In case you were wondering, chocolate is just as dangerous for cats as it is for dogs. However, Fluffy is quite finicky, so she is less likely to ingest it.
Fido is a very opportunistic eater, as you may have noticed, and has a habit of snapping up anything that falls to the floor. Keep a close eye on your canine buddy whenever you are indulging in chocolate. You’ll also need to be careful when giving young children chocolate around pets. Little kids often innocently share their food with pets, not realizing that our four-legged friends can’t always have the same foods we do.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us today!