NEVER give chocolate to your dog!


| 2 Comments

I LOVE CHOCOLATE. Chocolate is one of the best sweet treats many people love. While I've seen many articles related of how chocolate is beneficial to our body (well yes if we have enough self-control not to finish the whole bar at once), chocolate does have negative effects not only for human...but for dogs as well. In fact, giving just only a small amount of chocolate can cause a serious risk to dogs. Chocolate poisoning can lead to hyperactivity, muscle spasms, seizures, and even cardiac arrest for dogs! Until now, some of you who have never heard of this fact will probably have questions going on a lot, right? WHY is chocolate bad for dogs? WHAT does chocolate do to dogs?

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"Remember this...don't EVER give chocolate to our dogs okay?" was the sentence delivered from my grandpa since I was really young. "Why?" I asked, "chocolate is bad for doggies" was what he replied back to a 7 year-old girl back then. The truth is, chocolate contains an ingredient called "theobromine". Theobromine is found in the cocoa bean and causes increased urination and affects the central nervous system as well as the heart muscle. Most chocolates contain different amount of theobromine but even in the smallest part can be poisonous to dogs and make them very ill. The darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous for dogs, as it contains more theobromine. Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate contain the largest amount of the compound and are the most poisonous for dogs. For instance, about 25g of cooking chocolate can be poisonous for a 20-kg dog.

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Because dogs and other animals do not have the ability to metabolize theobromine as quickly as human can (chocolate can stay in your dog's system up to 20 hours), this causes dogs to have many side effects later on. These include; vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, muscle twitching, excessive panting, dehydration, digestive problems, or even rapid heart rate. How chocolate affects dogs depend differently on its overall health, size, or even the response to theobromine. A dog with a weaker immune system may show signs of symptoms quicker than healthy dogs.

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There is some interesting information I found about theobromine. First, theobromine can caused cats to have the same problems a dogs do, however, unlike dogs, cats generally do not bother having chocolate since they have no "sweet tooth" taste. Secondly, horses are able to consume much more thobromine compare to dogs due to their much higher weight and size. In fact, theobromine has been used in the past to "boost up" a horse's performance, which is why it is banned in horse racing! Lastly, human's consuming caffeine will lead theobromine into our body throughout the fact that caffeine is metabolized in the liver into about 10% theobromine.

The ugly truth behind all of these dilemmas are that there is still no known antidote to cure a dog with chocolate poisoning, so the best way we can do is to keep those chocolate bars away from dogs.

2 Comments

This is a good post about why dogs should not eat chocolate. I have always heard that chocolate is bad for dogs and that you should keep it away from them. Your post made me curious about other foods you should not let your dogs eat. I was surprised to find out that the list is quite extensive. Many food items are bad for dogs and can induce vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. Some food items that are fairly common that can be very dangerous for your dog are things like avocados, grapes, milk products and alcohol, among many others. Some of these items are everyday things that would not seem to cause harm to a dog. Milk is a common liquid that is given to dogs but the truth is, it can cause diarrhea and in some dogs, food alergies. This can lead to the dog being very itchy. Alcohol is another liquid that is very bad for dogs. While it may seem funny to see Sparky stumbling around, the alcohol is very dangerous for him. Because dogs can be so small, even the smallest amount of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning. The safest bet is to just keep your dog to his food and nothing else.
Here is the link (http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-foods-your-dog-should-never-eat) to the website that shows you what you should not feed to dogs. (Take a look at it, it is very interesting to see some very common things that can be very dangerous for dogs.)

When my dog was probably 3 or 4 he ate an ENTIRE chocolate Easter bunny, one of the huge ones. My family and I were very worried about him and we watched him closely. However, he acted completely normal. He is almost 9 now and is extremely healthy. He has no health problems and still has the energy of a puppy. With this being said, he is a fairly large dog weighing in at about 100 pounds. When he ate the bunny he was probably about 90 pounds. You mentioned briefly that the effect chocolate has on dogs has to do with their "overall health, size, or even the response to theobromine." I decided to see if the size of my dog had anything to do with his lack of reaction to the bunny. According to this chart (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/10/pets/chocolate-chart-interactive.html) a dog the size of mine would have to eat 66.09 grams of milk chocolate to be close to dying, whereas a 3 pound doberman pinscher puppy would have to eat 0.91 grams of the same chocolate to die!! Check out the chart, it's really cool! It has a lot of info and is interactive!

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