Why it is important not to give dogs chocolateBack to overview
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Dogs and chocolate do not go well together: a large dose of cacao can be fatal. It is important to be careful especially around Easter and Christmas time.
THEOBROMINE, DOGS' WORST ENEMY
Cacao is a major source of theobromine. This ingredient, from the same family as caffeine, simulates a dog’s heart and nervous system and a high dose can cause cardiac rhythm disorders or even cardiac arrest. Here are a few symptoms to watch for: diarrhea, vomiting, an abnormally high temperature or low blood pressure.
1 GRAM OF CHOCOLATE PER KILOGRAM OF A DOG'S WEIGHT CAN BE FATAL
The greater the amount of chocolate, the more potentially fatal the poisoning may be. If your dog ingested more than 1 gram of theobromine per kilogram of body weight, it is vital that you contact your veterinarian. In other words: consumption of 10 grams of milk chocolate by a 10-kilogram dog is worrisome. For dark chocolate, absorption of 10 grams per kilogram of body weight is alarming. Dark chocolate contains more harmful substances for dogs than white or milk chocolate.
MY DOG ATE CHOCOLATE: wHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you think that your dog has eaten some chocolate, please go to a veterinarian within two hours. Since there are no antidotes for theobromine, the only solution is to induce your dog’s vomit reflex in the hope of emptying his/her stomach completely. Never try to make your dog vomit on your own because it can be dangerous for him/her!
KEEP YOUR DOG AWAY FROM CHOCOLATE
Since there is no effective medication for this problem you need to keep your dog away from chocolate. Keep your supply out of reach! For example, before hiding your children’s chocolate eggs, put your dog in his/her playpen/cage or a separate room. When you’re sure that all the eggs have been found (count them ahead of time), you can let your dog out.
CHOCOLATE IS NOT A DOG TREAT
Having said that, the danger is still out there. In their enthusiasm, children might share a piece of chocolate with the dog. Do not allow them to share their chocolate by explaining why chocolate should not be given to dogs.
CAT LOVERS SHOULD ALSO BE CAREFUL
Chocolate is harmful for dogs but also for cats. Cats are generally more careful about food and do not easily let themselves be wooed by a piece of chocolate. Remain particularly vigilant during “high-risk” times such as Easter and Christmas, especially if you have children or grandchildren.