Why is Chocolate bad for Pets?

July 07, 2018

Why is Chocolate bad for Pets?

We've all had that dreaded fear of dropping food and your dog rushing towards it like there's no tomorrow. One thing we must be vigilant about is chocolate. But why is this delicious treat for humans so deadly for dogs? 

"Less than an ounce of dark chocolate may be enough to poison a 44-pound dog."

What causes Chocolate to be Harmful to Pets? 

How much chocolate is too much chocolate for dogs? The answer is any amount is too much! Chocolate, delicious as it is, contains the natural chemical theobromine (found in cacao beans) which is poisonous to animals and pets like dogs as their metabolism cannot break it down like humans can. The darker the chocolate the higher the concentration of theobromine, so the worse it is for our pets to consume. 

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning:

Chocolate poisoning causes similar symptoms to food poisoning; if your pet has consumed any amount of chocolate be prepared for vomiting and diarrhoea but also fitting, tremors, twitching and life threatening heart issues such as an irregular heart beat or a heart attack.  A larger dog will seem less effected by a small amount of chocolate than a smaller dog, however they will still suffer from an upset stomach internally. 

If a pet has eaten through chocolate wrappers this can cause further problems to the pet such as obstructions which again can lead to vomiting but also your pet being lethargic, put off food or unable to go to the relief themselves. 

If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate then you need to contact your vet immediately and follow their instructions. Take note of what chocolate your pet has eaten - keep the wrapper if possible - and have a rough estimate of when your pet consumed the chocolate.

How to Prevent my Pet Eating Chocolate: 

It is always best to put human food out of the way of pets - out of sight out of mind is the best motto. Keep sweets and chocolate in a sealable container and pick up dropped food the second it escapes your hand. Take extra care during holiday seasons when chocolate is given as gifts such as Easter and Christmas 



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