We’ve all heard about the dangers of chocolate for humans. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for us, right? Well, that’s not always true. Darker chocolates have a higher concentration of theobromine, an ingredient that is toxic to humans. This is why it’s usually recommended that people avoid eating dark chocolate. However, there’s often a misconception that darker chocolates are more poisonous for our pets as well. This isn’t necessarily the case.
How Much Chocolate Can Kill A Dog?
The dangers posed by dark chocolate towards humans is well documented. In fact, the theobromine content in dark chocolate is high enough to kill a child. That being said, the theobromine content in many commercially available chocolates is quite low. In fact, most of the chocolate that you’ll see in a grocery store contains more sugar than caffeine. This means it isn’t nearly as dangerous for our furry friends as it is for some of our human friends.
The Dangers Of Chocolate For Dogs
It’s important to remember that chocolate and cocoa are not the same. Cocoa is the vegetable that forms the basis for chocolate. And while cocoa powder is perfectly fine for our pets, it is cocoa that poses the greatest threat. This is because, while theobromine is present in cocoa, it is present in the form of theophylline. This substance is significantly more toxic than the theobromine found in cocoa. So while it’s safe for you to snack on a handful of chocolate chips, keep in mind that these products are still incredibly unsafe for your pets.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs?
The symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs are varied, and will depend on how much of the ingredient your canine friend has ingested. If your dog has eaten a large amount of milk chocolate, then it’s likely to vomit and feel nauseated. More severe symptoms include seizures, hyperactivity, and restlessness. However, these symptoms will usually only manifest if your dog has consumed a substantial amount of the ingredient.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Into The Chocolate
The best way to prevent your dog from getting into chocolates is to keep them out of reach. Typically, this will mean keeping any kind of edible treat in a cabinet that your pet can’t access. You may also want to consider keeping any candy or cookies that you’re not planning on eating out of reach as well.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate
If you suspect that your dog has ingested a large amount of chocolate, then it’s important that you act quickly. The amount of theobromine in dark or unsweetened cocoa powder can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures, and can lead to death if enough is ingested. The faster treatment is administered, the better the chance of a full recovery. Contact your veterinarian right away. They will be able to administer activated charcoal and fluids to help mitigate the effects of the toxin.