World Chocolate Day is coming up on July 7th. However, while we’re more than happy to do our part to honor this extremely important holiday, this is one celebration that you don’t want to let your furry friends partake in. Chocolate is very dangerous to pets! A local vet offers some more information on this below.
Why is chocolate so dangerous to pets? The culprit is a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is very much like caffeine, and causes the same reactions in the body. It’s a heart stimulant, diuretic, muscle relaxant, and blood vessel dilator. Fido can’t metabolize these chemicals, and could get very sick. Plus, the fat and sugar in chocolate can also cause pancreatitis, another dangerous medical problem. Your canine buddy doesn’t have to eat very much to get sick from it. In fact, chocolate is toxic at just one pound per body weight.
Keep an eye out for signs of chocolate ingestion. Some of these include vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption, panting, elevated heart rate, and increased or excessive urination. Severe reactions may include muscle tremors, seizures, and unfortunately, even death. Most symptoms appear within a few hours after ingestion, and can continue for days. Contact your vet or an emergency clinic right away if you notice any of these red flags, or if you know or suspect that your pup ingested chocolate.
What about kitties? Chocolate is just as dangerous for Fluffy as it is for Fido. However, cats are less likely to ingest it, as they are a bit pickier overall.
Some kinds of chocolate are more dangerous than others are. As a rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for your furry buddy. Dark chocolate can contain as much as 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, which is a very dangerous dose for dogs. White chocolate is the least dangerous, as it only contains about 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce. However, it’s still unsafe.
As you’ve probably noticed, dogs are very opportunistic eaters. Fido has a habit of snapping up anything that falls within his reach. Keep a close eye on your pooch whenever you are indulging in chocolate. You’ll also need to be careful if you have young children around that are enjoying some chocolate. Kids often innocently share their food with pets, not realizing that our four-legged buddies can’t always have the same foods we do.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us today!