You love your four-legged friend with all of your heart and you love pampering him like the prince that he is. He sleeps in the most comfortable and supportive dog bed; he has multiple containers overflowing with all types of play things, including interactive dog toys, puzzle toys for dogs, rope and tug toys, and plush dog toys; you take him for regular walks on a properly fitted dog harness, and of course, you give him plenty of snuggles and belly scrubs. Yes, it’s safe to say that your dog is more than just a pet; he’s a member of your family.
Like most pet parents, you probably give your pooch dog treats, too; whether it’s to reward good behavior, to satiate his appetite between meals, or just to show him you love him. You might be tempted to even share some of your own food with him; but before you do, make sure the people food you are sharing with your pup is safe for canines. While it’s OK to offer your dog human food (heck, there’s even human-grade dog food that is made just for canines!) there are certain types that should be avoided at all costs: chocolate is top on the list! Why, because it’s poison for dogs!
Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?
It’s hard to imagine that something as delicious as chocolate can be bad for anyone; in fact, it’s been proven that some types of chocolate are actually beneficial for humans! Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for dogs. Why? Because it contains theobromine, a compound that humans can metabolize with ease, but dogs cannot. Since it’s harder for a canine to break down theobromine, it stays in their system longer, and the longer it’s in the system, the higher the levels become; when the levels are too high, they become toxic.
Is Chocolate Bad for All Dogs?
Yes, generally speaking, chocolate is considered poisonous for all canines. However, larger dogs can consume greater amounts of chocolate than small dogs without suffering any consequences, simply because their bodies are bigger. Also different types of chocolate are considered more dangerous than others; baker’s chocolate, dark chocolate, and cocoa have the highest levels of theobromine; therefore, they are more dangerous than white chocolate and milk chocolate, which have lower levels of this toxic compound.
No matter how big your dog is or the type of chocolate, it’s better to err on the side of caution and completely avoid giving your pup this treat.
What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate?
Sometimes, despite your best effort, your pooch may accidentally ingest chocolate. Signs of moderate chocolate poisoning include diarrhea and an upset tummy; but, in severe cases, it can cause tremors, seizures, slowed heartbeat, internal bleeding, and even heart attack.
If you suspect that your pooch is suffering from chocolate poisoning, contact your vet right away. After performing a thorough evaluation, he or she will determine the best course of action.
To avoid a dangerous situation, make sure you are always mindful of chocolate around dogs; harming your furry pal is the last thing any pet parent wants!