Is chocolate bad for a dog?
You may have heard people say chocolate will kill a dog? Is that really true? If I can eat chocolate, why can’t my dog?
Before feeding chocolate to your dog please stop right now, and read on…
Dogs and people are different in lots of ways. For example, dogs can run around in the snow all day in their bare feet and it doesn’t cause them any problems. People can run around barefooted in the snow for 30 seconds or so before it hurts.
There are lots of differences like that between dogs and people.
Chocolate is one of them.
Is chocolate bad for a dog, and why?
It turns out that chocolate and dogs don’t go well. For dogs, a chemical in chocolate called theobromine is the root of the problem. Theobromine is similar in many ways to caffeine (which is something else you should not give your dog).
Theobromine in chocolate is toxic to a dog when it ingests between 100 and 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. If your dog snatches a biscuit with the odd chocolate drop then you won’t likely see any ill effects, but it may still pose a risk.
Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine: It would take 20 ounces of milk chocolate to kill a 20-pound dog, but only 2 ounces of baker’s chocolate or 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate. Dark chocolate contains much more theobromine than milk chocolate, so even a small amount may cause harm.
It is not hard for a sneaky dog to get into something like an Easter basket full of chocolate eggs and bunnies and gobble up a pound or two of chocolate.
If the dog is small, that could be deadly.
Most dog owners know chocolate is poisonous, but keep in mind it’s the quantity and choice of chocolate that makes it deadly.
So is chocolate bad for a dog? Yes!
Do not give your dog chocolate!
What are the signs of chocolate poisoning in a dog?
You can tell if your dog is suffering poisoning from chocolate when you notice any of these signs:
- Hyper excitability
- Hyper irritability
- Increased heart rate
- Increased urination
- Muscle tremors
What to do if your dog eats chocolate?
If your dog eats chocolate, particularly in excess, then take the following immediate steps:
Call up your veterinarian and inform them of the situation, including how much chocolate your dog has eaten, and any of the above symptoms.
Your vet can recommend a course of action by determining the dose of theobromine they suspect your dog has consumed.
There are numerous actions your veterinarian may take to mitigate harm, such as inducing vomiting, IV fluids, anti-seizure medicinal drugs, and potentially heart failure medicinal drugs.
Most dogs can recover within 2 to 3 days after treatment for theobromine poisoning from chocolate.
Never reward your dog with chocolate
You should never give chocolate in any form to your dog. There is absolutely no need, and a healthy and balanced food such as meat (i.e. boiled chicken breast) is more of a treat for your dog than chocolate would ever be.
Your dog will also respond to verbal encouragement with lots of love and attention more than they would chocolate.
So is chocolate bad for a dog? Again! Yes! Do not feed chocolate to your dog, of any kind, ever!