Warning To Chocoholics!

Warning To Chocoholics!

Chocolate is toxic to dogs! Vets advise that chocolate poisoning is all too common so here is some information which might be helpful.

Many dogs appear to enjoy chocolate just as much as we humans, potentially this is a dangerous problem because dogs and humans are different. All chocolate, but especially dark chocolate, contains a chemical called 'Theobromine'. Dogs can't metabolise theobromine very quickly and it therefore builds up in their systems and can ultimately result in their death. There are plenty of healthy treats you can choose for your dog and they have the advantage of also being a useful training aid. With brands like CCBear and Wellybix making treats to target the healthy treat demographic that my dog seems to find as tasty as less healthy alternatives.

Another reason that consuming chocolate is so dangerous for dogs is the ratio of weight of chocolate to weight of dog, milligrams of chocolate to kilograms of dog's body weight. Vets generally agree that it takes only 100mg-150mg of chocolate per kilogram of dog for a dangerous situation to develop.

When I'm in a chocolate-mood, I can't chomp my way through an average 200mg bar of my favourite dark chocolate in a morning (not mentioning the caffeine alongside). That same size bar left unattended can be woofed down by even the smallest dog in seconds.

Not to be alarmist, if your dog has managed to find and eat a very small quantity of chocolate, particularly if it is milk or white which contain less theobromine than dark chocolate there is no need to panic. However, if you are at all concerned a call to your vet is a wise precaution.

Some of the signs of chocolate poisoning are: Vomiting and upset stomach, muscle tremors, extreme hyperactivity, seizures, irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding.

If you suspect your dog could have eaten a dangerous quantity of chocolate contact your vet immediately. It is best if your pet can be with the vet within two hours of the chocolate feast

Peter Chamberlain

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