Sharing is always not caring, especially when you share human food with your dog. By sharing your food you are unknowingly poisoning your dog, one such example is chocolate. Chocolate, as much as we love it year round, can be joy or disaster depending on who eats it. Chocolate act as a poison in dogs and it is dependent on the type and quality of chocolate, we can say darker the chocolate more potential it would have for toxicity in dogs. In fact all the products which contain caffeine should be kept out of the reach of your furry friend especially during the festival seasons and birthday celebration.
What type of toxins does chocolate have?
Methylxanthines are the primary toxic stimulants in theobromine and caffeine, derived from cocoa seeds.
What are the sources of these toxins?
Cocoa seeds, which are used to make chocolate contains a substance called theobromine. Theobromine belongs to the same chemical family as caffeine in coffee or theophylline found in tea. All these substance are well known stimulants for humans but unfortunately they don’t act in the same way for your dog. The household’s common items like dry cocoa powder, baking chocolate, puddings, chocolate desserts, chocolate syrups and candies all contain theobromine.
It may lead to a question that why we can eat chocolate but the dog’s can’t? Well the answer is that we humans can clear the theobromine quickly from our systems, while dogs on the other hand struggle to get rid of it and this toxic substance can remain in their bloodstreams for 2 or 3 days
How much chocolate will kill a dog?
The amount of chocolate that is necessary to trigger toxic effects in a dog depends on several factors. Firstly, the size of the dog is very important factor and the amount of chocolate enough to kill a small size dog would have no effect on large breed dogs
. Secondly, the amount of theobromine concentration is different from one type of chocolate to another, as this is directly related to the amount of cocoa solids in different products. Thirdly, older dogs tend to have more problems in case of ingestion of chocolate than compared to younger dogs. Finally, it is important to understand that each dog is unique and the ability to metabolize theobromine would vary from one dog to another. So, to get the exact toxic dose for the chocolate is very difficult. Below is a suggestive info graphics giving out the details of how much chocolate is harmful for a dog.
What are the signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs?
The first most commonly seen symptoms within 12 hours of chocolate ingestion are excitement, vomiting and diarrhea, muscles spasms, excessive panting, hyperactive behavior, whining, excessive thirst and excessive urination. These signs can progress to heart problems including fast heart rate; fitting can also occur leading the dog into coma before dog finally dies.
What immediate actions can be taken if your dog ingests chocolate?
If you suspect that your dog is showing the signs of chocolate poisoning, you need to contact your nearest veterinarian as soon as possible. Within first few hours of ingestion, the vet would try to make your dog vomit to empty the stomach. Also, there are no antidotes for this type of poisoning your vet can try to nullify the system as per the best available measures.
Some simple advice:
Chocolate poisoning is a very real threat to your dog, does not encourage him to develop a taste for any chocolate based product. Try not to keep the chocolate in within your dog’s reach and also instruct children about not to share their candies or chocolate with the dog.
There are some other food items which we eat regularly but are very toxic for the pets. We would advise you to keep a list of human food that dogs can or cannot eat
, this would help you to keep well informed about your four legged friend’s diet. If you think your pet has been poisoned contact your nearest veterinarian for the medication and treatment.
Tell us about your dog and his food habits in the comments!
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