Is Chocolate Harmful for Dogs?

Is Chocolate Harmful for Dogs?
Chocolate cookies

Is Chocolate harmful to my dog? So many have wondered about this topic. The short answer is yes.

Even though you may not intentionally give your dog chocolate, we all know that sometimes our pets can find there way into the craziest places. I once found my chihuahua mix on my kitchen table!

How Is Chocolate Harmful?

Chocolate is harmful to dogs, due to the ingredients it contains. It is made from the cocoa bean, which contains caffeine and another compound called theobromine. Theobromine is a molecule similar to caffeine. The problem is, that dogs do not process caffeine or theobromine, the same way in which we do. Smaller breed dogs can succumb to theobromine poisoning with as little as 50 grams of chocolate.

While humans can recieve a jolt of energy lasting 20 to 40 minutes after eating chocolate, with dogs this can last hours. Studies have shown that 17 hours after ingesting chocolate, half of the theobromine remained in the dogs system.

What are some Complications?

Complications include digestive issues, dehydration, excitability, vomiting, diarrhea and a slow heart rate. Later stages of theobromine poisoning include seizures and possible death. Thankfully, if caught early, theobromine poisoning is treatable.

But my Dog has eaten Chocolate before and nothing happened?

Dark chocolates are the most harmful. Other, chocolates like white chocolate ,contain very little theobromine. So, not all chocolates are the same. The more theobromine a chocolate contains the more poisonous it becomes for your dog. The size of your dog also determines the effects chocolate will have on him.

If you would like to see an interactive chart on the weight and the amounts of chocolates safe for them to consume, please follow the link below:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/10/pets/chocolate-chart-interactive