Dogs And Chocolate Don’t Mix

There’s no way to softpedal it. Chocolate and dog metabolism don’t mix. It’s one of those things that people regularly try to debunk. A quick internet search on chocolate and dog poisoning will turn up quite a few sites that talk about the toxicity of chocolate to dogs. Many of them downplay the seriousness, or comment that the amount of chocolate needed to kill a dog is enormous. We want to put that myth to rest right now. Chocolate is not safe for your dog to eat.

Dogs And Chocolate Don't Mix
Chocolate and dog metabolism don’t mix – image copyright Lynn Kelley Author via Flickr.com

When we talk about chocolate and dog poisoning, we tend to think in terms of dead dogs. There’s more to chocolate toxicity than death, though. Even a small amount of chocolate can make your pooch mighty sick – and make them mighty sick for several days. The effects of chocolate on dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, increased urination, dehydration, irritability, seizures and, yes, death.

According to the Wellness Clinic at the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine, chocolate is one of the 20 most reported poisonings. The ASPCA puts it at #7 in the top ten list of hazards for pets in 2005, with over 4800 cases of chocolate poisoning reported to their Animal Poison Control Center. Even Snopes.com, where most people turn to get their urban myths confirmed or debunked, warns people that chocolate is hazardous to dogs. In confirming the Internet ‘myth’ that cocoa mulch, used by many gardeners because of its sweet smell, is dangerous to dogs, the internet’s most famous urban myth site states, “chocolate in any form poses substantial risks to some pets”.

Chocolate and Dog Digestion – How Much is Too Much?

The confusion about whether or not chocolate is bad for dogs arises from the differing kinds of chocolate that are available. You see, chocolate contains a substance called theobromine. It’s a stimulant similar to caffeine, and it’s this substance in chocolate that causes the problems for dogs. Because different kinds of chocolate have differing amounts of theobromine in them, some kinds of chocolate cause fewer problems than others. The amount of chocolate eaten, the type of chocolate eaten and the weight, health and age of the dog all will affect how sick your dog gets if he manages to get into your Easter basket or bag of Halloween goodies. If your German Shepherd filches a bon bon out of your Valentine heart, it’s not likely to cause him much more than an upset stomach. On the other hand, if your Yorkie eats as little as one or two squares of bakers chocolate, you’re facing a potentially fatal reaction.

Add into the mix that dogs will gorge themselves on things that they like given a chance. That German Shepherd isn’t likely to stop at one bon bon if he manages to get into the chocolate box. He’s far more likely to woof down the entire pound box. With all the variables, it’s difficult to say how much is too much chocolate for a dog. In general, the bigger the dog, the more they can eat without showing serious ill effects – but the bigger the dog, the more they are likely to eat. And even a few squares of bakers chocolate or a few ounces of bakers cocoa can necessitate a visit to the vet for large dog.

Continued At : Dog Eating Chocolate – What To Do