Dogs Love Chocolate…Chocolate Does Not Love Them Back!

Chocolate...yummy for people but poisonous for dogsWe enjoy chocolate all year long, but it seems to be around the house especially at holiday time.  At these times, we’re also very busy and more distracted, giving Fido a better chance to help himself to the goodies, or in this case, the baddies.

Though it’s hard to believe that something as delicious as chocolate could kill your dog, it’s true.

Chocolate contains the substances caffeine and theobromine which can cause all kinds of problems from vomiting and diarrhea to hyperactivity, seizures and in extreme cases, death.

The incidences of chocolate poisoning have increased in recent years, due in large part to the trend toward eating darker, purer chocolate.  If your dog gets a hold of milk chocolate, he is less apt to become seriously ill than if he gets into your box of Godivas.  Don’t be fooled though; a dose of milk chocolate can be serious depending upon the quantity of the candy and the size of your dog.

To get an idea of what level of chocolate ingestion would do your dog harm, I’ve included a link below to a chart provided by National Geographic.  It provides a sliding scale so you can adjust for your dog’s weight and then see the different types of chocolate and the amounts your pooch would need to eat in order to start exhibiting the various levels of illness or death.

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

Often veterinary care is necessary to avoid disaster.  I’ve been there with a dog we had about 15 years ago named Bristie.  He was staying over night with my mother who had a 5 lb box of Sees Candies on the dining room table…probably too near the edge.  Bristie managed to get the box off the table which conveniently opened it up when it hit the floor.  He probably ate at least a dozen delicious Sees Chocolates before being discovered; we couldn’t be sure of the exact number he ate because time was of the essence with this event.  I’m sure he didn’t let candy papers get in his way.  Because he weighed less than 25 lbs, it was off to the vet where they had to induce vomiting and keep him for the day to save him.  Believe me, it was not fun for anyone.

Learn from my mistake, and keep chocolate high and dry and far away from the reach of your sneaky pooch!

 

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