You might have heard this a million times already, but in case you haven’t: DO NOT FEED CHOCOLATE TO YOUR DOGS.
Why not? Although chocolate is safe for humans and even becomes our little guilty pleasure, it is actually bad – even poisonous – for our dogs.
The dangers of chocolate depend on its type, the amount consumed by your dog, and how big your dog is. If consumed in large amounts, chocolate and cocoa products can kill your dog.
They contain a toxic component called theobromine. This component is easily metabolized by humans. Dogs process it in a much slower rate, so in large amounts, it builds up to toxic levels in their system.
A large dog is more tolerant of chocolate, allowing it to consume little amounts without suffering. However, for a small dog, it can easily lead to health issues. A small amount may only lead to an upset stomach that causes vomiting and diarrhea.
With large quantities, theobromine can cause muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding, or a heart attack. This is usually preceded by severe hyperactivity.
The usual and perhaps most effective treatment for theobromine would be to induce vomiting within two hours of ingestion. If you suspect that your dog may have eaten a large quantity of chocolate without your knowledge and is showing any of the aforementioned symptoms, call your vet immediately.
If your dog is small and has eaten a box of chocolates, do not waste a second and go to your vet right away.
Different types of chocolate contain different theobromine levels. White milk chocolate and white chocolate contain the lowest amount.
Cocoa, cooking chocolate, and dark chocolate contains the highest levels of theobromine that it takes only a very small amount to poison your dog. Less than an ounce may be enough.