Why Is Chocolate Toxic for Dogs?

Health Feb 09, 2022

It's not a secret that most of human foods are not good for dogs, especially if we're talking about packaged foods and other pre-made meals that pets might give a try, especially when they lie  around the house. And yet, out of all human foods, chocolate poses the biggest danger for canines.

The fact is, dogs don't respond good to stimulants, and it just so happens that chocolate is chock-full of them, especially the two - caffeine and theobromine. Well, even humans won't  feel good if they get too much of those, so dogs are even more sensitive because their bodies and digestive systems aren't used to dealing with such stimulants.

Photo by James Barker / Unsplash

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning

If you suspect that your beloved pet has munched a few chocos while you were away, look for the following symptoms of chocolate poisoning:

  • increased thirst
  • vomiting
  • increased urination
  • panting
  • drooling
  • upset stomach

The severity of symptoms depends on the amount of chocolate eaten by the dog and on its weight and size. It also matters what kind of chocolate the dog munched on: dark chocolate contains the highest amount of theobromine and caffeine, while milk chocolate is slightly less toxic for canines, and white chocolate is the most harmless. In rare cases, chocolate poisoning can even cause lethargy and coma.

Ways to treat chocolate poisoning

In most cases, chocolate poisoning is treated just like any other poisoning, but it depends on the severity of the dog's symptoms. Usually, veterinarians induce vomiting, then they give the doggos a fair amount of activated charcoal so the toxins don't get absorbed into the pet's bloodstream. In some cases, heavier medication may be required.

Veterinarians warn dog owners of the dangers of chocolate whenever they can as it indeed can be lethal for dogs, especially the baker's kind of chocolate that contains extremely high levels theobromine - 1 ounce of this choco per 1 kg of a canine's weight is enough to kill it!


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