Chocolate’s a No-No

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Chocolate is toxic to your dog (cats do not typically eat chocolate).  You may have heard of chocolate being bad for your pet but were unsure as to why.  A sudden high fat diet i.e. devouring a bag of candy bars left on the counter can create a lethal metabolic condition called pancreatitis.  Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are some of the symptoms that may appear.  Pancreatitis is due to the fat found in the chocolate, not the chocolate itself.

The chocolate itself is very toxic because of the theobromine that is found in the chocolate.  Theobromine occurs naturally in the cocoa tree/beans. The more chocolate liquor in a product, the more theobromine is present. Theobromine levels are higher in dark chocolates than in milk chocolates.  Higher quality chocolate tends to contain more theobromine than lower quality chocolate.  For instance, this makes baking chocolate the worst for pets, followed by semisweet and dark chocolate, followed by milk chocolate, followed by chocolate flavored cakes or cookies.  Why it is toxic to dogs and other pets but not people?  (I could not imagine a life without chocolate).  Animals metabolize theobromine more slowly than humans, therefore being in their system longer.  Theobromine may causes:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity/restlessness
  • Increased urination or incontinence
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Racing heart rhythm progressing to abnormal rhythms

If you see that you dog at chocolate call our office 718-728-2822 immediately so we can induce vomiting and provide the necessary supportive care needed depending on the symptoms and time of ingestion.

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