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Facts about Chocolate and Your Dog

February 14, 2017

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentines Day! Because we are celebrating the biggest chocolate holiday of the year The Beach Dog thought it would be appropriate to put out some facts about chocolate and your dog. There are all sorts of myth’s, research and here say on the cautions of dogs eating chocolate. So what’s the inside scoop? We’ve done the research so lets get the facts.

 

First off if you think your dog has eaten chocolate call your vet right away. Some vets will ask you to take your dog directly to their office; others may want you to induce vomiting on your own. This is usually done using hydrogen peroxide; you use 1 tbs. of hydrogen peroxide per every 20 pounds of your dog’s weight.  Other vets may just tell you to watch your dog for up to 72 hours. Here are some symptoms to watch for.  For more information on what to do if your dog eats chocolate read What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate.  But the Beach Dog highly recommends contacting your vet ASAP.

 

  • Extreme thirst

  • Diarrhea

  • Too much energy

  • Pacing

  • Panting

  • Shaking

  • Seizures

 

 

The poisonous part of chocolate is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant called methylxanthine theobromine also labeled as xantheose. Theobromine is a caffeine like chemical and it is typically used as a diuretic in foods. The danger of this compound comes from the effects of ingesting it in large amounts. Theobromine is a heart stimulant, and dilates the blood vessels. Humans have the ability to slow release this chemical and we have the mindset to eat an adequate portion of the chocolate (well some of us do).  Unfortunately when it comes to chocolate and your dog they tend to over eat the sweets without the ability to ration the portion sizes, ultimately overdosing on the theobromine. The higher the quality of chocolate and the darker the chocolate the higher levels of theobromine the product will yield.  VCA Animal Hospitals breaks down the amount of theobromine as follows:

  • 20mg/kg: excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea,

  • 40mg/kg: racing heart, high blood pressure, and heart arrhythmias,

  • 60mg/kg: neurologic signs, tremors, twitching and seizures

  • fatalities are usually seen with ingestion of 200mg/kg or pound of chocolate.

 

 

So while its nice to get chocolate from your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day it can be a lethal situation should your dog eat it. The fact is chocolate and your dog are a dangerous combination so make sure you put your Valentine’s Chocolate away so as not to put your pooch in dangers way.

 

 

 

Another option for your dog is to use carob, a natural chocolate substitute derived from the pods of the carob tree, also called a locus bean. Most dog treats that you see with a chocolate dipping is actually a melted carob, safe and yummy for your dog.  Happy Valentine’s day from The Beach Dog Daycare!

 

 

 

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