When you have a dog, you sometimes want to share your “human food” with him. Some dogs are especially good at begging for human food, and some may even find ways to get it for themselves! However, it’s dangerous to let dogs eat food designed for humans, and some foods are even more dangerous than others. Chocolate is one of these.
No matter how much your dog may beg, it’s important to never give him any chocolate. Of course, accidents do happen, and sometimes dogs may eat some chocolate without their human owners intending it. In these situations, it’s important to respond quickly, but also necessary to understand why dogs can’t have chocolate in White Bear Lake, MN the first place.
In this article, we’ll explain the specifics about the relationship between dogs and chocolate. You can use this information to better understand why it’s so crucial to protect your dog from access to chocolate in the household, especially during holidays and other times of the year when chocolate may be more common. So to answer the question, “Can dogs eat chocolate?” The answer is “no.” Read on to find out more.
The size of your dog makes a difference in how much chocolate he can eat without becoming sick. This doesn’t mean you should give large dogs chocolate any time, but it does mean a Great Dane may be less likely to suffer badly from eating chocolate than a chihuahua would.
Similarly, the amount of chocolate your dog eats can change the results too. If your dog only eats a small crumb from a piece of chocolate, he will probably be fine regardless of his size. But if a small dog eats several pieces of chocolate candy, this is a dangerous situation.
Different Types of Chocolate Have Different Theobromine Levels
The substance in chocolate that makes it toxic is theobromine. Dogs are not capable of processing theobromine very well, so it builds up in their bodies and can quickly overload them. Some kinds of chocolate contain more theobromine than others, so the type of chocolate your dog eats can make a difference too.
For example, very dark chocolate contains a lot of theobromine, while white chocolate doesn’t contain as much. But all types have some theobromine, so it’s still important to keep your dog from any chocolate ingestion in White Bear Lake, MN.
It’s important to look for the dangerous symptoms associated with consuming chocolate. Some dogs may eat a little bit of chocolate, throw up or have diarrhea a couple of times and then be fine; other dogs, however, may become very sick from eating this toxic food.
If you notice your dog growing exceptionally restless or lethargic, or if his heart rate seems to be much higher than normal, he needs to go to the emergency vet in White Bear Lake, MN right away. Rapid breathing is also a sign that the toxicity is progressing. Seizure or loss of consciousness may also occur and require emergency vet care.
Most of the time, when dogs ingest chocolate, veterinarians will induce vomiting to remove the toxic food from the dog’s body. This treatment is unpleasant and difficult for the dog, and it can easily lead to dehydration as well. Therefore, dogs must also be given IV fluids and may require other treatments while at the vet.
These difficult treatments can be avoided entirely by preventing dogs from eating chocolate in White Bear Lake, MN in the first place. Older dogs and young puppies may suffer a lot from the treatments and take a long time to get back to normal, which is just another reason why dogs should not be allowed to have chocolate.
Chocolate is not a Reward for Your Dog
Finally, there are simply better options out there than chocolate for treating dogs. Yes, dogs may sometimes eat chocolate accidentally, but some pet owners feed their dogs chocolate on purpose as a small treat. This is very dangerous and is unnecessary.
It’s best to give dogs healthy dog treats designed specifically for their bodies to digest and process. However, some dogs do well with fresh, uncooked and unseasoned vegetables such as slices of carrot or green beans as a treat too. This is a good alternative for owners who want to share their food with their pets.
Keep Chocolate Away from Your Dog
Now that you’ve learned more about what makes chocolate dangerous to dogs, you can make changes in your household to prevent your dog from being able to find and eat chocolate. Always keep chocolate stored somewhere you know your dog can’t reach, such as the refrigerator or—better yet—the freezer. Instruct family members to put away chocolate after they’re finished eating it and never leave it unattended around your dog.
Although these changes may take some time to get used to, they can make a huge difference in the health, safety, and wellbeing of your furry friend. And if your dog does happen to eat chocolate in White Bear Lake, MN, take him to the vet or emergency vet right away, especially if he starts to show symptoms of theobromine toxicity.
Can dogs eat chocolate? If this is still a question you want further information on contact Birch Lake Animal Hospital White Bear Lake, MN at (651) 426-2246.
About Birch Lake Animal Hospital
The staff at Birch Lake Animal Hospital seeks to provide the best possible medical care for our highly-valued patients and clients.