Why chocolate is bad for dogs?

The severity of the negative impacts of chocolate on a dog is determined by the levels of theobromine and caffeine in the chocolate product, the amount the dog ate, and the dog’s weight and sensitivity to chemical stimulants (Getty Images)

The veterinarians disapprove of giving dogs any kind of “people food,” but they are especially adamant about keeping chocolate away from our canine friends. But, Why is chocolate, milk or dark, so toxic to dogs?

Chocolate contains chemicals theobromine and caffeine, and these two stimulants, which dogs cannot metabolize as easily as people, accumulate in the body of the animal, where can speed up a dog’s bodily functions and cause dangerous side effects, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, a company that operates more than 1,000 animal hospitals in the United States and Canada.

The seriousness of the negative impacts of chocolate on a dog is determined by the levels of theobromine and caffeine in the chocolate product, the amount the dog ate and the dog’s weight and sensitivity to chemical stimulants. The chocolate dark and bitter is more toxic for dogs, as it contains a higher concentration of theobromine per ounce than milk chocolate (130 to 450 milligrams per ounce, compared to 45 to 58 mg per ounce for milk chocolate). The White chocolate, on the other hand, it contains only 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce and thus represents a much smaller toxic threat to dogs, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

Chocolate contains the chemicals theobromine and caffeine, and these two stimulants, which can't be metabolized as easily by dogs as people, accumulate in the animal's body, where they can speed up a dog's bodily functions and cause dangerous side effects (Getty Images)
Chocolate contains the chemicals theobromine and caffeine, and these two stimulants, which can’t be metabolized as easily by dogs as people, accumulate in the animal’s body, where they can speed up a dog’s bodily functions and cause dangerous side effects (Getty Images)

What are the symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs?

The initial symptoms of chocolate toxicity usually appear within 6 to 12 hours, and may include excessive drooling and panting, increased thirst and urination, Y upset stomach followed by vomiting and diarrhoea, according to him American Kennel Club (AKC). The dog may experience an increased heart rate and become restless, nervous, and excited, much like a caffeine-sensitive person who has had one too many cups of coffee.

In severe cases, the irregular heart rate by the consumption of chocolate can reduce circulation which results in a drop in body temperature. The extreme symptoms include lethargy, muscle spasms, convulsions and coma, which sometimes lead to death VCA Animal Hospitals. And because the theobromine It has a long half-life, which means that the body takes longer to break it down, symptoms of chocolate poisoning can persist for days.

In some cases, dogs consume chocolate but no symptoms; that’s because the dose size of the toxins can affect an animal’s response to poisoning, according to Office of Science and Society at McGill University in Ontario, Canada.

How do vets treat chocolate poisoning?

Veterinarians often treat chocolate toxicity inducing vomiting or administering doses of activated charcoal, that purges toxins from the dog’s digestive system before they can be absorbed into the animal’s bloodstream, according to the AKC. Depending on the severity of poisoning, medications or fluids may be required to counter poisoning, he says AKC.

“A dog’s reaction to chocolate can depend on the size of the animal” (Getty Images)

What could affect a dog’s reaction to chocolate?

“A dog’s reaction to chocolate It may depend on the size of the animal. said in dialogue with livescience the vet Greg Nelson, Director of Surgery and Director of Diagnostic Imaging of Central Veterinary Associates in Valley Stream, New York. Therefore, a piece of chocolate will have a more pronounced effect on a chihuahua, usually weighing between 4 and 6 pounds (1.8 to 2.7 kilograms) that in a saint bernard, which can weigh up to 180 pounds (81.6 kg).

“One hundred milligrams of theobromine and caffeine for every kilogram of a dog’s weight is enough to be lethal,” he said. Nelson a WordsSideKick.com. “Different chocolate products have varying levels of theobromine and caffeine, and the worst offender is bakery chocolate. In my experience, one ounce of baker’s chocolate per kilogram of the dog’s body weight can be lethal.”

The milk chocolate is less dangerous than baking chocolate because it contains fewer stimulants, but Nelson warns that if your dog has ingested any type or amount of chocolate, it is always better to be safe than sorry. “I advise clients to visit their vets instead of hesitating and possibly creating an emergency by not having the dog seen right away.” Nelson. “At a minimum, call your veterinarian or the National Animal Poison Control Center for advice.”

While chocolate poisoning can affect dogs at any time, puppies are more likely to find and consume chocolate on holidays like Christmas and Easter, when there is plenty of chocolate available in the form of figurines (such as bunnies and Santa Claus), as well as bars, eggs, liqueurs, cakes and decorations, the researchers wrote in a 2017 article in the journal Veterinary Record. In fact, dDuring the holiday season, dogs are four times more likely to require a trip to the vet for chocolate poisoning that during non-holiday days; and at Easter, dogs are twice as likely to get sick from chocolate, compared to other times of the year, previously reported Livescience.

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