Chocolate Poisoning

We all want to treat our pets and it is very tempting to feed our dogs some of our own favourite foods, including sweet treats such as chocolate. However although heavenly for us, chocolate can be poisonous, and even fatal, for dogs (and other animals).

Chocolate contains a powerful stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Theobromine is harmless to humans, but highly toxic to dogs.??The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Dark chocolate and cocoa contain high levels of theobromine and therefore cause the biggest effect however even a small amount of theobromine can have an effect so you should never give your dog chocolate as a treat. 

Theobromine poisoning is a common, potentially severe, type of poisoning, however if caught early, theobromine poisoning is treatable, therefore it is important that you act quickly if you believe your dog has eaten chocolate. 

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • dehydration
  • hyperactivity
  • high temperature and blood pressure
  • abnormal heart rate

… and in the later stages, tremors and even death

What should you do if your dog eats chocolate?

Take your pet to your vet immediately if you suspect he or she has been exposed to this poison. Some animals may require rehydration and other veterinary treatment.

Don't give in to begging 

Most dogs will beg for chocolate when they see someone eating it, but don't give in to those big brown eyes. The best thing to do is keep your pet on his or her normal diet. Natural treats or chews packed with essential nutrients designed to help maintain an animal's health can be just as tasty for your pet. 

Special chocolate formulated for dogs

If you really want to give your dog a 'chocolate' treat, pet shops sell special chocolate drops that have been developed especially for dogs and are safe for them to eat.

For more information on this important topic please visit The Hills, specialist's in Pet Nutrition website.