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Chocolate Toxicity

Chocolate Toxicity
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Just Say No to Chocolate

As Halloween approaches, it’s essential to keep chocolate out of reach of dogs and to be aware of the symptoms of chocolate poisoning.  Chocolate is considered unhealthy and potentially toxic for dogs because it contains 2 chemicals called theobromine and caffeine, both of which are stimulants that dogs process slowly, making your dog more susceptible to their toxic effects. 

Here are the reasons why chocolate is harmful to dogs:

Theobromine Toxicity: Theobromine is present in varying amounts in different types of chocolate, with higher concentrations found in dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Theobromine can stimulate the central nervous system, leading to symptoms like increased heart rate, restlessness, and seizures in dogs. In severe cases, it can even be fatal.

Caffeine Toxicity: Caffeine can cause similar symptoms to theobromine toxicity, such as increased heart rate, tremors, and hyperactivity.

Gastrointestinal Distress: Even in smaller amounts, chocolate can lead to gastrointestinal issues in dogs, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Chocolate toxicity in dogs can vary depending upon the dog’s size and the type and quality of the chocolate ingested.  Small dogs are more vulnerable to chocolate toxicity than larger dogs because it takes less toxins to cause harm. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to dogs.

What Are The Signs of Chocolate Poisoning?

The most common clinical signs are vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, and racing heart rate.  In severe cases, symptoms can include muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure. Complications such as developing aspiration pneumonia from vomiting, can make the prognosis for chocolate poisoning worse. When in doubt, immediate treatment by your veterinarian is recommended if a poisonous amount of chocolate is ingested.

The Signs of Chocolate Poisoning Can Take Hours To Develop

It is important to call us if your dog has eaten chocolate so that we can help you monitor your dog and provide medical attention if needed.


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