Chocolate Safe for Dogs?

The other day I was walking in our neighborhood with our little pups and a neighbor told me that their new puppy always begs when they open a chocolate bar. Oh yes, they heard that chocolate can be bad for dogs.

After all, we shouldn’t eat too much of it either..so they have been wondering why they couldn’t just give their  12 lb dog a piece.. he really wants it, what’s the harm?

I told them that chocolate is highly toxic to dogs.

And the answer to the question:
How much Chocolate Can Your Dog Eat SAFELY?
The answer is NONE.. the risks are just too high

There are NO benefits and a myriad of reasons why they should NEVER feed or allow their dog to eat chocolate.

I could tell they were not convinced. So I sent them this article by Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM. I hope they pay heed.

If you have ever wondered about the dangers of feeding chocolate to your dog, take a minute a breeze through the following excerpts are from an article by Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM

“Look our for Chocolate

In general, Veterinarians are seeing MORE chocolate toxicities, due to our increased desire to consume ‘healthier’dark chocolate- BUT your pet only needs
to consume 1/3 as much dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate to become seriously ill.

Not too long ago, (while I was practicing 🙂 ) I had 2 small dogs that consumed OVER 1 pound of chocolate covered coffee beans..

Dogs surprise me as to what they will consume…

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WHAT You NEED to Know
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1. The TOXIC and potentially FATAL dose of chocolate is 60mg/kg- so a 10lb dog onlyneeds to consume 300mg of chocolate.

Clinical Signs can be seen as low as 20mg/kg- meaning our little 10lb dog only
needs to consume 100mg to have problems.

Severe signs are seen at 40mg/kg- or consuming 200mg of chocolate.

2. The Toxic components are theobromine and caffeine- although the theobromine
is the BIGGEST toxin.

3. Here are some relative amounts of theobromine:

Milk chocolate bar ( 5oz) -250mg
Dark chocolate bar ( 70% cocoa) – 600mg
Unsweetened Baking chocolate (persq) – 400mg
Semisweet Chocolate Chips (per 30 chips) – 250mg
Instant Cocoa Powder ( per ounce) – 150mg
Dry Cocoa Powder ( per ounce) – 700mg

4. Here are some of the clinical signs-they occur 6-12 hours after ingestion.

Vomiting
Diarrhea
Bloating
Restlessness
Increased Drinking
Increased Urinating

Progressing Signs:
Hyperactivity
Tremors
Seizures
Elevated Heart Rate/arrhythmia
Cyanosis ( bluish gums)
Elevated blood pressure
Increased respirations
Hyperthermia
Coma

5. What to do

– IF your dog… consumes 20mg/kg of theobromine or higher, then induce vomiting:

PURGE THE POISON. In most cases of poisoning, getting your pet to vomit is the most important thing that you can do. To induce vomiting, give hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. If your pet doesn’t vomit in 10 minutes, repeat again. NEVER do more than 2 treatments of peroxide. You can also try salt: dilute 1 teaspoon of salt in a tablespoon of water per every 10lbs of body weight.

DELAY ABSORPTION. Activated charcoal is readily available at most pharmacies. It delays absorption of any toxin by binding to the toxic compound in the stomach. The easiest way is to give the capsule form. For those garbage-eating dogs (such as my own dog) it is a good idea to have hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal always on hand.

-IF your dog is showing ANY of the clinical signs, such as vomiting, increased drinking, bloating and tremors, then see your Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

-IF you are UNABLE to induce vomiting, SEE your Vet ASAP.

When your dog wants a treat, there are so many healthful and natural alternatives such as a small piece of chicken or holistic treats made especially for dogs that there is no reason to risk Fido’s life with something as toxic as chocolate. We wouldn’t.. we love our little dogs too much.. and I know you feel the same about yours.

P.S. from Dr Jones, The 2 small dogs that consumed the 1 pound of chocolate covered coffee beans are FINE because I did one thing that YOU can be doing at home: Inducing Vomiting.

 

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