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Can Chocolate Really Kill Your Dog

Aug 17, 2007
Most of us love chocolate and love the taste, so do our dogs but the problem is that the same chocolate we love to indulge in is not good for our best friend. In this article we will explain why the consumption of chocolate is so detrimental for our dogs.

We have all heard this all of our lives but how big a threat is it really? Is it life threatening or will it just make him sick? How much chocolate does the animal have to eat for it to cause a negative reaction?

The ingredient in chocolate that makes it toxic to dogs is theobromine that is toxic to dogs in too much quantity. Theobromine is a xanthine compound in the same family of caffeine, and theophylline.

Thankfully, it takes a lot of chocolate to make a dog sick though the exact amount will differ according to the dog's individual sensitivity, its size, and the concentration of the chocolate consumed.

Different types of chocolate have varying amounts of theobromine with milk chocolate having about 44 mg of the substance per ounce, semisweet chocolate 150 mg, and Baker'S chocolate 390 mg per ounce making it the most dangerous to your pet.

With this in mind, here are some guidelines to consider:

1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight for Milk chocolate
1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for Semisweet chocolate
1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for Baker's chocolate.

So, for example, 2 oz. of Baker's chocolate can cause great risk to an 15 lb. dog. Yet, 2 oz. of Milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems.

Because Xanthines affect the nervous system, cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves, consumption will result in visible effects on your dog. It has a diuretic effect as well. Some of the signs include hyper excitability, hyper irritability, increased heart rate,
restlessness, increased urination, muscle tremors, vomiting, and diarrhea.

There is no specific antidote for this poisoning. Administering activated charcoal may inhibit absorption of the toxin. An anticonvulsant might be indicated if neurological signs are present and needs to be controlled. Oxygen therapy, intravenous medications, and fluids might be needed to protect the heart.

Milk chocolate will often cause diarrhea 12-24 hours after ingestion. This should be treated symptomatically (fluids, etc..) to prevent dehydration.

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate contact your Vet immediately! They can help you determine the the proper treatment for your pet.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is a business consultant for online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. Get more info on chocolatefor you at http://www.chocolates-plus.com
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