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Your Dog and Chocolate Poisoning

Chocolate poisoning in dogs is not as uncommon as you might think. In fact, chocolate is the third most common cause of poisoning in dogs. And it is the chemical Theobromine in the chocolate that causes it by affecting the central nervous system in your dog, as well as the heart muscle.


Since Theobromine is extremely dangerous to your dog’s health, you should never ever give him chocolate – no matter how much he begs and looks at you with those big eyes of his! However, accidents do happen and if you suspect that your dog has eaten chocolate you should contact your veterinarian for advice. In addition, if you suspect that your dog has had a lot (for his size), take him or her to the vet straight away!

- How much chocolate is too much?

How much chocolate is too much, you might ask. And how much chocolate is lethal? Well, any chocolate is really too much but the lethal dose of Theobromine depends on the size of your dog and his age, as well as how much and what kind of chocolate he has been eating. For instance, a smaller dog is more easily poisoned by a small amount of Theobromine than a larger dog and an old dog that is not in excellent condition is more likely to get chocolate poisoning than a young, healthy one. Also, the amount of Theobromine your dog has digested depends on what kind of chocolate he has been munching on. For example, baking chocolate has about six to nine times more Theobromine then milk chocolate does. However, a large dog like a Dogo usually has to eat quite a lot of chocolate before it gets dangerous, but even small amounts can cause digestive problems in larger breeds.

- Symptoms

At first, the symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea and hyperactivity, but as time goes by other more serious symptoms can emerge. Your dog’s heart rate may increase which can cause arrhythmia, muscle twitching and excessive panting. Other complications due to chocolate poisoning can also include hyperthermia, increased urination, seizures, coma and even death.


- Treatment

If you suspect that your dog has gotten chocolate poisoning, you should take him to the vet right away. Don’t waste valuable time trying to cure him yourself (this kind of poisoning is way too serious for that). The treatment for chocolate poisoning differs depending on how severe it is. Your vet might help your dog by inducing vomiting, stabilizing your dog’s heartbeat and respiration, controlling seizures and slowing the absorption of Theobromine. Also, if your dog already is in a coma, his stomach may need to be pumped.

- Protecting Your Dog

So how can you protect your dog against chocolate poisoning? Well, first of all don’t give him any! Not even a small bite. Secondly, be careful not to leave chocolate where your dog can find it. This is especially important around the holiday seasons when many of us tend to have chocolate in dishes on tables for all our friends. Last but not least, if you are having a lot of people over during the holidays, inform them that they are not allowed to feed your dog chocolate. Most people, especially those who do not own dogs themselves, have probably never heard of chocolate poisoning!

Other Articles:
  • Reducing the Costs of Owning a Dogo

  • Dognapping On the Rise

  • Vaccinating your Dogo
  • Microchipping Your Dog – How does it work?
  • Your Dog and Chocolate Poisoning
  • Insure Your Dog Today!
  • What Not to Feed Your Dog…
  • Fleas, Ticks and Your Dog
  • Heartworm in Dogs
  • The Terror of Antifreeze
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