– The Daily Dog would like to remind all our readers this Easter of the danger chocolate represents to dogs. Essentially,chocolate is a poison to dogs, with not very much at all required to make your dog sick – or even kill him in the worst case scenario.
The ingredient within chocolate that is the actual poison is known as “theobromine”. Whilst harmless to humans, it is a naturally occurring stimulant found within the cocoa bean (from which chocolate is of course made). Many people think theobromine must be an artificial additive, but that is not the case. Unless it is specifically removed by treatment processes during the making of chocolate, it can be assumed that all chocolate products you buy in the supermarket for human consumption contain theobromine.
The only case where it is safe to assume theobromine has been removed is in chocolate made specifically for dogs – which again is readily available at most supermarkets. The pups4sale team has long wondered why dog-chocolate is made at all however, given how easy it is for dog and human chocolate to become mixed up in the average pantry – especially if removed from its original packaging.
To us the answer is simple – do not give your dogs even the tiniest piece of chocolate under any circumstances. Whether it be in the form of Easter eggs, a piece of chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate milk – or any other form – the risk is just not worth it.
Now, we all know how sneaky children (and some grown ups!) can be when it comes to finding chocolate eggs that have been hidden for Easter. Of course when children find the eggs, they don’t just look at them; they eat them! Naturally if Fido is hanging around (as he is wont to do if he sees someone eating), it is natural for children to share their stash with him. If you find this is the case (or suspect it may be), here are some signs to watch out for that your dog has been poisoned by theobromine:
- Vomiting (may include blood)
- Restlessness and hyperactivity
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle tension, incoordination
- Increased heart rate
How much chocolate is toxic to your dog? It all depends on the size of your dog, the amount of chocolate eaten and the amount of theobromine in the chocolate. For instance, baking chocolate has the most amount of theobromine, dark chocolate half as much and milk chocolate half as much again – whilst white chocolate has the least of all. According to veterinary advice we have seen, a 30kg Labrador Retriever would need to eaten 1kg of milk chocolate, .5kg of dark chocolate and 170gm of baking chocolate for the dose to prove lethal. However, it takes much lower amounts to make the same dog very ill. Approximately one fifth of the above dose in a 30kg dog is enough to see the onset of symptoms such a vomiting and diarrhea – which may well require veterinary treatment.
So to ensure a happy Easter all round at your household, keep the chocolate for the humans and the frozen bones for the dogs. That way everyone will be happy and no trip to the vet will be required. 😉