Chocolate and your Dog

As much as we woof to share everything with our best mutt, chocolate is better kept in the pantry and out of Sweetie’s paws.

Gallopin’ Greyhounds! How on this grrreat earth could chocolate be bad? You’re probably asking yourself. For many pet-lovers, chocolate is the cure for everything, from Mondays to breakups. For doggies, unfortunately, it can go the opposite way. We never wish to scare our fellow dog adorers, but chocolate can, in fact, be poisonous to your loved-woof.

So, what is it about chocolate that causes poisoning in dogs?

  • Methylxanthines, because of their theobromine
  • Caffeine
  • Toxins combined with your dog’s slower metabolism

Now, if you think of Rover eating chocolate similar to how humans consume alcohol, you’ll have a better understanding of how chocolate works in your dog’s system. As a rool, the darker the chocolate, the more likely it is to cause problems for Sugarbaby – similar to how you’d react to drinking an entire bottle of vodka. Yipe! This is because concentrated chocolate (dark or baking) has the most toxicities, or roolly bad stuff. So generally speaking, it’s not going to hurt your Easter Doggy if he ‘accidentally’ steals a few milk chocolate eggs.

The real problem occurs when a pooch eats a large or unknown amount of dark chocolate. Ruh-roh! Toxicity of the sweet is calculated by chocolate type and dog weight – roolly similar to how we figure out the affects of alcohol in male versus female pet-lovers. So, even a snack-size bar of dark chocolate could be potentially deadly if eaten by a small dog. The safest thing you can do is estimate the most chocolate your beloved bowser could have eaten, and from there, decide whether you should call your vet.

Now, no need to go into a tailspin just yet. Simply keep chocolate away from your Chocolate Lab, and problem solved. However, Shih Tzu happens, and with any holiday frenzy, chocolate can easily be left out, by mistake. So…

How can we spot the signs of chocolate poisoning? Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning usually show up within 6-12 hours of when your dog has eaten the snack.

The most mild symptoms will occur if he’s eaten 20 mg methylxanthine/kg bodyweight.

The roolly bad signs would appear around 40–50 mg/kg (seizures occur at 60 mg/kg). These symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Uncoordination
  • Shaking
  • Seizures

If you know your sweet-tooth terrier has had access to a large amount of chocolate, it’s best to see your vet rrrrright away, to stop these toxins from absorbing into your four-legged friend.