Monday, May 01, 2006

Chocolates and Dogs, A Bad Mix

You have probably heard it before, but unfortunately some have not...that chocolates and dogs don't mix. Spread the word. Why is it harmful? Chocolate is made with cocoa beans. Cocoa beans contain methylxanthine alkaloids in the form of theobromine and caffeinea and they are toxic to dogs. It is said that we, human beings, stop eating chocolates before we reach toxic levels, but dogs will go on consuming the stuff. Dark chocolates are the worse and white chocolate is the least harmful. But, hey, just forget about it!

There is talk about the amount of chocolate consumed vis-a-vis the weight of the dog before the chocolate consumption becomes toxic, but I'd say it again---just forget about it. Just don't feed your dog chocolates. They are too fatty anyway. As for
symptoms of chocolate poisoning, here they are: from vomiting, diarrhea to panting, excessive thirst, constant urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, and seizures. And, of course, the grand daddy of them all is death. Severe cases will be fatal. The smaller the dog, the lesser the amount of chocolate consumed for poisoning to occur.

If your dog accidentally ate chocolates, try to induce vomiting within the first two hours. I have always had difficulty with this particular advice. How do you induce a dog to vomit? I don't know. I'd say, ascertain the type of chocolate eaten and take the dog to the vet asap. pronto.


Drifter said...

I feed chocolate to cats; will it do any good?

Chessbuff said...

Don't feed your cat chocolates. A good rule is to avoid feeding your pets anything meant for human consumption. It's a general rule, I know. I think that this advice which comes from the ASPCA is particularly true with snacks like chocs, gums, and candies. I feed my dog food meant for human consumption like chicken and meat. They are not leftovers, but her own tiny share of a prepared meal. She is also fed dog food because I fear that she might enjoy human food so much and get weened away from dog food. Dog food, when you are in a rush or simply too tired to cook, is very convenient. However, I don't give her sweets/snacks like the ones mentioned above. These animals don't need this stuff to begin with. Anyway, here is a great page from the ASPCA website for more information: The ASPCA maintains an Animal Poison Control Center and their phone number is 1-888-426-4435.