Can Dogs Eat Chocolate in Arab, AL?
Have you ever wondered whether or not your dog can eat chocolate in Arab, AL? If so, you’re not the only one. Pet owners of all ages find themselves asking it’s safe for their dogs to have a little chocolate now and then.
In the article below, you’ll learn the basics about what makes chocolate harmful to dogs. You can use this information to better understand why you shouldn’t give chocolate to your pet and what to do if your dog accidentally eats too much of it. Read on to find out more.
Ingredients in Chocolate that are Harmful to Dogs
It’s very important to recognize why chocolate is harmful to dogs. Chocolate includes ingredients that a dog’s body can’t process, and it can make them very sick.
Theobromine and Caffeine
Theobromine and caffeine are the two chemicals that make chocolate dangerous for dogs. They both can cause a significant increase in heart rate, excessive thirst and excessive urination. Dogs cannot metabolize these chemicals as well as humans can.
Too much of either of these substances can potentially cause a dog’s heart to fail or can cause serious nervous system problems. In either of these situations, the ingestion of chocolate can be fatal, so it’s crucial to respond quickly if your dog eats too much chocolate.
Sugar and Fat
The sugar and fat content of chocolate are both dangerous for dogs as well. Dogs who consume too much sugar in their diets may be at risk of developing diabetes, especially if they regularly eat sugary snacks that are meant for humans. Additionally, many types of artificial sweeteners found in chocolate are toxic to dogs.
Fat content can be harmful for your dog’s health. Too much fat in a dog’s diet can lead to pancreatitis, which is a potentially fatal condition. It may also lead to bloat, which is also potentially fatal. You can reduce the risk of these conditions by avoiding fatty foods in your dog’s diet.
Different Levels of Chocolate
Different types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine and caffeine content. White chocolate, for example, doesn’t contain much of either of these substances. Many dogs who ingest a little bit of white chocolate are perfectly fine, but you should monitor your pet to be sure.
Dark chocolate contains the most theobromine and caffeine and is therefore the most dangerous for your pet. Baker’s chocolate is a concentrated form of chocolate intended for baking rather than snacking, and it has much more of these chemicals per ounce as well. You will want your dog to stay away from this at all costs.
The amount of chocolate your dog eats makes a difference when it comes to the issues he may have because of eating it. For example, if your dog is very large and only eats a small nibble of chocolate, he will likely be okay; however, it’s important to still monitor him for a couple of days to be sure.
Although your dog may be safe if he accidentally eats a small amount of chocolate, you should still avoid feeding it to him on purpose.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
- Increased Heartrate
Additionally, in severe cases, he may collapse, have a seizure, or could even die. This is why it is crucial to respond quickly if you suspect chocolate poisoning in your dog.
Contact Your Veterinarian if Your Dog Eats Chocolate
If your dog consumes more than a bite of chocolate, or if he consumes any baker’s chocolate, contact your vet right away. If the incident occurs outside of the normal operating hours for your vet, then you will need to get in touch with an emergency vet instead.
The vet or emergency vet will ask you questions and examine your dog to determine the extent of the problem. If your dog is suffering from symptoms, the vet may induce vomiting or may need to perform more extensive treatments. Your dog will likely be given IV fluids as well.
Dogs can’t eat chocolate for a variety of reasons, and it is very harmful. By remembering these reasons, you can make the best decision the next time you find yourself wishing you could share some of your favorite chocolate treats with your pet.
If you have any other questions, or if your dog accidentally ingests chocolate, be sure to contact Arab Veterinary Hospital for more information. Also, if your dog eats a lot of chocolate or consumes any concentrated baker’s chocolate, don’t wait; go to the emergency vet right away. Responding quickly to situations involving consuming too much chocolate can help prevent chocolate poisoning in your pet. Call us today at (256) 586-3183.