Chocolate is NOT for Dogs
Theobromine, the primary alkaloid found in cocoa and chocolate is poisonous for dogs, cats and horses
People like to share everything with their pets, and food as a treat is one way to show your dog how much you care about them. But be cautious when it comes to sweets – chocolate is not to be given to dogs under any circumstances. Many dog owners have already been told this, but let us look into facts and consequences.
Chocolate is poisonous for dogs because it contains methylxanthine alkaloids in the form of chemical compound called Theobromine. Theobromine stimulates the central nervous system, cardiovascular system and increases blood pressure. Dogs, but also horses and cats, cannot metabolize theobromine as efficiently as humans can.
If a dog eats chocolate, its body will try to eject the theobromine from the system. This can lead to diarrhea and vomiting, which are early symptoms of theobromine poisoning. As it affects the central nervous and cardiovascular system, it can easily increase a dog’s blood pressure and cause nausea. Symptoms can vary depending on a dog’s health condition, age, size and the amount of chocolate eaten. The dog’s heart rate may increase and cause arrhythmia, restlessness, muscle spasm, increased urination, excessive panting and hyperactivity. More advanced symptoms of toxicity in some dogs, especially older ones, are hypothermia, seizures or even coma. Unfortunately, such advanced symptoms often lead to death.
The symptoms of theobromine poisoning usually show within four to twenty-four hours after the dog has eaten the chocolate. If you notice any early symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, thirst, increased urination), do not wait until it gets worse – take your dog to the vet for examination and evaluation of its heart rate. If chocolate ingestion is diagnosed early, the prognosis is good.
Even if your dog eats a small amount of chocolate, signs of vomiting and diarrhea can occur due to the high fat and sugar content. Although a small piece of chocolate may not show an intense reaction, for peace of mind do not give your dog any chocolate. It really can only harm your animal friend. If you are keen on sharing a treat, check out you local pet store for speciality chocolate formulated to be dog-friendly.
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