Is Chocolate Good For Dogs?

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Author: Sarah McMullen

Everyone feels better after a piece of chocolate! Unfortunately, not so for dogs and cats. The treat that gives us so much pleasure can be lethal to our furry friends!

The ingredient that makes chocolate toxic to animals is theobromine, a xanthine compound. Theobromine is present in cocoa products. Cooking or dark chocolate contains the highest amount, followed by semi-sweet chocolate & milk chocolate has the least amount.

Effects of Chocolate Consumption in Dogs

Xanthine compounds affect the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves.
Signs of toxicity can include panting, restlessness, vomiting, increased urination and muscular tremors or tenseness. The animal may also become hyperirritable or excitable. These signs may lead to hyperthermia (overheating). Serious complications such as seizures, heart failure and death can also occur.

Minor problems can still occur with eating milk chocolate, or small amounts of other human chocolates & the most common would be diarrhoea (usually 12-24 hours after eating the chocolate).
If you suspect chocolate poisoning, contact your vet for immediate advice is essential.

Chocolate Alternatives for Dogs

Do not give chocolate to your dog or cat unless it is the ‘choc treat’ style safe for pets. Carob, an alternative to chocolate, is safe for your dogs to have as an occasional treat. Treats should ideally be reserved for training and remember, obesity causes many other canine health issues, so all dog treats should be given in moderation.

If you suspect chocolate poisoning, contact your vet for immediate advice is essential.

If you suspect chocolate poisoning, contact your vet for immediate advice is essential.

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