- Pets and Animals
How Chocolate Makes a Dog Sick
Toxicity in Dogs
Dogs seem to enjoy chocolate as much as humans do. However, a dog who ingests chocolate may suffer serious side effects. Chocolate is produced from the roasted seeds of cacao nut. Two chemical elements found in chocolate can have adverse effects on your dog. Caffeine and theobromine. Both compounds may make a dog ill and it is possible for a fatal reaction to occur.
Symptoms caused by the ingestion of chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, muscle rigidity, seizures, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, cardiac failure, weakness and coma. A tiny bit of chocolate may not cause any symptoms in a large dog. In the correct quantities, chocolate has adverse affects on dogs. Only 0.3 ounces of baking chocolate or semi sweet chocolate can make a 20 pound dog ill. It would take 0.7 ounces of milk chocolate to make the same 20 pound dog ill. For a large dog, 100 pounds or more, 1.5 ounces of semi sweet or bakers chocolate or 3.5 ounces of milk choclate would have to be ingested to produce serious side effects.
Never feed your dog anything that includes chocolate. Keep your chocolate treats out of reach of your dog.
If your dog accidentally ingests chocolate a visit to the veterinarian may be necessary. The doctor will complete a physical exam that may include a urinalysis and blood profile. An ECG may also be performed to make sure the dog is not experiencing any cardiac trauma.
Before rushing the dog to the vet, call ahead to see if there is something you can do to help your dog before he is brought to be examined. Sometimes just keeping the dog cool and calm is enough. Other times the doctor may ask you to keep your dog hydrated or even to induce vomiting. Syrup of Ipecac can be used to induce vomiting.
If your dog is experiencing a seizure, twitching or muscle contractions and trouble breathing, It will be necessary to take him to the vet immediately. The doctor may have to inject a steroid substance like cortisone to control the seizure. Wrap your dog in a blanket and try to keep him calm when taking him to the vet.
To avoid accidental ingestion, keep chocolate far away from your dogs. Store chocolate in a tight container up high in a cool dry place. I like to reuse tin cookie containers. Teach your children not to feed anything chocolaty to your dog. Keep a stash of gourmet treats within reach to reward and praise your dog. Dogs can be fed people food as treats but just as chocolate should definitely be avoided you must also avoid feeding grapes, raisins, onion or garlic to your dog. Grapes, raisins, onions and garlic contain elements that are toxic for your pet.
Here are some recommended treats which your dog will thoroughly enjoy:
- Watermelon - without seeds
- Frozen bananas
- Green beans
- Carrots - raw or cooked
- Sweet potato
- Squash, zucchin
- Popcorn - unsalted and unbuttered
- goat cheese
- beef bones
More for your dog...
- 8 Special Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Dog
The time for purchasing holiday gifts is upon us and for dog owners, finding a special gift for man's best friend is challenging. Here are 8 great special gift suggestions for your dog.
- An Easy Home Made Dog Treat Recipe That Will Give Your Dog Fresh Breath
Dogs and bad breath seem to go hand and hand. By giving your dog a healthy, homemade dog treat you can reduce bad breath and prevent gum disease. Here is an easy home made dog treat recipe for you to make.
- Designer Dog Collars - Haute Couture For Your Dog
Dog collar styles are endless and consumers love them. Fashion designers have jumped on the band wagon and have added their own flair to the doggie fashion industry. Check out the current trends in dog collars and choose a designer collar for your do
- Getting Your Dog Used to a Dog Car Harness
As dog lovers, we want to keep our pets safe. We wear seat belts so why not our dogs. But what if our dog keeps trying to get out of the dog car harness? Instead of trying different brands until you find one he can't get out of, try training him to g