Our pets and humans can be true lovers of the highest quality chocolate, but the point of interest of many dog owners is what happens when a dog eats chocolate. Generally, the components contained in a piece of chocolate can be poisonous to pets and lead to unwanted symptoms. Keep in mind that you should be aware of some essential things related to chocolate poisoning in dogs. With that being said, let’s discover what chocolate does to dogs and how to get help.
Why chocolate is not advised to the dogs
Naturally, the chocolate incorporates a component known as theobromine, similar to caffeine, and has toxic properties to dogs. That happens due to the absence of an ability to metabolize or break down theobromine in dogs while humans can metabolize it. This poisonous ingredient mainly influences the dog’s central nervous system and essential organs, leading to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. However, the signs of chocolate poisoning usually depend on the dog’s weight and the amount of chocolate eaten.
How much chocolate can a dog eat?
It would be better not to give chocolate to the dogs even when they ask for a piece – keep in mind that the theobromine dose of 100-150 mg per kg of the dog’s weight can be toxic or even fatal to your pet. For instance, if your German Shepherd weighs around 30 kg, then around 3000 mg of theobromine might be fatal – this dose of theobromine is typically contained in a dark chocolate bar that weighs 500 g or in 170 g of baking chocolate. The less your dog weighs, the less chocolate amount is allowed to eat.
How chocolate might affect the pets
The symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs in most cases include:
- Vomiting that may include blood
- Rapid breathing
- Violation of coordination
- Tension in muscles
- Increased blood rate
Such a poisoning has an impact on the heart, kidneys as well as central nervous system. Usually, the symptoms can appear between 4-24 hours after a dog has eaten a piece of chocolate. It is worth mentioning that the unmistakable signs of intoxication occur depending on the weight of the breed and the dose of theobromine. For example, once your German Shepherd has eaten 200 g of milk chocolate, a dog is likely to have a violation in the digestive system such as vomiting and diarrhea. The amount of chocolate 500 g leads to cardiovascular issues, while at 750 g, seizures might be observed.
How much chocolate can kill a dog?
Although chocolate is quite toxic to dogs, fatal cases rarely happen. According to the Veterinary Poisons Information Service, 995 dogs with chocolate intoxication survive from 1,000 ones. That means there is a low potential risk that a high dose of theobromine can kill your dog. Consult your vet immediately whether you have noticed your beloved dog has eaten chocolate to get some advice on urgent treatment.