Chocolate contains theobromine. A naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean, theobromine increases urination and affects the central nervous system as well as heart muscle. While amounts vary by type of chocolate, it’s the theobromine that is poisonous to dogs. Dogs lack the detoxification pathways to get rid of theobromine. In most chocolate found in the US there isn’t actually very much cocoa because we like our chocolate rich sweet and creamy. However the newly popular 70% cocoa stuff would be very very bad for your pup.
Also just becuase most chocolate is not THAT dangerous for dogs it isn’t a good idea to let your dog develop a taste for it or have it even in small amounts. Why risk it?
Theobromine, found in the cocoa bean, is the component of chocolate that makes it very harmful to your dog. Theobromine is a stimulant, different than caffeine (which is also present in chocolate) but with similar effects. Dogs are not able to break it down as easily as humans can, and therefore certain amounts in their system can be toxic and even fatal to them. In general, the toxic dose for a dog is noted to be 100-200 mg/kg, but some research has reported problems at much lower doses than that. Theobromine toxicity is dose dependent, which means that it depends on the amount eaten, the type of chocolate, and the size of your dog to determine individual toxicity levels.
If a dog does ingest poisonous amounts of chocolate, some typical signs include excitment, vomiting, excessive thirt, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is important to call your vet if you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, and/or you see any of these signs. There is no antidote, but there are numerous treatments that can be taken to help your pet.
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