Chocolate is a food that we all like. It is the best complement for a snack and the quintessential component of birthday cakes. However, those of us who have pets have always heard that chocolate is a “forbidden food” for dogs, and therefore it is essential to be careful with what we feed them. In this article we talk about the effects caused by chocolate in dogs, as well as the different types that exist and the degree of affectation.
Is chocolate bad for dogs?
Definitely, yes: chocolate is bad for dogs. This is due to the presence of a component called theobromine, which is easily metabolized in our bodies, but not in that of our four-legged friends. They present a greater difficulty to process it, which causes it to accumulate in concentrations that can become toxic.
As you can imagine, everything will depend on the type of chocolate and the size of our dog. In general terms, we can affirm that the chocolate it is bad for dogs, so we must keep them away from this product. But it is also important to know how it affects them and how to react if they ever eat it.
In what ways does eating chocolate affect dogs?
Both the size of our dog, and the type of chocolate, are factors that greatly influence to know how eating chocolate affects our dogs.
As we have discussed previously, larger dog breeds can tolerate greater amounts of chocolate than small breeds. According to experts, the amount ingested begins to be toxic from the 20 milligrams of theobromine for every kilo that the dog weighs. That is, if a dog of 10 kg. eat 200 mg of this compound, it may be harmful to you.
Type of chocolate
We distinguish three main types: white, milk and dark chocolate:
– White chocolate is not usually so toxic, due to its very low theobromine content. However, you should still be careful.
– Milk chocolate contains about 60 milligrams of theobromine per ounce, so we must be more attentive and of course, not feed them this type of food.
– Dark chocolate is more dangerous due to its high concentration of theobromine. In no case can your pets consume it, since each ounce contains about 200 milligrams of theobromine.
What to do if my dog has eaten chocolate?
Take note of the guidelines that you should follow to identify if your best friend has ingested this product and, if so, how you should act.
Symptoms of theobromine poisoning
As a general rule, signs of poisoning usually appear 8 hours after consumption. Although the most frequent is hyperactivity, You should go to the vet urgently if you observe:
– Elevated body temperature
– Fast breathing
– Incrise of cardiac frecuency
– Excessive urination
– Hypersensitivity to stimuli
– but consistently
Effects such as heart failure are very rare, but could happen. You must be very careful and avoid eating any food without your permission!
How should I act if my dog has eaten chocolate?
If your dog has consumed chocolate, don’t wait for symptoms to show up. The first thing is to get in touch with the vet. The most recommended is that a professional advise you about what you should do to minimize the damage that poisoning can cause during the trip to the clinic. Other steps you should take include:
– Identify the type of chocolate (white, milk, black) and what is its concentration.
– Ireduce the vomit in the first two hours after consumption. We know that it is difficult, but it is a decisive action so that you expel the maximum possible amount of the toxic substance from your body.
– Check and keep the packaging or box where the ingested chocolate came. This way, you can give your vet an estimate of the amount that has caused the poisoning.
Other types of chocolate and prohibited foods for dogs
Many products that humans consume with total normality are harmful to our pets, mainly due to their high chocolate content. We refer to:
– Chocolate bars (especially if it is black or with milk).
– Energy bars. Many contain small traces of chocolate. A piece shouldn’t be poisonous, as long as it’s not dark chocolate.
– Chocolate bars. They have much more theobromine than bars.
– Cereals. If they have pieces of chocolate, you will have to watch that it is not black. Anyway, another good option is to remove them one by one.
– Cocoa powder. It is another of the products with the highest concentration of theobromine. It usually ranges between 2% and 10%.
– Cakes and sweets. Although they are not made with chocolate, they can contain it in their base. In addition, its high concentrations of sugar can be equally harmful.
In the same way, remember that there are other prohibited foods for dogs. This is the case of grapes, dairy, onion, garlic or coffee. You can meet them all on our blog.
The natural food for dogs, the best alternative
Not all the products that we like may be suitable for our best friends. It is not bad that, from time to time, your pet tries a dish made by you and that is healthy for him. However, the best option is always the natural food for dogs, for constituting a nutrition adapted to them.
On Knatur We make sure that our dog food is made with natural ingredients that have all the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. The meat and the protein are essential elements in our range of natural dog food, making them ideal to provide them with energy and vitality.
In short, you should avoid at all costs the intake of chocolate in dogs, because intoxication can lead, in the worst case, to death or a coma. Remember the importance of always having the opinion of a professional for the nutrition of your partner and decide to give him a food according to his size, age and particular conditions.