Chocolate is a popular treat for humans, but it is one of the most dangerous foods for dogs. Even a small amount of chocolate can cause severe health problems and even death in dogs. The reason chocolate is toxic to dogs is due to a substance called theobromine, which is found in cocoa. Theobromine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system of dogs.
What makes chocolate so toxic to dogs?
Theobromine is a chemical compound similar to caffeine, and it is found in varying amounts in different types of chocolate. Dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate have the highest concentration of theobromine, while milk chocolate and white chocolate have lower amounts. However, even a small amount of chocolate can cause toxicity in dogs, and the severity of the toxicity depends on the type of chocolate, the amount consumed, and the size of the dog.
What happens when a dog eats chocolate?
When a dog ingests chocolate, the theobromine is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the central nervous system. The theobromine stimulates the dog’s heart rate, causing an increase in blood pressure and leading to an irregular heartbeat. This can cause the dog to experience seizures, heart attack, or even death. Theobromine also affects the respiratory system, causing difficulty breathing and leading to respiratory failure.
What are the symptoms if my dog has eaten chocolate?
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs can vary depending on the amount and type of chocolate consumed, as well as the size and overall health of the dog. The most common symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, and seizures. In severe cases, the dog may experience cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.
It’s important to note that not all dogs will show symptoms of chocolate toxicity, and some may be more sensitive to the effects of theobromine than others. Additionally, small dogs and puppies are more susceptible to the toxic effects of chocolate than larger dogs.