CAN DOGS EAT CHOCOLATE?
Do you give your dog a sneaky bit of chocolate now and then? I have to admit I used to before I realised exactly what the side-effects could be.
Chocolate is toxic and poisonous to dogs.
Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine, which is naturally occurring in the cocoa plant, from which chocolate is made. It’s this active ingredient that is a type of stimulant. Unlike humans, dogs can’t metabolise theobromine fast enough so it results in the over stimulation of the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system and causes an increase in blood pressure.
In some cases, if too much theobromine is ingested it can be fatal from symptoms such as rapid heart rate. Other symptoms include; diarrhoea, vomiting, increased urination, excessive panting, hyperactive behaviour and seizures.
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate In Small Amounts?
As a rule, the larger the dog, the more they can eat and cope with. It also depends on what type of chocolate they may consume:
With the offending ingredient being the theobromine, then the darker the chocolate (the more cocoa), the worse it is for your dog.
General toxicity levels that could kill a 16lb dog (i.e. Bichon Frise / West Highland Terrier size):
So, if your dog should get their hands on some of your chocolates, check the details above to see if they are likely to be ok. But, in short, the answer to the question – can dogs eat chocolate – is definitely no, it’s just not worth the risk and if they do have a sweet tooth, it’s better to give them healthy dog treats of their own made from sweet fruit and vegetables.