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Even though eating chocolate in small doses can be healthy for humans, it’s extremely dangerous for a dog to eat any type of chocolates. In fact, chocolate is considered a toxin to dogs and can be fatal in some cases.
However, dogs by nature find chocolate extremely delicious, and can eat a huge amount if under no supervision. So it’s very important to always keep chocolate out of your dog’s reach.
In this article, we’re going to answer the question: can dogs eat chocolates? We’ll explain why chocolate can be fatal to dogs, and how to react if your dog innocently ate your whole chocolate stash.
Why Is Chocolate Dangerous?
Methylxanthines are known for their effects on the heart, muscles, and nervous system.
However, dogs are considered unable to digest these chemicals the way we do, making them extremely sensitive to their toxic symptoms.
Allergies can also play a major role in your dog’s symptoms after ingesting chocolate. In fact, dogs can develop allergic reactions to literally anything edible, just like us.
If you think your dog is suffering from an allergic reaction to chocolate, it’s best to seek help from a veterinarian.
Chocolate’s Effects on Dogs
Just one to two hours after ingesting chocolate, hard symptoms start appearing on the dog due to the large amount of toxins in its gut. However, sometimes it may take up to a day for symptoms to appear.
Chocolate toxicity symptoms include fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms could last up to a week. Other toxicity symptoms may include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased rate of breathing
- Heart arrhythmias
- Increase in body temperature
- Higher rate of urination
Advanced signs may include seizures, collapses, or death.
How Chocolate Types Differs in Toxicity
Even though all types of chocolate are considered dangerous, some types have higher amounts of toxins compared to other types. In fact, the higher the amount of theobromine in the chocolate ingested, the more intense the symptoms would be.
As an example, cacao beans are considered the most dangerous type as they contain the highest concentration of theobromine. Only very low doses can be ingested before possibly fatal symptoms appear.
On the other hand, white chocolate is considered the least dangerous as it contains much lower amounts of toxic chemicals.
How to React if a Dog Ate Chocolate?
The way you react to a dog’s toxicity does play a huge role in how badly it’s going to suffer. The first thing you need to do is to call a veterinarian.
You also need to estimate the amount of chocolate ingested by the dog and of which type. This would help the veterinarian how dangerous it can get.
Make sure the dog is kept calm and safe until the arrival of the veterinarian. Helping a dog vomit would be very helpful as it aids in the excretion of most of the toxins ingested.
To sum up the case, chocolate toxicity can be easily treated if you immediately call a veterinarian. However, storing your chocolate in the refrigerator is the easiest way to prevent your dog’s illness.