Combine dogs and chocolate and you are risking BIG trouble for your dog. The results can be serious, or even deadly!
Every year around certain holidays, veterinarians see an increase in sick dogs who have eaten chocolate.
These dog poisonings are mostly accidental, as many pet owners do not realize how dangerous chocolate is—or their dogs simply outsmart them and eat the chocolate on the sly.
Chocolate contains two substances that are harmful to dogs: theobromine and caffeine. However, different kinds of chocolate have different concentrations of these substances.
Note the difference in theobromine content in various chocolates:
The darker the chocolate, in general, the more theobromine. Also, higher quality chocolates, or more expensive chocolates, tend to contain more theobromine.
Small breeds can become ill with just a very small piece of chocolate, while larger breeds can eat more, before becoming ill.
If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, then you need to observe her carefully to see if she shows any of the following symptoms:
If your dog is seriously ill, you need to take him to the vet immediately. However, if you just want to ask someone knowledegable about your dog you can reach the National Animal Poison Information Center at the University of Illinois in Urbana by calling 888-426-4435 or speak directly to a veterinarian by contacting one at Pet Doctor Online.
As dangerous as chocolate can be for dogs, it's better to prevent chocolate poisoning, rather than deal with it.
When you bring your groceries home from the store, put the food away immediately. Don't leave candy sitting on tables or in candy dishes. If you have a larger breed dog, don't leave chocolate on your kitchen counters.
Make sure your dog does not have access to chocolate. Even the best behaved dog will be tempted to sneak a taste. Dogs have a sweet tooth, and, deadly as it is, they adore chocolate. Chocolate and dogs are a BAD MIX!
Click on these links to learn more about what to do if your dog ate chocolate or which ingredients are safe for homemade dog treats...
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