Question: Why Does Chocolate Kill Dogs?
Answer: We love our dogs. We also love our chocolate. Unfortunately, our pooches can outsmart us and sometimes find a way to get into our chocolate stash. Quite a number of of us have come home to the torn wrappers and the chocolate smudges on the carpet. We’ve all heard that chocolate kills dogs, but do we truly need to panic in this case?
The good news is chocolate does not always kill dogs. However, chocolate is very bad for dogs and, depending on the circumstances, it can prove fatal. Bear in mind that chocolate acts as a poison to canines, and, typically, the darker the chocolate, the worse it is for the dog. Chocolate can also kill dogs depending upon how much a dog eats compared to the relative size of the dog. For example, six ounces of chocolate will have far worse effects on a chihuahua than it will on a St. Bernard.
The substance in chocolate most responsible for its effects on dogs is theobromine. Theobromine is a relative of caffeine and, like caffeine, acts as a stimulant. Dogs who eat chocolate may suffer vomiting, diarrhea, and agitation; in worse cases, seizures, rapid heart rate, or heart arrhythmia may result. Many times, these effects do not show up singly but in combination. Symptoms usually appear six to twelve hours after the chocolate has been eaten.
In short, it is all too easy for chocolate to kill dogs. So keep your chocolate stashed safely out of your canine’s reach. If you know or suspect that your pooch has eaten chocolate, try to figure out how much he/she has consumed, then contact your veterinarian immediately!! Any dog who is treated early after ingesting chocolate will have a better prognosis than one who is brought in only after symptoms have shown up.