We all know how happy a dog can be when he realises he is getting a treat: the anxious nose licking, the vigorous tail wags and the priceless expressions! To most caring owners seeing their pet so happy makes them happy! That is probably the main reason why we just love to share our food with our dog.
Chocolate is one of our favourite foods and it is particularly popular during festive occasions. We love it and we often feel tempted to share that delicious treat with our dog. Unfortunately many owners are not aware that chocolate can be very toxic for our canine friends.
The problem lies in a stimulant substance called theobromine that is perfectly safe for humans but poisonous to our pets. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine and therefore some types of chocolate can be a lot more dangerous than others. Dry cocoa powder and unsweetened (baking) chocolate contain very high amounts of theobromine, unlike white chocolate that has minimal amounts of theobromine.
In general theobromine affects the heart, central nervous system and kidneys. A dog with signs of theobromine poisoning will show vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, incoordination, hyperactivity and seizures.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten chocolate or if you notice your dog is showing any of the previously mentioned clinical signs, contact your vet as soon as possible. There is no antidote to theobromine poisoning and the sooner your pet is treated the better!
Read the previous article: Understanding Equine Metabolic Syndrome