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Chocolate does not convey love for your dog…

Because it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it might be good to remind everyone that chocolate is not safe for dogs.

PetMD has a great calculator to help you determine when it is time to get your dog to the veterinarian if your dog has had some chocolate. The toxicity of chocolate is relative to the size of your dog and the type and amount of chocolate ingested.

For example my favorite candies are Reese’s Dark Chocolate Mini Peanut Butter cups. I did a little science experiment on them and one of these candies has about 1/4 oz of dark chocolate.

Did you say peanut butter???

My dog Pinball is about 35 pounds. Like so many dogs he loves peanut butter and will not be bothered by the fact that there are wrappers and even some dark chocolate to get through in order to find the coveted peanut butter.

Based on the PetMD chocolate calculator, if Pinball got one of these candies, I would not have to worry. I would watch him closely because at his weight with the amount of dark chocolate in one small dark chocolate peanut butter cup, there would be no symptoms expected. But, because every body is a little different, I would keep an eye on him, AND make sure he got NO MORE.

By the way, it is the compound theobromine that is the culprit here. Theobromine can also be found in things other than chocolate. A few of them are: tea, coffee, cola products, acai berries, coco mulch for the yard, and probably others.

If Pinball were to get 1 oz of baker’s chocolate, I would call the poison control hotline if my veterinarian were not available, and probably take him in to see the veterinarian or emergency veterinarian right away.

There are a number of pet poison hotlines, some charge a fee, and others don’t. Look online to see what works best for you, and here are a couple:

– Pet Poison Helpline

– ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

For Pinball’s 1 oz of baker’s chocolate, mild to moderate symptoms would be:

  • Vomiting
  • GI Upset
  • Hyper Tension
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness

2 oz of baker’s chocolate would cause moderate to severe symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Tremors in muscles
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hyperthermia

3 oz of bakers chocolate would cause severe symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Tremors in muscles
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Death

When we compare this to 3 oz of milk chocolate which would be expected to cause mild to no symptoms, it is dramatic the difference the type of chocolate can make in terms of toxicity – so – Remember if you have to call the veterinarian, he or she will need to know:

– Dog’s weight,

– Amount of chocolate,

– What type of chocolate

In short – no chocolate is good for your dog, but the darker the chocolate the less your dog will need to ingest to become very sick and potentially lose their lives to a simple piece of candy.

On Valentine’s Day, show your dog you love him or her with a great wild walk in the snow for those of you in the north, or a peanut butter kong, or both. But keep your chocolate up and away.

And for those of you with young kids, send the dog out of the room until the kids are done with their chocolate – save everyone the anguish and let your kids enjoy their treat without worry.

One Response to Chocolate does not convey love for your dog…

  1. FD May 30, 2017 at 12:08 PM #

    What a great read, Lisa. I did not realize chocolate could cause such severe symptoms in dogs. Our pet’s health is definitely important, especially during the Holiday season! Very informative post!
    Thank you for sharing!

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