Link #34: Tasty Chocolate Is Poisonous to Dogs!

Link #34: Tasty Chocolate Is Poisonous to Dogs!

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Link #34: Tasty Chocolate Is Poisonous to Dogs!

Hershey, the chocolate Labrador
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Chocolate and chocolate milk tastes wonderful, doesn’t it? If you read our last post, you also know that chocolate began as a medical item when Sir Hans Sloane first brought it to England from Jamaica. If you have a pet dog then it’s likely that you’ve heard that chocolate is like poison to him.

How can something so wonderful and tasty be a poison? There must be a mistake somewhere. After all, you want to share your chocolate with your best friend – your pet. However, you shouldn’t because it really is like poison for dogs. Here’s how.

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Why Is Chocolate Poisonous to Dogs?

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs because it contains a specific type of component. This component is known as theobromine. If a dog eats too much chocolate then it can get theobromine poisoning which is similar to a human being getting caffeine poisoning.

In fact, dogs can’t digest theobromine as quickly as humans can which is why it causes problems. The half-life of theobromine in dogs is about 17.5 hours. This means that it takes 17.5 hours for theobromine inside dogs to break down and lose its adverse effects.

What Happens to Dogs When They Eat Chocolate?

Signs of theobromine or chocolate poisoning in dogs are very clear. If a dog has had too much chocolate, it will feel nauseous and start vomiting. This will be followed by diarrhoea and a lot of peeing. If the dog has had dangerous amounts of chocolate then it may develop heart problems, seizures, and even internal bleeding.

Ideally, you shouldn’t even feed a little bit of chocolate to your dog because then it will develop a taste for it. It may then grab every chance to steal some chocolate in your house or even outside.

An even worse situation will be that your dog will start begging for it every time you eat chocolate. You undoubtedly know that resisting a dog’s puppy eyes can be difficult.


How Much Chocolate Can Your Dog Stomach?

dog feed chocolate
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The amount of chocolate a dog eats will define whether it will get sick or not. While the substance that chocolate is made up of (cocoa beans) contains about 1.2 percent of theobromine by weight, this quantity reduces with processed chocolates. Other ingredients also have a role to play because they dilute theobromine content.

Typically, 100 grams of milk chocolate contains approximately 154 milligrams of theobromine. Similarly, 100 grams of semisweet chocolate contains about 528 milligrams of theobromine. Baking chocolate is even worse. 100 grams of baking chocolate has 1365 milligrams.

So, how much chocolate can a dog have before it starts getting sick? If a dog weighs 5 kg then it will become sick after having approximately 300 grams of milk chocolate. Similarly, a dog of the same weight will start getting sick after eating approximately 100 grams of semisweet chocolate.

In terms of baking chocolate (contained in pastries and sweets), a 5 kg dog can’t have more than 31 grams. The best thing to do is to never feed your dog chocolate so that it never asks for it or tries to steal it.




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Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_half-life
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine_poisoning
http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pets/question348.htm
http://www.netpetmagazine.com/articles/choc.tox.html
http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dogs-and-chocolate-get-the-facts

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