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Dogs and Chocolate

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Whenever I have some chocolate (which can be more often than is good for me) the dogs crowd around like all their birthdays and christmases have come at once!

That doesn’t mean to say they’re going to get any!

That’s because I’m well aware that one thing that you should never give to a dog is chocolate. You might think that just a tiny piece is ok and they seem to go crazy for it, but even a tiny piece could send your beloved friend into doggy heaven quicker than some poisons. It is NOT for dogs!

Why?

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine and even small amounts can cause vomiting, restlessness, and seizures in dogs. Larger amounts can be fatal.

This is becausea dog’s digestive system cannot metabolise the theobromine in the chocolate. Different doses will affect different sized dogs. Also, different types of chocolate contain varying levels of theobromine. The dark chocolate used for cooking and baking contains roughly six times as much theobromine as ordinary milk chocolate.

So if your dog manages to steal some chocolate when you’re not looking, you need to get him to a vet as soon as possible as by thinking he’ll be fine may be just the kind of thinking that’ll end up getting him killed.

For reference purposes, here’s a rough guide as to the amount of chocolate that would be fatal in different sized dogs:

Between 4 and 10 oz. of milk chocolate, or only ½ to 1 oz. of baking chocolate for small dogs such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers or Toy Poodles.

Between 1 and 1-1/2 lbs. of milk chocolate or 2 to 3 oz. of baking chocolate for medium-size dogs like Cocker Spaniels, Staffordshire Terriers and Basset Hounds.

Between 2 to 4-1/2 lbs. of milk chocolate or 4 to 8 oz. of baking chocolate for large dogs such as Collies, Retrievers and Labradors.

This is only a guide and the best rule of thumb is to never give your dog chocolate from the word go and be vigilant about leaving any chocolate around the house where he might be able to get at it.

Although specially adapted “doggy chocolate” is safe for dogs to eat, because all the theobromine has been removed, it is still best not to give them any as it creates a taste for chocolate and they will be more likely to try to steal some if it’s within their reach when you’re not looking.

So if you want to treat your dog, give him a propiety doggy chew or dog biscuit instead. You’ll be doing him a great favour and avoiding any unnecessary risk to his health or even his life.

Terry Didcott
For Dogs

PS: Alexa today: 867,047


7 Responses to ' Dogs and Chocolate '

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  1. Liudmila said,

    on November 8th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    I have never seen dogs that eat chocolate, maybe because I don’t eat it too much. MY dogs like bisquits and I had a dog that could sell his soul for a toffee… As me, obviously… Interesting for me was a case when we had a rottweiler of one friend for 3 days and he (rottweiler) didn’t know about bisquits. But he began to ask about them after he ate them for the first time with my dogs. I think it was not for “special taste” but because he understood this is a sign of special love from my side.

  2. tel said,

    on November 11th, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Many years ago I had a dog who loved chocolate but I didn’t know it was bad for him. I owned a newsagent at the time and one day he stole a huge bar of chocolate and ate the whole lot without me knowing.

    He was ill for a couple of days after that and crapped everywhere – served him right I suppose but after that someone told me that it was dangerous for dogs to eat chocolate! I never let him have any again after that!

    Terry

  3. randy said,

    on February 2nd, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Our pomeranian ate 4 ‘fun size’ snickers bars the other day with no ill-effects. I also remember him eating an entire Hershey Bar when he was a puppy and it did him no harm.

  4. tel said,

    on February 2nd, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks Randy,

    I think they can usually get away with a little milk chocolate – Many years ago I had a German Shepherd cross who stole a whole bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and polished it off before anyone realized!

    Its all down to the level of theobromine in the chocolate. As I said, there is more in plain chocolate than milk, but also you might find that European chocolate contains higher levels as it is more pure, especially from cooler countries like Belgium and Switzerland, who are well known for making some of the finest chocolate in the world!

    Great for us humans – torture for our dogs who have to watch us eat it!

    Terry


  5. on February 3rd, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Great article about dogs and chocolate. It is very important to keep dogs lovers informed about the damages chocolate can cause on our four legged friend. I also have posted a couple of articles on my own blog, http://www.dogs-news.com, to which you are cordially invited to visit and comment. There are several other human treats that dogs seem to love but are very dangerous for them and is in our hand to spread the word. Thanks for this post.

  6. June said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 2:00 am

    The quantity of theobromine will vary with the different types of chocolate.

    Listed below are chocolate types containing theobromine.

    This list starts with the type of chocolate that has the largest quantity and moves down to the type of chocolate with the least amount.

    Cocoa Beans
    Baking Chocolate
    Cocoa Powder
    Dark Chocolate
    Chocolate Cocktail Mixes
    Chocolate Syrup
    Milk Chocolate
    Lite Chocolate Syrup
    Chocolate Milk Mixes
    White Chocolate

    Most larger dogs will not be affected adversely by ingesting a small amount of milk chocolate, but because dogs can become addicted to the taste of chocolate as easily as humans, it is best not to give them any at all, intentionally.

    I have seen people feed their dogs carob bars, which is not harmful to a dogs system; however, keep in mind that a dog doesn’t know the difference between carob and chocolate. When a dog smells that cocoa flavor, they will want it and go for it, which could be fatal in a smaller animal.

  7. tel said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Thanks June,

    You echoed pretty much what I said in this old post, but I think its so important to get this message across to dog owners who are not aware of this.

    I still see people giving their dogs bars of chocolate and often when I tell them what could happen they smile and look at me as if I’m mad.

    I’d hate their education to come through hard experience.

    Terry

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