We all know chocolate isn’t good for dogs, but did you ever think to question why? What is it about the delicious treat we choose to chow down at Easter time that is so dangerous to our four-legged pals?
The dangers of chocolate and the harm it can cause your dog depends on the type of chocolate, the amount consumed and your dog’s size. In large enough amounts, chocolate and cocoa products can severely harm and in some cases, kill your dog.
What’s so bad about chocolate?
The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine – a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. Humans can easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs process it at a much slower rate, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system
A large dog can consume more chocolate than a small dog before suffering ill effects so it’s important to watch larger breeds more closely to ensure they’re not snacking on any cocoa.
In most cases a small amount of chocolate will probably only give your dog an upset stomach which can cause vomiting or diarrhea. It’s important to see a vet immediately after your dog has consumed chocolate or cocoa products to save them from any long lasting or serious effects.
In large quantities, chocolate can cause theobromine poisoning which can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding or a heart attack.