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Is Chocolate Safe for Dogs

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					You might want to agree to this question, reminiscing the time when your dog enjoyed a
bite of chocolate with no adverse effect at all.

Well, Chocolate is harmful for dogs, but the effect varies according to amount and type
of chocolate eaten; and the age and weight of your dog.

In fact, poisoning of dogs by chocolate is not as uncommon as you might think.

Why is Chocolate Harmful for Dogs?

Chocolates have a chemical stimulant similar to caffeine in them. It's called theobromine.
According to the experts, theobromine is toxic to a dog when it is ingested between 100
and 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

The percentage of Theobromine differs widely in each type of Chocolate. Puppies are
especially vulnerable to theobromine poisoning because they can't eliminate caffeine
from the bloodstream nearly as quickly as adults.

In humans, theobromine results in frequent urination and affects the central nervous
system as well as heart muscle.

What are the Symptoms of Theobromine Poisoning in dogs?

Within the first few hours, the symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity.
With time there's increased absorption of theobromine in bloodstream, causing a rapid
rise in the heart beat, arrhythmia, restlessness, twitching, and excessive panting.

If the theobromine dose is more, it can lead to hyperthermia, tremors, seizures, coma and
eventually death.

What's the Maximum Amount of Chocolate My Dog can eat?

There is no general benchmark for it. A lot of this depends on your dog's age and
physical condition. An old or sick one would have a lower threshold for Theobromine
poisoning than a healthier and younger dog.

Another factor that must be taken into account is the type of chocolate.

Which chocolate are safer, or have lesser percent of Theobromine?

Milk Chocolate has the least amount of theobromine. Baking chocolate has the highest
amount of Theobromine.

Here is the list in increasing order of Theobromine:

Hot chocolate, Milk chocolate, baking chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate.
The quantity of chocolate consumed also has a direct correlation with the weight of your
dog. Small dogs can be poisoned from smaller amounts of theobromine.

What should I do if my dog has ingested chocolate & is sick?

The first-aid treatment for chocolate poisoning involves its removal from the body,
before theobromine's circulation, by following steps

-Inducing vomiting,
-Administering activated charcoal to a slurry consistency, which absorbs theobromine
byproducts.
-Dog owners should prepare an emergency kit at home. Plus you should consult your vet
for the guidance on first-aid treatment for your dog.
-Your dog can suffer from dehydration after vomiting. Provide plenty of water.
-If your dog's symptoms remain the same within 6-8hrs or worsen further, call your vet.
If you have a very small or young dog, consult a vet sooner.

				
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posted:4/1/2012
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