Chocolate in surprisingly small amounts can seriously affect your dog, POLKADOT SHROOM BARS and in some cases cause your dog to die. Small animal veterinarians are seeing increasing number of dogs with chocolate toxicity as more of us are eating the ‘healthier’ dark chocolate. Unfortunately your dog only needs to eat 1/3 as much dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate to become seriously ill. In this article I will show you why chocolate is toxic, the types and amounts that will cause poisoning, the symptoms of toxicity, and what you can do if your pet consumes chocolate.
The toxic components in chocolate are caffeine and theobromine. The theobromine is found in high concentrations in chocolate, and causes most of the clinical signs in dogs. Theobromine affects your dog’s intestinal system, nervous system (brain), cardiovascular system (heart and lungs), and the kidneys.
The symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs are based upon the amount of chocolate eaten, the type of chocolate, and the time since it was ingested. The most common sign after your dogs eat chocolate are gastro-intestinal, meaning stomach upset, bloating, vomiting and diarrhea. Not uncommonly you may see hyperactivity, restlessness, elevated heart rate and increased drinking and urinating. The most serious signs are when the nervous system is affected; these may show up as tremors, seizures, increased breathing rate, high body temperature ( hyperthermia) and coma.
The toxic and potentially fatal dose of chocolate is 60mg/kg- so a 10lb dog only needs to consume 300mg of chocolate. Clinical Signs can be seen as low as 20mg/kg- meaning a small 10lb dog only needs to consume 100mg to have problems. Severe signs are seen at 40mg/kg- or consuming 200mg of chocolate.
Let’s look at how much theobromine is in certain types of chocolate, then we can best know if you need to be concerned about chocolate poisoning in your dog if he has eaten some. A 5oz milk chocolate bar contains 250mg of theobromine, a dark chocolate bar contains 600 mg. Unsweetened baking chocolate contains 400mg theobromine per square, Semisweet chocolate chips (30 chips), 250mg. Dry cocoa powder contains 700 mg of theobromine per ounce.