Why Is Chocolate Bad For Dogs
Rover loves a sweet snack every now and then, so you may have wondered why is chocolate bad for dogs. While it is true that chocolate contains compounds that are dangerous to dogs, a dog can tolerate a small amount. The real problem lies in triggering a sweet tooth in you dog and a craving for chocolate. Once your dog tastes chocolate, he will always want more.
Chocolate contains two types of alkaloids that are toxic to dogs: theobromine and caffeine. Ingesting chocolate can raise the heart rate and constrict the arteries. This can lead to nervousness, vomiting, increased urination and seizures. Ultimately, the theobromine reaction can be fatal.
Different types of chocolate contain different levels of theobromine. White chocolate contains the least and baking chocolate the most. Baking chocolate contains 450 times more theobromine per ounce than white chocolate. Milk and dark chocolates fall in between the spectrum. For example, only two ounces of baking chocolate is toxic for a twenty pound dog. On the other hand, it would take about 250 pounds of white chocolate to reach toxic levels in the the same 20 pound dog.
Veterinarians report an upsurge of calls about chocolate around holidays like Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day. The best treatment is prevention. Keeping chocolate out of reach of dogs is highly recommended. If your dog does eat chocolate, do your best to estimate the amount eaten and the time, call your veterinarian with the information and follow his recommendation. If treated within the first four to six hours, the prognosis is generally good.