Easter’s Here and so is Chocolate

By March 30, 2014Uncategorized

As I wander through the stores and see the vast array of Easter chocolate out there it occurs to me that this is the time of year we start to see animals (dogs especially) that have been into this chocolate.

Chocolate is not good for dogs but there are varying degrees of severity with which they can be affected. Milk chocolate takes more to cause actual toxicity but certainly cause digestive concerns no matter how much is ingested. Dark chocolate, pure bakers chocolate, cocoa beans take much less to cause a toxicity.

The toxic ingredients in chocolate are Theobromine, Caffeine, and sugar, with Theobromine being the most toxic.. The metal wrappers surrounding the Easter chocolate are not the best foe the digestive tract either.

The lethal dose of Theobromine is 250-500mg/kg.  There are 44mg of Theobromine in 1 ounce (30grams) of milk chocolate and 390mg/ounce (30grams_) of Bakers chocolate.

So for example if your 10kg dog eats a 10 ounce milk chocolate bar he has ingested 440mg of theobromine. The lethal dose for this dog would be 2500-5000 mg so this pup would likely have a tummy upset but no lethal effects.

If a 1 kg dog ingested the same amount of milk chocolate then they would have ingested in the upper range of the toxic dose of theobromine and would need to seek immediate medical attention.

If a 20 kg dog eats 10 ounces (300grams) of Dark or Baker’s chocolate he has ingested 3900mg of Theobromine. It’s lethal dose is 5000- 15000 mg. Although this is not in the lethal range this is a high enough dose to cause some toxic like side effects and this dog should seek immediate medical attention.

Some of the signs of chocolate toxicity are nausea, excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures. Increased heart rate and hyperactivity are also signs of toxicity.

Should you dog ingest chocolate it is best to seek medical advice. They will likely be made to vomit and depending on the amount ingested they will be admitted for intravenous support, activated charcoal and close monitoring. I fthere is not a lethal dose ibngested you could still be faced with diarrhea and possibly pancreatitis.

Please keep the Easter treats out of the way of you dog (and cats) If you are planning an Easter egg hunt then keep the pooch out of the area of the hunt until all the eggs are discovered. Make sure they are stored in a safe place after Easter, dogs are very good at sniffing then out. They, like all of us ADORE chocolate.