Why cant dogs eat chocolate? – Part 1

As you are watching T.V. one night with your family, you look around and notice something is missing. Chocolate!

On your way to the pantry, the family spaniel, Fred, follows wagging his tail. You distribute the chocolate and sit down in your recliner, kick back and wait for some thrill.

Fred is sitting at your teenage son’s feet begging. You smile as you talk for him (the kids love that) “What is up with you guys stuffing your faces and not offering me a bite? What? Don’t you see I have a mouth in my face?”

You watch in horror as your son breaks off a piece and starts to give it to the dog.

“Don’t do that!” You screech loudly.

He jumps with fright. “Mom, you could scare a person to death like that? What is wrong with you?” he asks.

“What is wrong with YOU? If I have told you one time, I have told you a million times, you don’t give the dog chocolate!”

If you have ever had a conversation similar to this one with your child, then you know what the next question will be. “Why?”

I am about to arm you with some information you need. Then the next time it comes up, you will not have to give the stereotypical reply, “Because I said so, that’s why!”

It is not an old wise tale. It is medically proven. Dogs cannot tolerate chocolate. If the dog eats one M&M, is he going to fall over dead? Probably not. But let me ask you something, what happened after you had your first taste of chocolate? You wanted more, right? Your dog will be no exception. They will want more. So save yourself some aggravation. Never start it.

This is a craving that could be life threatening for your pet. Dogs do not metabolize chocolate as quickly as their human owners. This means that it stays in their system longer. Chocolate is high in fat. So the first signs of overdose that you would see is vomiting, and diarrhea. Chocolate also has a chemical in it that is called Theobromine. Theobromine is a poison to your dog. Dogs who eat too much can experience heart, breathing, and urination problems. Without treatment the situation could become worse. The dog could experience seizures, coma or even death.

If your dog finds your chocolate stash and indulges, you may need to get medical treatment. If you have a big dog and it begins vomiting and has diarrhea that does not stop after eight hours, you should seek medical help. If it is a smaller animal, then get help within four hours under the same conditions. Also keep in mind that, if you dog is older or in poor health, the affect can be intensified. Be prepared to tell your vet what kind of chocolate your dog ate and how much.

How much is too much? Experts are saying between 100 to 150 milligrams of Theobromine per kilogram of body weight. The tricky thing is that all chocolates do not contain the same amount of Theobromine. Some chocolates, like white chocolate, contain smaller amounts. On the other hand, baking chocolate contains high levels.

So the best thing for your pet is really abstinence. Keep the chocolate well out of reach of your animal. Many overdoses happen around the holidays when the treats are left lying around where the animal can access them.

If you want to treat your dog, go to the butcher and ask for a big bone. He probably will not mind you eating your chocolate bar one bit if he is thus occupied.

The following sites can give you additional information: www.talkingscience.org www.yementines.com

www.wikianswers.com www.animals.howstuffworks.com

www.answers.yahoo.com

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