Why is chocolate dangerous for your dog?
The toxicity depends on the type of chocolate and the quantity ingested. Dogs are much more sensitive to chocolate than humans. A half bar of chocolate can lead to a deadly poisoning in a dog.
Cocoa mainly contains theobromine and to a lesser extent caffeine. Dogs are very sensitive to theobromine. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine and therefore the more dangerous for the dog. White chocolate contains practically no theobromine and is therefore not dangerous.
For a dog with an allergy to chocolate, a small amount of 10 grams can be fatal.
Theobromine is an alkaloid belonging to the methylxanthine family, which includes theophylline and caffeine. It is responsible for the bitter taste in cocoa and chocolate. These vegetable alkaloids give a stimulation of the central nervous system and heart muscle. In addition, they provide a relaxation of the smooth muscles (especially those of the airways) and an increased urine production.
Do not leave chocolate or pralines on the table or counter. Even though this is out of sight of the animal, dogs are masters in locating food and know how to find them. Moreover, dogs are not very picky when it comes to food. So take no risk and keep chocolate away from dogs.
The symptoms start two to four hours after the ingestion: the dog is restless, vomiting, frequent urination and diarrhea. The condition deteriorates when breathing is faster, the heart rate rises and fever breaks out.
A few hours later, epileptic seizures and cardiac arrhythmias may occur. This can be fatal.
-Contact your veterinarian immediately in the following cases:
• Dark chocolate:
If the dog has eaten more than 1 gram per kilogram of body weight (10 grams for a 10 kg dog, 20 grams for a 20 kg dog, …)
• Milk chocolate:
If the dog has eaten more than 10 grams per kilogram of body weight (100 grams for a 10 kg dog, 200 grams for a 20 kg dog, …)
If it concerns smaller quantities than indicated above or if your dog has eaten white chocolate, you do not have to do anything.
There is no specific antidote, but the veterinarian will treat the dog symptomatically. If the intake is recent (less than two hours), the doctor will vomit the dog to get the dangerous substances from the body.