Interview with Dr. Lara Sypniewski
Chocolate is widely loved by most people. Sadly our dogs are also very attracted to chocolate. For them the danger in chocolate is more than just gaining a few extra pounds.
Chocolate is very toxic to dogs. Theobromine and caffeine are two chemicals in chocolate, which can cause a variety of problems. Depending on the dose, signs can range from vomiting and diarrhea with hyperactivity, to potentially life threatening heart abnormalities requiring intensive care, and at high levels neurological signs and death.
An important fact is that darker, more bitter chocolate has higher levels of toxins compared to lighter chocolate. Bitter bakers chocolate is very high in the toxins, while white chocolate is less of a problem, mostly just causing gastrointestinal upset.
If your pet has consumed chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately with as much information about the type and amount of chocolate consumed as possible. Let them know you are on your way as quick action to eliminate the toxins from the system can save your pet’s life. Fluid therapy can also help to flush away any remaining toxins as they are metabolized.
People like to joke about “death by chocolate”, but it’s a serious reality for dogs.