Is chocolate toxic to pets?

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Is chocolate toxic to pets?

Yes. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are substances that stimulate the central nervous system and are very toxic to pets. Theobromine triggers an excessive secretion of adrenaline, a hormone that increases the heart rate and can cause arrhythmia. A 100 to 200mg/kg dose of caffeine or theobromine is lethal. A small dog weighing between 2 lbs. and 5 lbs. can die after ingesting only 30 g of dark chocolate.

Chocolate contains 80% to 85% theobromine and 15% to 20% caffeine. Here is the theobromine content of coffee and chocolate in their different forms:

–       Ordinary coffee: 6 mg to 10 mg per 30 g

–       Baking, unsweetened chocolate: 400 mg per 30 g

–       Milk chocolate: 50 mg per 30 g

–       Dark chocolate: 150 mg per 30 g

–       Cocoa beans: 4 g to 8 g per 30 g

–       Caffeine tablet: 100 mg to 200 mg per tablet

Symptoms of your dog if Intoxication chocolate

  •  Agitation,hyperactivity (less than two hours after ingestion)
  • Excessive urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stiffness, trembling and convul- sions
  • Breathing difficulty and increased heart rate
  • Fever (above 39,1 degrees Celcius)
  • Coma

First Aid if Intoxication chocolate

If the pet has ingested chocolate or coffee within the last four hours and shows no symptom of poisoning other than diarrhea, induce vomiting . Give (5 ml/ 1 teaspoon) of table salt at the back of the mouth, on the tongue.

Afterwards you can administer a dose of activated carbon geared to its weight (1 to 4 g per kilogram or 2.2 pounds). Dilute in water.

If the animal shows signs of poisoning, do not induce vomiting. If it’s able to swallow, administer activated carbon based on its weight (1 to 4 g per kilo- gram/2.2 pounds). Dilute in water.

Contact a vet immediately. Medication to stabilize the heart and prevent shock will be required.

 Keep all foods containing chocolate out of the reach of pets.

Children should be taught not to give chocolate or sweets

Chantale Robinson A.H.T. B.Sc                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


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