Why Dogs and Chocolate Don’t Mix


Sidney Moyers, Associate Editor-in-Chief

You’re sitting in your kitchen, chowing down on a delicious milk chocolate bar when a pair (or multiple pairs if you’re like me) of beady eyes begin to stare you and your tasty treat down. While giving your pet a bit of human food here and there would make any dog giddy, we all know that chocolate is a hug no-no in the canine world.

But why? What exactly is in chocolate that makes it so toxic to dogs, but not us?

Well, the problem is a substance called theobromine, which is a stimulant similar to caffeine. Because dogs don’t have an enzyme to break down theobromine, this can cause the overstimulation of their central nervous system or their cardiovascular, or heart, system. This can lead to a number of problems like increased blood pressure, vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pains, seizures, and even death. Yeah, it’s not pretty.

The amount of damage depends on the size of the dog as well as the type of chocolate consumed. White chocolate and milk chocolate have a lot less theobromine in it while dark chocolate has triple the amount of milk chocolate. Baker’s chocolate and cocoa powder have even more than that. Only one ounce of cocoa powder could be toxic to your pet, so beware.

While a little bit of chocolate is nothing to worry about, if you don’t know how much your dog has consumed, it’s important to contact your vet and take immediate action to help prevent further damage to your furry friend.

Source: Wonderopolis