Why is chocolate bad for dogs?

THE moment your dog looks up at you with puppy dog eyes, pleading for food can be hard to resist.

Dogs often want our food, but not all human food is safe for dog consumption – especially chocolate.

Chocolate labradors cannot eat their namesake food

Chocolate labradors cannot eat their namesake foodCredit: Getty

Can dogs eat chocolate?

No, dogs cannot eat any form of chocolate.

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, so should not be given to them as a treat.

It is your responsibility as a pet owner to keep them safe and keep chocolate away from them, no matter how much they beg.

Even a small bit of chocolate can result in potentially fatal consequences.

You can buy special dog chocolate made from carob as an alternative.

This alternative is so you can include your dog in events such as Easter or Christmas without potentially harming them.

All you need to know as a dog owner

Why is chocolate bad for dogs?

Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine.

Theobromine is naturally found in coco beans so any type of chocolate made from coco beans will contain it.

Dogs cannot metabolise theobromine like humans can, although incredibly high levels of chocolate could give us mild poisoning too.

The chocolate can affect a dog’s guts, heart, central nervous system and kidneys.

Dark chocolate has higher levels of theobromine so make sure you keep this away from your pup at all times.

What should I do if my dog eats chocolate?

If your dog eats chocolate, you need to contact a vet immediately.

Take note of your dog’s weight, the type of chocolate and how much they ate to tell the vet.

A small amount of milk chocolate fed to a large dog can have very different results from a large amount of dark chocolate eaten by a Chihuahua.

If you have the wrapper, take this to the vet too so they can see if your dog has eaten a potentially fatal amount.

There are some symptoms your dog may exhibit if they have eaten chocolate.

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Urination
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death

Act fast and give your vet as much information about the chocolate as possible.

The easiest thing to do is keep chocolate out of reach of your dog and make sure you do not actively feed them anything with chocolate in it.

It is likely your vet will induce vomiting in your dog and recommend they eat plain food for the next few days.