A few missconceptions about dogs and chocolate.
1.It's an alergic reaction,so it's ok for some dogs.
False.it's a chemical contained in the chocolate.
2.It will be ok,it only causes diahrea and vomiting.
False.It can and does cause death.
3.Chocolate isn't bad for dogs,It's just an old wives tale.
False.Even the ASPCA National Animal Poison Controll Center says chocolate is toxic to dogs.
4.A little every now and then is ok.
False.The chemical that is toxic stays in a dogs system a very long time,so depending on the weight of the dog,the type of chocolate ingested,and the frequancy with which it is fed,the chemical can build up to toxic levels over time.
5.It's only bad for very young,or old dogs.
False.Age has nothing to do with it.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains theobromine, a compound in the same family as caffeine.Dogs metabolize theobromine differently than humans.The half life of theobromine in a dogs system is aproxamatley 17.5 hours.This means that after 17 hours they have only filtered half of it out of the body,after another 17 hours they filter half of whats left and so on.It's easy to see that the theobromine stays in the dogs system for a long long time.
The amount of theobromine in chocolate varies by type.
Milk chocolate contains 44 mg per ounce.
Semisweet chocolate contains 150 mg per ounce.
Unsweetened baking chocolate contains 390 mg per ounce.
The toxic effect is calculated by the amount of theobromine,and the weight of the dog.
1 oz per pound of body wt. for milk chocolate
1 oz per 3 lbs. of body wt. for semisweet chocolate
1 oz per 9 lbs. of body wt. for unsweetened baking chocolate
So as you can see,a 50 pound dog would have to eat 50 ounces(or a little over 4 pounds) of milk chocolate for it to be considered toxic.The same dog would have to eat only 5 ounces of the baking chocolate though.Don't forget that it stays in the system a very long time though.So a non toxic dose one day,could cause death if ate again the next day.
If your dog eats chocolate some of the symptoms to watch for include,hyperexcitability and restlessness,vomiting and diarrhea,increased urination,muscle tremors,seizures, coma,and eventually death.
If you catch your dog eating what could be considered a toxic dose,call your Vet for instructions on what to do.If it's after hours try calling him at home.if you can't reach him,induce vomiting,and keep trying till you do reach him.
To induce vomiting you can use one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per 10 pouns of the dogs body weight.This can be repeated after 20 minutes if it does not work the first time.This is the method to induce vomiting acording to the book The Dog Lovers Companion,it is written by certified Vets,so it's a method that is safe to use.
These are only guidelines,in some dogs it took less than the above amounts to cause death.I simply do not let my dog have any chocolate at all.I know alot of people on here say they feed it to their dog,and their dog is fine.It's like playing with a bomb though,eventually it's going to go off.The bottom line for me is when the Poison controll hotline for pets says,"don't feed chocolate to your dog"I'm going to take their word for it.