Dogs and Chocolate

July 7, 2006

You’ve probably all heard that chocolate is toxic to dogs. I did some research in to it, and it is a really simple matter.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is easily digestable by humans, but dogs have a problem with it. In fact, it has a half life of approximately 17.5 hours in a dogs system. Theobromine levels vary by type of chocolate. White chocolate (which is not really true chocolate, in a twisted way) contains the least amount with 1mg/oz. On the other end of the scale, bakers chocolate contains up to 450mg/oz. Your typical milk chocolate bar has about 50mg/oz.

The lethal dose of theobromine depends on the age, health and size of the dog. The general rule is that it would take 100mg of theobromine per pound of dog to kill the critter. However, the SPCA reports that levels as low as 20mg/lb can be fatal. For an average 20lb dog, it would take about a pound of milk chocolate to cause major damage.

The symptoms of a dog hopped up on choclate are pretty nasty. Diarheaa, vomiting, hyperactivity, excessive heartbeat, muscle tremors, increased urination, and hyper irritability can all be present in the dog.

What brings this up? My little puppy, Barney, got in to a box of Easter candy under my bed last night. We tried to induce vomiting, but that didnt work. In the end, he turned out fine, since he just ate about an ounce of milk chocolate.

If you are wondering how you induce vomiting in a dog, have no fear, I know the method. You don’t actually have to stick your finger down his throat. Instead, you get a piece of bread, and soak it in hydrogen peroxide. Give the dog a few minutes, and be ready with a bunch of paper towels.

It’s great to learn…


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