We regularly receive interesting questions from customers in our mailbox about the hygiene and health of their four-legged friend. We are happy to answer these and with our Customer Question series we share this information for other dog lovers. The questions are always answered with the help of experts who tell us answers from recent research and experiences. Today we answer a frequently asked question: Can my dog eat chocolate?
It is a frequently asked question, and Lennie C. was also eager to know this. We looked at this question together with veterinarian Valerie Caveye.
Can my dog eat chocolate?
The answer to this question is short: No. "Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Chocolate contains the substance theobromine, which is super toxic to dogs and cats," Valerie explains to us. "This substance gives chocolate the typical bitter taste, the amount varies per type of chocolate. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains."
"People can process the toxic substance without any problems and quickly, but dogs and cats cannot. They need a long time to remove theobromine from the body. In this way it can accumulate," veterinarian Valerie Caveye explains to us. Whether your four-legged friend can become ill from chocolate depends on various factors, such as the weight, breed and amount of chocolate your four-legged friend has consumed.
Why is poisoning more common in dogs?
"There is an easy answer to this. Dogs sometimes have the tendency to eat from the table. They sometimes eat something, including packaging. Cats are much more picky about what they eat, and will not eat chocolate on their own. going to eat," Valerie explains to us.
What happens if my dog eats chocolate?
It is difficult to predict what will happen as it depends on many factors. Veterinarian Valerie Caveye explains this; "It depends on the amount of theobromine in the chocolate whether your pet will suffer or suffer a lot from it. To give an idea: A 5 kilo dog can suffer mild poisoning from even 16 grams of dark chocolate. The first symptoms start usually within 4 to 12 hours after eating, but some symptoms may not appear until 24 hours."
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in your dog may include restlessness, a lot of hesitation, drinking a lot, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle tremors. Body temperature can also rise considerably and in some cases your four-legged friend may even have epileptic seizures. “Severe poisoning can unfortunately even lead to cardiac arrhythmias that can cause a pet to fall into a coma and die,” Valerie adds.
What to do if your dog has eaten chocolate?
"If a pet has eaten chocolate, it is important to contact the vet as soon as possible. If the chocolate has been eaten without packaging, be sure to take it with you to submit the theobromine content. The vet can then, together by estimating when a pet has eaten the chocolate, understanding the seriousness and providing a possible solution," veterinarian Valerie Caveye tells us.
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