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dog eating chocolate cookies off of a plate.  Will chocolate make my dog sick?

I hear it a lot…. Can dogs eat chocolate? The answer to this question is no! Dogs should not eat chocolate. Although we may love indulging in chocolate at times, our dogs should not have it. If you want to give your dog a treat, give him a tasty dog treat instead.

Why Is Chocolate Toxic For Your Dog?

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine as well as caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs. The main cause for concern, though, is the theobromine. Dog’s bodies cannot process this substance like the human body can. For dogs, the theobromine in chocolate can cause them to become sick and can result in kidney problems. If they eat enough of it, they can die.

Is All Types Of Chocolate Equally Toxic?

Not all types of chocolate are as toxic as others. The higher the percentage of cacao, the higher the amount of theobromine in the chocolate. So, a high percentage of cacao chocolate bar would be more toxic than a milk chocolate bar. But any chocolate has the potential to make your dog sick.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate?

If your dog eats chocolate call your vet right away. Let them know what type of chocolate your dog ate, the amount ingested and the weight of your dog. With this information, your veterinarian will be able to tell you if your dog will require emergency veterinary care.

What Are The Signs Of Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs?

If your dog has eaten chocolate and suffers from chocolate poisoning, the signs usually appear within 6 to 12 hours. The signs can be mild or life threatening depending on the amount and type of chocolate ingested. The signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Incoordination
  • Increased urination
  • Tremors
  • Elevated or abnormal heart rate
  • Elevated respiratory rate
  • Seizures
  • Collapse and death

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Eating Chocolate?

Holidays are probably the most common time for dogs to ingest chocolate. People give chocolate as Christmas gifts and they are placed under the Christmas tree. Or parents put chocolate bunnies in their kid’s Easter baskets. Valentine’s Day gift boxes of chocolate are popular too.

It’s ok to give chocolate but it must be kept out of the reach of your dog. So, if you are giving someone chocolate for Christmas, let them know that the present isn’t safe for dogs and shouldn’t be put under the Christmas tree with the other presents. Or if you are putting chocolate bunnies in a basket for Easter, put the basket either up out of the reach of your dog or in a room that your dog does not have access to.

Store your chocolate in a cupboard that your dog cannot open or up on a high shelf that your dog cannot reach. Never leave chocolate laying around in a place that your dog could get to it. They will eat it if they get the chance.

What Is A Safe Alternative To Chocolate?

Can dogs eat chocolate? No, they can’t but there is a good alternative for both you and your dog.

A safe alternative to chocolate that both you and your dog can enjoy is carob chips. You can use carob chips in your baking and even in your dog treat recipes.

Carob chips are made from the bean pods of the carob tree. It does not contain theobromine and is perfectly safe for your dog. In fact, carob chips have many health benefits for your dog, which include eliminating toxins, improving digestion and lowering cholesterol. So, if you are looking for chocolate dogs can eat, carob chips are a perfect alternative.

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