One of the most celebrated gifts you can receive or give, especially during the holidays is chocolate. However, as you choose to gift your furry friend, chocolate is a no-go option. As sweet as chocolate is, it is poisonous to your dog. Chocolate can cause a myriad of health concerns once your dog ingests it depending on the size of the dog as well as the chocolate amount and type.

The Poisonous Ingredient

The toxic component in chocolate that affects your dog is known as theobromine. In humans, theobromine can be quickly metabolized, but in dogs, it is metabolized much slower, leading to the buildup of toxic levels in a dog’s system.

The Effects

While smaller amounts could cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting, larger portions can be lethal. It could lead to seizures, internal bleeding, heart attack, muscle tremors, irregular heartbeat, or even worse, death if not immediately attended. Knowing a chocolate’s contents is a good starting point to help your dog. White and milk chocolate contains low theobromine content. What you need to worry most about are the dark, cocoa, and cooking chocolates as their theobromine is over the roof for your dog.

What to Do

If you suspect that your dog has ingested chocolate or if the signs start to show, you need to induce vomiting. One of the signs that your dog may have chocolate poisoning is hyperactivity. If the chocolate portion and type is worrying, call your veterinarian immediately. For instance, it would take only an ounce of dark chocolate to poison a 40-pound dog, meaning that knowing the type and the size of your dog is a good starting point to guide your emergency response.

Caring for your furry friends and ensuring they are healthy starts by observing their meals. Avoid chocolate and keep it away from them as much as possible to avoid poisoning, or worse, death.

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