Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, so I thought I would take this opportunity to remind everyone of the hidden danger this day to celebrate love can bring - Chocolate.
Every year for Valentine’s Day, many people receive gifts of chocolates from their special someone not realizing that this gift can be deadly to their other special someone – their dog. Chocolate contains a chemical compound called theobromine, which is a stimulant that is found in the cocoa bean. This chemical is easily processed by humans with no affect on our bodies, however dog’s metabolize this compound much more slowly and as a result it can lead to very serious health effects. Some of the symptoms of chocolate toxicity are vomiting and diarrhea, tremors, heart problems, seizures, and death. The severity of the problem depends upon a few factors; such as the size of the dog, the amount of chocolate consumed, and the type of chocolate that was eaten. White chocolate has much less theobromine in it than dark or baker’s chocolate and therefore the amount needed to cause a problem is greatly reduced.
Keep all chocolate out of reach from your dog – even the best dogs can be tempted by a tasty treat.
If your dog has eaten any chocolate – regardless of type, please consult with your veterinarian to ensure immediate attention can be given to your dog before the toxin has a chance to take effect. Your veterinarian will have better success in treating your dog for chocolate toxicity if immediate action is taken. Do not delay treatment or any reason. When you call your veterinarian, be prepared to tell them what type of chocolate your dog ate, approximately how much was eaten, and when it was eaten.
Enjoy the day with your special someone – and your 4-legged valentine as well.