Hey there! Chocolate Labrador here.
I see you’re holding a bar of chocolate. It’s huge. Surely you can’t eat that whole thing, right? I’m going to sit by your feet and give you big sad eyes until you break off a corner and give it to me.
But then again, I know you wouldn’t do that. I mean everyone knows that chocolate is deadly to dogs. But do you know why chocolate is so toxic? Perhaps you need a science lesson. Leave it to us Chocolate Labs to teach you this important subject.
1. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine that’s similar to caffeine. It stimulates the central nerve system and slightly raises blood pressure, which is fine for humans who need a little “pick me up” but deadly to dogs.
2. You see, our bodies can’t metabolize theobromine fast enough for it to be safe, which leads to some nasty side effects that include diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and even death.
3. So how much chocolate is too much chocolate for us?
4. Well, any amount of chocolate is too much, but a nibble of chocolate probably won’t result in death like several bars of chocolate would. It also depends on our size and age. Us larger dogs can obviously handle more theobromine than smaller dogs, but not every chocolate is the same.
5. Theobromine is higher in dark chocolate, baking chocolate, and dry cocoa. Milk chocolate and white chocolate have the least amount. If you need a visual example, if I ate two pounds of milk chocolate, it would be lethal. However, I only need to eat .3 pounds of baking chocolate for things to end…badly.
6. PetMd has a handy calculator you can use to calculate exactly how much chocolate we’ll have to eat for it to be fatal.
7. What should you do if I accidentally eat chocolate?
8. If I get into the garbage again and eat a whole bunch of that sweet, sweet chocolate, you should call your vet immediately. The vet should know what to do, but some of their methods include inducing vomiting, making us consume charcoal (which keeps theobromine out of the blood system), and giving us medications to help reduce seizures.
9. However, one thing you can do before taking us to the vet is making sure we’re plenty hydrated.
10. So, the next time we’re begging for a bite of that chocolate cupcake, DON’T GIVE IN! Not even when we’re looking at you like this:
Stay strong, humans! Resist those pawecious eyes…
Featured image by @pawspetphotography