Most pet owners know that chocolate is off limits to their dog or cat, but do you know why? And that some types of chocolate are worse for them to ingest than others? When it comes to a potentially dangerous product that will inevitably be the house -- especially around holidays -- it's imperative know all you can, which is why WebVet is here to help!
Why is chocolate dangerous?
Chocolate contains caffeine and a compound called theobromine, which stimulates the nervous system and can be toxic to animals. If enough is ingested, your pet can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and worst-case scenario, death.
Which chocolate is the worst?
While all forms of chocolate can be toxic to cats and dogs, white chocolate has the least amount of stimulants. The unsweetened or baking chocolate is the most dangerous as it contains the highest percentage of Theobromide per once; 400 MG per once as compared to 45 MG per ounce to milk chocolate.
When is there a problem?
Toxic symptoms will generally occur when 100 MG of Theobromide are ingested per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the animal's weight. So the smaller your dog is, the greater the risk they face after ingesting even a little bit of choclate.
National Geographic created an interactive chocolate chart that helps you determine your pet's individual risk. The chart breaks down the quantities by type of chocolate and lets you scroll to see each one's dangerous effect relative to your pet's weight.
Do your best to keep chocolate out of your pet's reach at all time, but we're here for you if an accident occurs!