Chocolate, yum yum! Very few can resist! It is so delicious and has so many qualities: it is a miracle cure for a bad mood for some, an aphrodisiac for others, etc…
Our four-legged companions, especially dogs, are fond of everything we eat and chocolate is no exception. Whether it be the milk chocolate rabbit at Easter, or the box of dark chocolate truffles from Valentine’s day, or even grand-ma’s fabulous double chocolate muffins, anything containing chocolate can be harmful if eaten by an animal.
Cacao contains a molecule called theobromine and it is this molecule that is toxic to animals which can cause digestive, neurological, and cardiac problems and even death. It is essential to know the number of grams ingested, the weight of the animal, and most importantly the cacao content of the chocolate in order to determine whether the amount that Pitou or Minou ingested is dangerous or not. The more the chocolate is concentrated, the more dangerous it becomes, despite how tiny the amount ingested is. White chocolate causes very little damage while only 60 grams (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) of dark chocolate with 90% cacao can be fatal for a 10kg dog. There is no antidote for theobromine.
Depending on the case, the veterinarian may induce vomiting and administer a gastric protector under the form of activated charcoal, and may give fluids or medication if there are cardiac or neurological signs. It is therefore crucial to contact a veterinarian immediately if your pet has eaten chocolate.
Tip: Keep your delicious chocolates out of reach of your pets and enjoy them yourself for the sake of their health!