Dogs are the friendliest creatures. Many of you love dogs so much that you feed them whatever you prefer to eat. This may be fine to some extent, but not every food is meant for them. There are certain food items to which they are intolerant, and chocolate is one of them. There are various questions that I came across regarding why are dogs not supposed to have chocolate or why can’t dogs have chocolate. You will know why dogs can’t eat chocolate and what could be the bad consequences of the same.
1. What are the Ingredients of Chocolate?
Chocolate is made from a number of ingredients and not every ingredient is meant for animals and may harm them. Ingredients in chocolates are,
- Cocoa butter from cocoa beans.
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- Vanilla drops or other flavors.
- Lecithin is an emulsifier made from soy.
- Milk, in the case of milk chocolate.
- Various add-ins like fruits, nuts, poppers, etc.
Chocolate liquor is a liquid made from cocoa butter and cocoa solids and acquired from fermented, roasted, and grounded cocoa beans. It is one of the most important ingredients. (See What is the Most Expensive Truffle?)
2. What is meant by Food Intolerance?
A condition in which a person has difficulty digesting some food items and ends up vomiting or having an upset stomach is known as food intolerance. It is not the same as food allergies. Bloating, diarrhea and nausea are the common symptoms. (See Should I Count Calories or Carbohydrate Intake?)
3. Why are Dogs not supposed to have Chocolate?
Dogs are not supposed to eat chocolate because chocolate consists of theobromine. According to the American Chemical Society, all it takes is this one molecule to harm a dog. It is a caffeine-like molecule that is present in chocolates. (See What Dog Food Is Made Of?)
4. How does Theobromine affect Dogs?
This molecule increases blood flow to the brain. Dogs are incapable of processing this molecule through their system and hence they consume large quantities even without realizing it. Due to their low metabolism, theobromine builds up in their system and reaches a toxic level, resulting in chocolate toxicity. (See Why are Arteries Red?)
5. Which Chocolate is most Poisonous to Dogs?
All chocolates pose a threat, then, but dark chocolates are more dangerous than milk chocolate. It is so because it contains more theobromine than milk chocolate. (See List of Snacks with No Carbs)
6. What is Chocolate Toxicity?
In simple terms, it means the poisoning caused by consuming chocolate. It has been the most common cause of poisoning in dogs. It is, therefore, better to keep them away from chocolates. Cocoa beans contain 2 methylxanthines, which are caffeine and theobromine. (See Where Did Chili Originate?)
7. Which Chocolate has the most Toxicity?
Any kind of chocolate should not be involved in food items for animals. There is nothing like it if this one is less toxic, so you can feed it to your dog. Because every chocolate has more or less theobromine only the concentration levels are different. Also, why are dogs not supposed to have chocolate? Here is the list of chocolates in descending order (more toxic to less toxic).
- Cocoa powder,
- Baking chocolate or cooking chocolate,
- Dark chocolate,
- Milk chocolate,
- White chocolate. (See 7 Metal in Microwave Mythbusters Facts)
8. Why can’t Dogs have Chocolate that is Less Toxic?
No! the answer to why are dogs not supposed to have chocolate is a big loud no. Even if you are feeding your dog a piece of white chocolate, then he will have symptoms of chocolate poisoning. If you are lactose intolerant, then one spoonful or a cup of milk will not matter and you will eventually throw up. The same is with dogs. White chocolate may have a low to nil amount of theobromine but the cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids can still pose a danger to dogs. So this is the reason why dogs can’t eat chocolate. (See 8 Types of Good Emotional Support Dogs)
9. What are the Determining Factors?
Sometimes the reaction is instant, while other times it can take up to a few minutes to a couple of hours. The determining factors behind the time gap in the occurrence of reaction and symptoms are,
- The type of chocolate consumed by dogs.
- The amount consumed by dogs.
- Weight and other health conditions of dogs. (See 7 Facts About Dog Sled Teams)
10. What are the Symptoms of Chocolate Toxicity?
The initial symptoms can occur between 4 hours to 24 hours. The signs and symptoms are as follows,
- The mild signs include diarrhea, increased thirst, vomiting, excessive urination, and gastrointestinal upset.
- The signs may develop into hyperactivity, hyperthermia, increased heart rate, and pancreatitis.
- The more severe signs may include coma, depression, tremors, seizures, heart arrhythmia, and heart failure.
All these reasons are the answers to why are dogs not supposed to have chocolate. (See Bloodhound – Dog with Best Sense of Smell)
11. What if a Dog Chews some Chocolate?
First, keep such things out of their reach. And if, by any chance, you catch them eating chocolate, quickly try to remove it from their mouth. However, if you have any doubt about their chocolate consumption, visit a vet. (See 25 Best Home Made Remedies for Sore Throat)
12. Can Chocolate Poisoning be Treated?
The treatment depends on the amount and type of chocolate a dog has eaten. The vet can decontaminate the dog by inducing vomiting and giving the necessary medicines to prevent the absorption of theobromine. Medication will be necessary if the symptoms worsen. (See When are the Dog Days of Summer?)
13. Do some Dog Treats have Chocolate?
Treats do not contain the cocoa that is used in chocolate production. Instead, these treats contain Carob. It is an edible pod with a color similar to that of cocoa beans and chocolate chips. Carob is less bitter and has a naturally sweet flavor. It is also caffeine-free and rich in fiber. Ultimately, it does not contain any such thing which is toxic to dogs. (See Why Do We Eat Ham on Easter?)
14. Does Chocolate affect all Animals?
Yes, chocolate is harmful to every animal, pet, and stray. Avoid feeding chocolate to any cat, dog, squirrel, etc., because it can be life-threatening too. Also, avoid feeding some nonedible foods to dogs. (See 21 Healthiest Fish for Fishetarians)
So, now you know why are dogs not supposed to have chocolate and why can’t dogs have chocolate. Also, if you still have any doubts about why dogs can’t eat chocolate feel free to ask in the comment. I will be happy to help. Moreover, do not forget to share this valuable information with everyone, maybe your share may help them save various lives. (See Can Parrots really Talk?)