Instant Information


ii - Is Chocolate Deadly To Dogs?


Dogs dying from eating chocolate is rare and difficult to document. Learn why this toxic information was disseminated into the pet owning culture.


Millions of dog owners over countless decades have either given their dog a piece of chocolate candy or had their pet find the chocolate cake and wolf-it-down.


How were we to know chocolate was poison “before internet”? We didn’t. In fact, we never heard of it.


According to the Merck Veterinary Manual (1998 - offsite opens in a window), “Approximately 1.3 g/kg b.wt. of baker's chocolate is sufficient to cause symptoms of toxicity, e.g. a typical 25 g baker's chocolate bar would be enough to bring out symptoms in a 20 kg dog.” 1 pound = 2.2 kilograms. Note it specifies baker’s chocolate (more concentrated than your candy bar) but play it safe: do not give chocolate to your dog.


In fact, shun all “dog candy” that proclaims it is “chocolate flavored” as ignorantly promoting poison for profit.


Although chocolate poisoning is getting headlines in 2018, it wasn’t a “big deal” in veterinary articles even though the veterinary “bible”, the Merck Manual, described “cocoa powder and cooking chocolate” as the form most toxic to dogs back in 1981. The Manual states the “toxic component of chocolate is methylxanthine alkaloid theobromine.


The internet is traffic driven with “returns” carefully crafted to get you to click to that site. Did you know chocolate was deadly to your dog Before Internet (BI)?


There is indeed a degree of risk in a dog nibbling your chocolate candy bar but has a veterinarian ever asked you if your dog could’ve eaten chocolate when you describe symptoms as vomiting, drooling and/or diarrhea? Why don’t veterinarians seem more concerned with classic symptoms of chocolate toxicity?


We have no answer but if you are a chocoholic, better stick to white chocolate: “Chocolate is toxic to all species, especially to smaller dogs, though a toxic dose will vary depending on factors like whether the dog ate the chocolate on an empty stomach, if the dog is particularly sensitive to chocolate, and the type of chocolate, since dark chocolate is more toxic, whereas milk chocolate less so, and white chocolate must be consumed in extremely large quantities to cause a serious problem.”  Some food toxic for pets (offsite)


The “bottom line” here is so simple a mouse can understand it. Bait the trap and surfers will come. Internet marketing and social media has contributed to the validity problem in that un-sourced, undocumented “blasts” are generated based on internet marketing mathematics, i.e. “one sale per one hundred hits.”


Do we suggest giving your dog a piece of chocolate as a treat? NO.


Give your dog a piece of meat. Not the mass-manufactured dried up, preservative-laden expensive fake stuff… Save him a piece of poultry or beef (not the fat!) in a zip-lock bag in your fridge, preferable in a door shelf so it’s always handy.


Poultry or beef table scraps will keep for a week. Save baked or fried fish leftovers for up to 4 days. Remember, dogs have scavenged carcasses for thousands of years. Give your dog or cat wholesome, nutritious, natural treats and save the chocolate for yourself!

Copyright 1712


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