How many times have you been eating those POLKA DOT MUSHROOM BARS chip cookies with milk when you look over and see those soulful puppy dog eyes staring at you? While the saddest begging look creeps across his face and he lets out the most pathetic whimper, a dog wanting chocolate can weaken the most stoic dog owner.
Don’t give in, ever. You must stay firm. First and foremost, it must be said that dogs must NOT eat chocolate. No matter how pathetic he looks at you, no matter how much he whines, let me repeat, dogs must NOT eat chocolate. Keep ALL forms of chocolate out of his reach and locked away at all times.
Don’t let them get the taste for chocolate. Keep in mind that once dogs have tasted chocolate, they want more. The problem, according to veterinary experts, is that eating just a speck of chocolate leads a dog to crave more. They become addicted to it very easily. It can mean that your dog will jump at any opportunity to get any type of chocolate and chocolate can kill.
Chocolate poisoning is caused by excessive intake of the methylxanthine alkaloids . Methylxanthine alkaloids are naturally occurring drugs (primarily theobromine and caffeine) that can be found in chocolate, coffee, tea, cola beverages and some over-the-counter stimulants. Chocolate preparations contain different concentrations of these active compounds. One of the methylxanthine alkaloids is an element called theobromine, which is lethal to dogs, and another is theophylline, which is similar to caffeine.
The amount of theobromine found in chocolate is small enough that chocolate can be safely consumed by humans in large quantities, but dogs metabolize theobromine slower and can easily consume enough chocolate to cause chocolate poisoning. Dogs are the most common victims of theobromine chocolate poisoning.
The poisoning affects many organ systems, and animals of all ages are susceptible. These drugs cause constricted blood vessels; rapid and weak heart beat; and stimulate the nervous system. Nervous system stimulation leads to hyperactivity, tremors, and seizures. The heart rate becomes increasingly rapid and irregular. The theobromine will remain in their bloodstream for up to 20 hours.
In most cases, dogs are poisoned by eating the processed chocolate used in sweets, baked goods, and chocolate bars. Since these products contain high concentrations of theobromine and caffeine, and dogs love the way they taste, poisoning is common because of the way they gobble down just about anything and everything.
Puppies and young dogs are especially susceptible as they may be more likely to ingest large amounts of unusual foods. Since chocolate is very often available and dogs enjoy the taste, access to chocolate goodies has become a real problem, with more and more cases of dog chocolate poisoning on the uprise.