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Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs, Cats | Chocolate Toxic for Pet health

Filed under: Pet Diet — Tags: , , , — Nik @ 5:21 am

Chocolate Poisoning in Pets:

Few among us can resist the temptation of chocolates and our pets quite alike. In the context of human consumption research has shown that chocolate does offer some peculiar but definite health benefits, when consumed in moderation. When you consider the health of your pets however it would be wise to consider the fact that although they may be good for us, chocolates can be quite toxic and even fatal.

Dogs are possibly the most frequently affected pet, because they do tend to develop a sweet tooth. Although most of us are familiar with the idea of chocolate being toxic to dogs, they are not the only species of pets that are affected adversely. The reason we’re more familiar with this idea probably has more to do with the fact that dogs are one of the most common pets and we do tend to pander to their tastes to a large extent. Cats, which are probably just as common as dogs as pets, are a lot more picky and independent when it comes to food choices and eating habits. This may explain why the problem is not as common or well known among cat owners. Cats too can have a sweet tooth and are just as susceptible, as are almost all other pet species.

Chocolates are prepared from beans of the cacao tree, and an important component of chocolate is theobromine, which is a toxic compound. Caffeine is another toxin that we are more familiar with that is also present in chocolate, but this is in much smaller amounts as compared to theobromine. Both caffeine and theobromine are classified as drugs in the class called methylxanines.

To give you an idea of the toxicity of chocolate, here are some of the effects of these toxins:

  • They act as a stimulant to the central nervous system,
  • As a stimulant to the cardiovascular system,
  • A mild effect of increasing blood pressure,
  • They may also cause nausea and vomiting.

Toxicity levels in chocolates vary greatly, with unsweetened chocolate containing up to ten times the amount of theobromine as compared to milk chocolates. White chocolate contains negligible amount of either toxins. Your veterinarian or animal welfare societies would be able to provide you with specific levels of toxicity and dosage that is threatening. It would be safe to say however that it is best to completely avoid feeding your pet any chocolate. It should also be pointed out that smaller pet species would generally have lower tolerance levels.