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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Lockwood

Why is it so bad for your dog to have chocolate?

Fall is filled with so many fun activities! From pumpkin carving, apple picking, and hay rides to getting dressed up and collecting delicious candy like Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, Hersheys, Snickers, Milkyway, and M&M’s. 

What isn’t fun is our dogs getting into the candy we collected and getting sick! Each year, pet professionals share and warn that your dogs shouldn’t have any chocolate or candy. But do we actually know WHY dogs shouldn’t have any and understand the effects chocolate has on our dogs?

As humans, we can eat chocolate all day! (Even though we probably shouldn’t!) So why can’t our dogs enjoy it with us? 

Chocolate is bad for dogs because it contains theobromine and caffeine. Theobromine and caffeine is dangerous because of how slowly it breaks down in dogs bodies. In humans, we are able to break those chemicals a lot easier and quicker. In dogs, it activates their adenosine receptors, which causes them to be very sleepy. Depending on the amount of theobromine and caffeine your dog consumes, your dog can display the following symptoms: 

• Nausea 

• Vomiting 

• Increased heart rate

• Diarrhea

• Hyperactivity (a dog's inability to stay calm or focused) 

• Tremors 

• Seizures

• Cardiac Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rate)

There have been cases where dogs have consumed chocolate and have been totally fine! It just depends on your dog and the amount of theobromine and caffeine they consume. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine and caffeine it contains, the more dangerous it is. 

It’s of course better to be safe than sorry, so this Halloween season make sure to put the candy in a safe spot your dog can not reach. 

If your dog has consumed chocolate and is behaving abnormally. Please consult your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.

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