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pets: Chocolate

Super 1 Foods | Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:12AM

ChocolateIt seems like dogs can eat just about anything; garbage, paper, you name it. Actually some foods we enjoy, as humans are hazardous to our pets, like chocolate. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which can be fatal to animals. While the only ill effect of eating a whole box of chocolate for us is a stomach ache, animals react a little differently. Theobromine takes much longer to metabolize in animals than it does in humans. Theobromine affects the central nervous system, cardiovascular system and blood pressure of your pet.

Different varieties of chocolate contain different levels of theobromine. A 20 pound dog would have to ingest 250 pounds of white chocolate to become sick; but 2 ounce of baking chocolate could make the same dog very ill. The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate the more harmful it is to your pet.

Symptoms of ingesting chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and increase urination. These symptoms can lead to cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, panting, internal bleeding and death. If you think your pet has ingested chocolate contact your vet or the National Animal Poison Control (888-426-4435). 

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