Chocolate is well loved by humans everywhere. The only real dangers of chocolate for humans are gaining weight or having dental disease. Dogs find chocolate equally delicious, and even though cats are pickier eaters, the effect of chocolate on them stays the same
What causes chocolate toxicity?
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs and cats. Humans metabolize theobromine easily, where as dogs and cats metabolize it slower, therefore the toxin has time to build up in their system. The theobromine content is higher in dark, bitter chocolate compared to white chocolate.
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity:
Cats and dogs will start showing symptoms 6-12 hours after ingestion of chocolate. Clinical signs include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased heart rate
This will progress to:
- Muscle tremors
- Advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma).
My pet has ingested chocolate. What must I do?
Chocolate ingestion is seen as an emergency. Take your pet to the nearest vet asap.