Chocolate: How can something so good for me be so toxic for my best friend?

It is common knowledge that “chocolate is bad for dogs”. Have you ever wondered what the science behind this saying is? We are about to give you the answer. Bear with us and you will expand your vocabulary and be able to share this knowledge at your next dinner party. 

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. They have stimulatory effects on the human central nervous system. Theobromine (ThB) is the primary bitter-tasting organic compound found in cocoa. It finds pharmaceutical use as a cardiac stimulant, blood vessel dilator, a diuretic, and a smooth muscle relaxant. It is less strong than caffeine. The caffeine content is usually around 10 to 15% of the theobromine content. 

Dogs are more sensitive to theobromine and caffeine than us hoomans. Their system processes it at a slower rate, allowing it to build up to toxic levels. While ingestion of chocolate is rarely fatal, it can induce serious illness. 

The severity of the intoxication depends on various factors: 

  • Characteristics of your furry friend: A small dog will suffer ill effects sooner than a large dog for the same quantity ingested. The same logic applies to the age, a senior doggo will be more vulnerable than a young pupster. Be mindful of your dog’s general health as well. A dog with pre existing heart disease will be susceptible to heart attacks.

  • The type of chocolate: The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration in theobromine, the more dangerous. Dark chocolate contains from 130 up to 450 mg of theobromine per ounce. Milk chocolate contains about 40 to 70 mg per ounce. With less than 0.3 mg of theobromine, white chocolate represents the lowest threat, although dogs could get sick from the sugar and fat.
  • The quantity ingested: Toxic doses of theobromine are reported to be as low as 9.1 mg of theobromine per pound of dog. To put in perspective, a dog weighing 50 pounds would only need an ounce of chocolate to show signs of poisoning. 

Symptoms of a light chocolate intoxication are hyperactivity, vomiting and diarrhea. A much more severe case could include high blood pressure, muscle tremors, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and as mentioned earlier, heart attacks.

Did your dog get its paws on your favorite treats? The sooner the theobromine is removed from the body, the better. Contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).

All this information applies to cats as well. Cats can’t taste sweetness and are less likely to try to eat your chocolate. Even so, keep your treats in a safe place.

You might not be able to share your chocolates, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share a moment of indulgence with your dog. Cassandra, Rosie’s sister, is in charge of a special line of high quality, hand-made, tasty dog treats. 

For as far as she can remember, Cassandra has shared a strong connection with animals. Their soothing presence, unconditional love and affection awakened something in her. She is looking to give back by making outstanding treats that will be as flavorful as they are healthy. 

With the initial intention to help the Rose family’s dogs, Cassandra has turned to CBD. Droppers are not enticing to dogs thus she started experimenting in the kitchen. The recipes were created through a mixture of healthy ingredients the puppies would savor. After some trial and error, she came up with three different biscuits:

  • Belle’s Kisses: Made with fresh mint, parsley, and chlorophyll, they promote healthy guts and fresh breath 

  • The Everything Biscuit: With peanut butter, bacon, and pumpkin, this bad boy is pure indulgence for our furry friends

  • The Morning Rounds: Made with flax meal and raspberries

Indulgence is self-care, self-care is love, and love should be shared. 

Cassandra is an Associates in Applied Science in Equine Studies. Her studies included equine nutrition… We hope you understand where this is going.

We are looking forward to introducing you to the benefits of CBD for your life-long companions. For now the treats are only available on site at our booth during the farmers market. You want to know more about the dog’s treats? Check out our instagram and watch Cassandra make the treats LIVE! Subscribe to the newsletter to know when the pet line will be available online.

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