Choosing To Give Your Pet A Valentine’s Day Chocolate?

PET CHECK BLOG - Hotel Chocolate

\\\ Bad Foods For Pets

Are you expecting to share your Valentines Day chocolates with your pet?

14 February kicks off the Spring promotions with beautiful chocolates being sold to cheer us all up.

Our favourite household brand is Hotel Chocolate. We simply don’t know how they keep producing the special selections they craft from their chocolate plantations into gorgeous presents every month.

This Valentine Day sees one of the best selections available and you can order now online at Hotel Chocolate.

Hotel Chocolate H Box Selection

Are you going to give your dog, cat or rabbit a chocolate?

Hopefully the answer is a resounding No!

Many new pet owners are simply unware they shouldn’t give their pets chocolate.

Nosey scavenging pets, dogs, cats and indoor pet rabbits will eat anything that’s been left lying around, even in split seconds, the minute you’ve turned your back and that includes toxic chocolate.

The first your likely to know they’ve eaten some is seeing the empty wrapping or boxful eaten and the box half chewed to bits.

So what is it that makes chocolate so toxic for pets?

Nuts and chocolate

Research suggests that it is the chemical theobromine contained in the chocolate which is dangerous to pets and other animals. The effects of theobromine are similar to coffee as it is a stimulant.

Dogs may vomit, experience increased heart rate, experience internal bleeding, agitation and seizures.

Signs I’ve witnessed in a friends Jack Russell 4 year old healthy dog, a breed well known to scavenge was hyperactivity, vomiting and diarrhoea. This led to nervous reactions such as twitching, tremors, fitting, and can go onto causing life-threatening heart problems.

Humans are allegedly able to tolerate the chemical about 5 times more than pets as this can be more easily metabolised, where dogs, for example, cannot do this, meaning there is a horrible build-up of the chemical in the body.

Dark chocolate is worse than white chocolate.

Cocoa powder and baking chocolate generally contain the most concentrated levels of the chemical. Dark chocolate contains less cocoa powder and baking chocolate but more of the chemical than white chocolate which contains far less theobromine and may be less harmful but contains much fat content and can still make pets unwell.

Things don’t really stop here because of the developments in our human foods and where two chocolate brownies saw sadly, a lovely dog collapse and loose her life as reported by The Metro newspaper. The brownies contained Xylitol sweetener which has been increasingly used in human foods such as sweets, gum, some baking mixes and peanut butters as well as chocolate.

When I first found this out and knowing a friend of mine used peanut butter as a treat for her two dogs, I called her where she was devastated to find out that the cheaper brand she had changed to used Xylitol in it’s ingredients. She used to stuff the peanut butter into Kongs for her dogs, which they loved to lick out coming back after a long walk, keeping them contented for a good twenty minutes or so when they rested in their dog beds.

Fortunately, the two dogs were fine, but continued use may have had detrimental health problems for them. Swapping to another brand without Xylitol was an alternative.

Sick dog

One often hears of pet owners stating that their dogs or cats eat chocolate regularly and seem to have no side effects.

It really depends on the type of chocolate your pet has eaten, the amount of chocolate eaten and the pet’s weight size how toxicity will affect them.

Generally, a 20-pound sized dog (just over 9 Kilos) would need to eat about 1 pound (0.45 Kilogram ) of dark chocolate for a lethal dose.

Vets-Now have produced a really useful calculator – ‘Chocolate Toxicity Rating Calculator’.

If you are in doubt how much your dog is likely to be affected this can be an excellent tool to help you before contacting your veterinary practice. Follow the guidance provided.

Best Vets-Now Pet Advice

Monitor your dog closely for up to 24 hours after ingestion. If they show any of the symptoms listed, contact your vet or, out of hours, your nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic or 24/7 hospital.

Chocolate and nuts

Helpful tips to provide your vet in an emergency about your pet

  • Producing the left-overs of what may have been eaten, inhaled or what your pet has been in contact with.
  • Produce the wrapper, tin, container of what was eaten, inhaled or your pet exposed to. If a suspected chemical, for example, you should take preventative care when touching and sealing the contents or take veterinary advice if suspected of being a dangerous chemical to both pets and humans.
  • How much you consider they may have eaten or been exposed to.
  • When your pet was exposed, how long ago, minutes, hours or days.
  • How your pet may be unwell, the symptoms showing or not showing.
  • Do not try to make your dog sick. This can cause other complications, which may harm your dog.
  • Do not wait for your pet to become unwell. Vets can treat pets for toxicity but the sooner they are presented with the sick animal, the easier it is likely to be to aid a full recovery.

Is chocolate the only food that causes pet toxicity?

Numerous human foods cause anything from a mild irritation to death to our pets and its important for new pet owners to get familiar with the list.

Safe storage

Needless to state, that’s its important to keep this lovely new smell stored in a sealed container if yours is a pet family, store preferably out of reach, in higher cupboards.

Don’t leave chocolate lying around in living areas accessible to your dog, cat even rabbit, and train young children not to feed their pets chocolate.

\\\  Spotted out-of-date information or broken link? Message  Other Images courtesy freepik and Metro. Disclaimer 

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