|by Joy Freedman|
|Every Dog Loves Its Chocolate
One of the most important and serious questions I get asked is about dogs and chocolate. "Is it really that dangerous? And if so why?" or, "My dog ate a whole bag of M&M's and she is fine, so what's the big deal?" Rehoboth has so many great candy shops downtown, and lots of little dogs on leashes looking for morsels. So after reading this, cut it out and post it on your refrigerator, next to the puppy picture of Fido. That makes this question and answer a real life saver!
Q: We use mulch mixed with cocoa bean shells in our garden is this o.k. for our two labs Norman and Rockwell? Collin Stearns, Seaford, De.
A: NO. Cocoa bean shell mulch is highly toxic to dogs. Here is the breakdown as to why and the symptoms to look for. The Cocoa plant contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs. Dogs metabolize Theobromine very slowly, it is a substance stronger than but like caffeine that can stimulate the dogs' central nervous system, and can affect the heart and kidneys. The amount of theobromine in different types of chocolate varies, but here is a basic breakdown:
Dry Cocoa Powder808 Mg of theobromine / caffeine per oz. Unsweetened Baking Chocolate440 Mg theobromine / caffeine per oz Instant Cocoa Powder151 Mg of theobromine / caffeine per oz Dark Sweet Chocolate150 Mg of theobromine / caffeine per oz Milk Chocolate64 Mg of Theobromine / caffeine per oz White Chocolate1.1 Mg of theobromine/caffeine per oz
One hundred (100 mg/kg) could be considered a lethal dose. So loosely translated at 70 lb dog would be approximately 33 kg. So get out your conversion tables and figure out what your dogs weight is in lbs, convert to kilograms and you can calculate it that way.
Symptoms can take place from two to twenty four hours after your pet has consumed. They include, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and excess drinking/urinating. As time goes on symptoms can include hyperactivity, shaking, rapid heartbeat, and uncoordination.
If your dog has eaten chocolate call your vet immediately, they may encourage you to induce vomiting by having her drink some hydrogen peroxide. Also contact poison control at 1-800-222-1222. Since I am a good Jewish mother I will also tell you to program that number into your cell phone!
Joy Freedman is a Dog Behaviorist and obedience instructor who does the popular "Ask the trainer" segment on various CBS radio stations and writes for Baltimore Dog magazine, and now for Letters! She has worked with Cesar Milan and will be giving monthly seminars and classes in Rehoboth while working on her first book! Her website is www.4 PawsPetServices.com. You can submit Dog behavior queries to ask the trainer@4Pawspetservices.com
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 13 September 12, 2008