Most dog owners are aware that chocolate can be dangerous for dogs, but chocolate poisoning still remains a problem. In fact, a study in the UK showed that a quarter of all dogs presenting with intoxication have ingested chocolate. Understanding why chocolate is bad for dogs and how serious chocolate intoxication can be can help dog owners protect their pets. This saves their dogs from spending time sick and can also prevent a costly vet bill.
The main ingredient in chocolate that causes problems in dogs is theobromine. Chocolate comes from the cacao bean, or Theobroma cacao, and the finished product contains 1-9 milligrams of theobromine. Humans can metabolize this compound easily, but dogs digest it slowly, so it can build up in their bodies. Too much theobromine causes over stimulation of the dog's central nervous and cardiovascular systems, which can lead to health problems or even death in the most serious cases.
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