Theobromine is chemical compound found in cacao beans that are in chocolate products. The darker or more unsweetened the chocolate, the higher the concentration of theobromine. Chocolate also contains caffeine, both substances are metabolized by dogs much more slowly than humans making them susceptible to chocolate poisoning. Be aware of the chocolate in your home, especially around holidays. Wrapped boxes of chocolates for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or anniversaries can be quickly consumed by dog. Please keep these packages, baking chocolate, and other forms of chocolate out of your dog's reach. Dogs that ingest chocolate products have initial clinical signs within 1-2 hours after ingestion.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs can range from mild to severe. If you suspect your dog has ingested chocolate, it is essential to seek veterinary attention immediately. Theobromine toxicity can be life-threatening, and prompt intervention is crucial for a positive outcome. Never wait for symptoms to appear before seeking help if you suspect chocolate ingestion. Some of the symptoms of poisoning may include:
The severity of symptoms depends on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, as well as the size and health of the dog. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain higher levels of theobromine compared to milk chocolate, making them more toxic.