If you’re like me, you’ve already had to go back to the store to buy more Halloween candy because you ran out. Little bite-sized pieces of chocolaty heaven pop up everywhere this time of year and it is awesome. There are bowls of candy everywhere–your house, the doctor’s office, the vet’s office, stores, banks, etc. This is great for
you, well, probably not great for the ol’ waistline, but it is great if you have a sweet tooth like I do. However, you got to be careful that your furry little friends don’t break into your candy stash.
It’s (thankfully) becoming fairly common knowledge now that dogs can’t have certain foods like grapes, onions, and the big one this time of year–chocolate. Even though many people put the emphasis on canines avoiding chocolate, felines are just as susceptible to having adverse (and possibly life threatening) issues after eating chocolate.
It’s the methylxanthines caffeine & theobromine (see Cat-World.com for more info) in the chocolate that does the damage. You can visit that site for the science behind why those things are so bad–I’m quite sure my science/medial knowledge isn’t strong enough to explain it as well as the pros can.
IF YOU THINK YOUR PET HAS INGESTED CHOCOLATE, SEEK VETERINARY ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATELY. Even if you know it isn’t a lot, it is still best to call a vet and get some expert input. Your vet knows better how chocolate might impact your pet. Weight, age, and
physical fitness all play parts in how your specific pet will react even to small amounts of chocolate.
What symptoms might arise with the consumption of chocolate? Even though I’m not a fan of block quotes, I didn’t want to mess this up. Here’s the symptoms list according to DogOwnersDigest.com:
“You can recognize that your dog has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate from the symptoms. Within the first few hours, the evidence includes vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity. As time passes and there’s increased absorption of the toxic substance, you’ll see an increase in the dog’s heart rate, which can cause arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination or excessive panting.
This can lead to hyperthermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma and even death.”
When “even death” is involved, I didn’t want to take chances in missing any of the symptoms. If you see any of these symptoms, you should contact your vet.
PetMD.com is a great resource to learn more. They have charts, remedies, stories, and much more to help you out. Oh, and yes, PetMD.com has a symptoms checker much like WebMD.com. And yes, it does lead you down a path of “oh nos” and “yup, I’m dying” panicked moments, but it is still helpful if you remain calm and evaluate ALL the results instead of focusing on the worst-case scenario ones that we’re all naturally drawn to.
**Many sites give you home remedies like inducing vomiting giving them activated charcoal, burnt toast, extra fluids…I’m not going to put my stamp of approval on those. I’d say call the vet first and then do what they recommend.
Anyway, keep your dogs and cats away from the candy. Rule to live by: any amount of chocolate is too much. Remind your kids, friends, family members, and anybody else that sees your pet that dogs and cats can’t have chocolate. It’s easy for a loving child to want to share their treats with their furry family members and it is also easy for a hungry animal to sniff out some yummy smelling treats. So, be careful with your chocolate candy this Halloween to make sure everybody has a fun holiday.