If you are a person who sits in front of the TV in an evening munching on, and sharing, your bar of chocolate with your dog, you could be poisoning them.
Most dog owners do not realise that a chocolate treat meant for humans is hazardous, and potentially fatal, for dogs.
Some of the larger breeds of dogs can withstand more chocolate than a smaller breed; however, it is safer to omit chocolate altogether unless you treat your pet to specially manufactured doggie chocolate.
The toxic component that affects your dog is called ‘Theo Bromine’, which humans are able to metabolise easily. A dog cannot eliminate Theo Bromine quickly enough and toxicity levels overload their system, causing them to become ill.
Allowing your dog to eat a small amount of chocolate can cause them to throw up; however, large amounts can bring on muscle tremors, heart attacks, seizures, an irregular heartbeat and sometimes internal bleeding.
Do not panic if you have just given your canine friend a small piece of chocolate as it will not necessarily mean a visit to the vet. If however your dog gets hold of your box of chocolates and eats all of them – then immediately rush him to the vets.
Just 25 grams of chocolate can poison a 20 kg dog.
Other symptoms of high levels of Theo Bromine poisoning are high levels of activity or bouts of vomiting.
As a matter of interest, different types of chocolate have varying levels of Theo Bromine. White milk chocolate is the least offender, while dark chocolate and chocolate with cocoa has higher levels of Theo Bromine.