Why Dogs Can't Eat Chocolate
Why can't dogs eat chocolate? This is one of the many questions dog owners ask when looking at the number of foods that are highly toxic for them. To keep them safe and give them the care they need, it is vital that you do everything you can to avoid providing them with things that can be damaging to their health which can cause intoxication as a consequence. Read this OneHowTo article to discover why dogs can't eat chocolate.
When feeding your dog, you should choose the best and most nutritious options available. Dry food can be a good choice as it has many nutrients and proteins that their body needs. To choose the most suitable for your pooch, take into consideration their age and breed.
You can also provide them with some pieces of fruit or vegetables sometimes, which contain fiber, vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants very beneficial for maintaining the health of our dog. However, before doing so you have to consider what fruits they can eat and the vegetables that are suitable for them, given that many are toxic and can have serious consequences. Also take into consideration the amount you feed your dog, making sure you don't exceed this amount.
As well as some fruits and vegetables, another toxic food for dogs is chocolate, which their body cannot digest. But why can't dogs eat chocolate? The answer lies in its composition. Chocolate consists of a number of substances and antioxidants that produce different effects in the body; however, the substance which causes poisoning is theobromine. This substance causes blood vessels to dilate, arterial pressure to drop, it stimulates cardiac functions and acts as a natural diuretic, etc. So if its effects are so positive, why is it so bad for dogs?
In our bodies we have an enzyme called cytochrome P450, which is responsible for metabolizing theobromine and we thus benefit from it. For humans it takes around 40 minutes to metabolize. The problem for dogs is that they do not have this enzyme and therefore, their body cannot properly metabolize it, taking as long as 1 to 2 days to do so. Thus the effects produced in them are all negative, causing them stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea if the amount consumed is small.
When the amount taken is greater, symptoms and consequences of chocolate poisoning are far more serious: seizures, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, tremors, hyperactivity, increased heart rate and, in the worst cases, death. If your dog eats chocolate, you should go to the vet as soon as possible to initiate appropriate treatment and release it from their body.
The toxicity of chocolate is based on the amount of sugar it contains: the most harmful is pure chocolate, with a reduced amount of sugar, and the least harmful is white chocolate. However, all have negative effect on dogs as they all contain theobromine to varying degrees. Now that you know why dogs can not eat chocolate you will understand that you should make sure your dog never has access to this food. If you want to reward your dog, feed it special treats designed for dogs.
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