Most dog owners, if not all, have always been told not to feed chocolate to their beloved companions. Why is this the case? Does it apply to all dog breeds, including the Chow Chow? Can Chow Chows eat Chocolate?
Perhaps, you are chilling on your couch, snacking on a chocolate bar, when your pet Chow Chow approaches you and looks at you with his dark, imploring eyes. What should you? Will you stand by the shared knowledge and disappoint your companion, nor will you give in to his longing eyes?
In this article, we will show you the answer to whether Chow Chows can eat chocolate or not. We will also give you a well-researched explanation to support our answer.
Can Chow Chows Eat Chocolate?
Chow Chows CAN NOT eat chocolate as they are very poisonous to dogs. Chocolates can make your dog get sick or can even cause death if not treated properly.
As smart as dogs are, however, they wouldn’t understand this so you need to be careful when eating chocolates around them.
While there are dogs who’ve gotten ill after eating chocolates, there are still cases where no such harmful effects were observed. Why? Keep reading to find out.
What makes Chocolate Bad for Dogs?
So what exactly makes chocolate bad for dogs? Is it the color? Is it the sugar? It turns out that the main culprit why chocolate is so toxic to dogs are two components found in the food: Theobromine and Caffeine.
Going further, Theobromine and Caffeine belong to a class of Alkaloid called Methylxanthines. Methylxanthines cause the respiratory airways to clear and for the heart to increase its rate. The thing with dogs is that their body couldn’t process Theobromine and Caffeine in time before the two can harm their bodies.
While dogs can reach peak serum levels of caffeine somewhere between 30-60 minutes and eliminate half of the ingested dose in about 4.5 hours, they wouldn’t take peak serum levels of theobromine until 10 hours after ingestion. Even then, they would still need about 17.5 hours to eliminate half of it.
By that time, their bodies would be put under tremendous pressure, especially the nervous system and the kidneys.
In comparison, the human body can absorb Theobromine by producing Caffeine. This way, we only need 6-10 hours to absorb half of the input.
Effects of Chocolate on Dogs
The collective effects of chocolate on dogs are called Chocolate Poisoning. Signs and symptoms will vary depending on the amount and type of chocolate eaten.
High-quality chocolates with a higher percentage of cacao are more lethal than lower-quality chocolates containing fewer cacao amounts.
One more thing to consider is that dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate, but this doesn’t make the latter any safer.
The dogs’ size also has a vital role to play, too. Larger dogs could eat more chocolate before getting sick. In comparison, smaller dogs are already at risk, even if only a tiny piece of chocolate was consumed.
To put it simply, the clinical signs will vary according to the dog and the chocolate eaten.
Here are the most common signs that could be observed when your dog was poisoned:
- Vomiting & Diarrhea
- Increased thirstiness
- Shortness of breath
- Exercise & frequent Urination
- Increased heart rate
In more severe cases, here are some signs that can be seen:
- Heart failure
- Cardiac Arrest
- Sudden death
You might also like: Chow chows will love chicken
What to do if your Chow Chow ate Chocolates
Supposing your dog still managed to eat chocolates no matter how vigilant you think you were, here are some things that you can do in order to prevent any impending disaster:
- Call your Trusted Vet – The first thing you want to do is to give your vet a call. It’s best if he or she is someone who has prior experience with your dog as they can give you instructions based on the size of your dog and the amount of ingested chocolate.
Your vet will know what to do next and will deliver any type of emergency care that you can not give at home. Without beating around the bush, a single phone call will be the difference between life and death for your beloved companion.
- Induce Vomiting – If you won’t reach the vet’s office in due time, the only thing you can do in the meantime is to induce your Chow Chow to vomit. Typically, your dog should start throwing up after it has eaten the chocolate. If it doesn’t, you have to force it to happen.
It may be emotionally heavy for you to deliberately make your dog sick but you have to do what it takes whenever you’re in a situation like this. Here’s how you should do it:
First Aid if Your Chow Chow ate Chocolates
- Give a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to your dog. You can mix the peroxide with water or even bribe your dog with their favorite food just so they can swallow it. Remember not to give too much of this chemical as it may also further harm your dog.
- If the latter doesn’t work, get your Chow Chow up and move about. Moving around will help induce vomiting in your dog.
- .Let your dog eat some grass. Dogs naturally eat grass when they’ve eaten food that isn’t right with their digestive system.
- Dilute the chocolate. If all of these don’t work or your dog wouldn’t cooperate, offer them their favorite food as it will dilute the chocolate within their system and reduce the lethality of the theobromine.
Chocolate poisoning is a terrible way to lose your beloved pet. Now that you know that feeding chocolate to your Chow Chow is not ideal, make sure to take every precaution possible to prevent your pet from any access to the said ingredient.
If they do manage to ingest some, make sure to give your vet a call and wait for further instructions. If it’s genuinely an urgent case, you may attempt to perform the First Aid procedures at your own risk.