Is chocolate harmful to your Bulldog?
The short answer is yes. So does this mean that you should rush your Bullie to vet if he happens to grab a chocolate chip cookie and run off with it? Not necessarily. The problem with chocolate and dogs is the chemical theobromine. In sufficient amounts this chemical is responsible for toxic reactions. It seems this chemical is in the same family as caffeine. So how much is a sufficient amount to cause a toxic reaction? A low estimate is that it takes approximately 100 milligrams of theobromine per 2 pounds of dog body weight to elicit a toxic reaction.
Below are listed the approximate levels of theobromine per ounce for several common chocolate sources:
Milk chocolate has about 40-45 mg of theobromine per ounce
Semi-sweet chocolate contains about 150 mg of theobromine per ounce
Baker’s chocolate has almost 400 mg of theobromine per ounce
Using the above information we can approximate that amount that must be consumed to be a problem:
Milk chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of body weight
Semi-sweet chocolate: 1 ounce for every 3lbs of body weight
Baker’s chocolate: 1 ounce for every 10lbs of body weight
What are the symptoms of chocolate toxicity?
- Increased heart rate
- Frequent urination
- Hyper irritability and excitability
What is the treatment?
If you suspect that you Bulldog has consumed a toxic amount of chocolate, call your vet immediately. In some cases, you may wish to induce vomiting within the first several hours. If the consumed chocolate is milk chocolate, diarrhea usually begins within 24 hours. Make sure you keep your Bullie hydrated.
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