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  • Jo De Klerk

    Can I Feed Chocolate To My Yorkie?

    I was shopping for treats for my Yorkie, and I saw the pet store selling dog chocolate. I thought dogs weren’t allowed chocolate? - Rosie

    I’m glad you brought this up Rosie, as dog chocolate and regular chocolate can easily be confused. It is actually poor marketing on the behalf of the manufacturers which produce dog chocolate, as those who have little knowledge about toxins, can inadvertently poison their dog by giving them real chocolate.

    The treats which you see in the pet store, that call themselves chocolate, actually contain no cocoa. This is the part of chocolate which is toxic to dogs even in small quantities. There are varying levels of cocoa in chocolate, depending on whether it is dark, milk, white, cooking chocolate, or cocoa powder, and the amount eaten and size of your dog will all factor in when it comes to calculating the risk.

    In the cocoa is something called theobromine. This is at a higher level in cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate. If ingested in small quantities, it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, but in larger quantities, it can lead to tremors, seizures, heart irregularities and death. If you are concerned that your dog might have eaten chocolate, it is important to call your vet immediately so that they can induce vomiting to stop it getting into the system. If it is too late and your dog is already experiencing symptoms, your vet will be able to provide supportive treatment to help pull him through.

    Vets Now have provided an excellent online tool to measure the risk if your dog has ingested some chocolate, which can be found here:

    https://www.vets-now.com/app/chocolate-calculator

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    Jo De Klerk

    Jo is a graduate of the Royal Veterinary College, London. She has a Masters degree in Tropical Animal Health, and has spent most of her career working in mixed veterinary practice.

    Recently, she has become involved in one of the UK’s fastest growing veterinary telemedicine services for dogs and cats.

    She is a published author of several books, and enjoys working as a freelance veterinary writer around her clinical work.


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