Two Reasons Why Chocolate is The Enemy of Dogs

By Dima B. | Monday Monday Staff -    2016-10-22

There are various common misconceptions about what dogs can and can’t eat to stay healthy. Chocolate isn’t one of those. 

Even though lots of those things which we tend to believe are bad for dogs are incorrect, there really are a few truths mixed in there. We can’t really tell who’s perpetuating these myths – big corporations that produce dog food? Conspiracy theorists? Whatever the reason – you’ll probably become cautious, even if the source is unreliable. Some foods are genuinely bad for dogs.And we’ve known this for a long time. Probably the most crucial one is that it’s dangerous for dogs to consume chocolate.

Among the essential components that makes chocolate so extremely dangerous to dogs is the higher level of caffeine.

Zerrin | GiveRecipe
Zerrin | GiveRecipe

Dogs’ bodies are not prepared to deal with that quantity of caffeine and it causes their heart rates to increase. This may lead to dangerous health problems including cardiac arrest and stroke. Among the lesser symptoms can be nervous disorders, tremors, problems with breathing and digestive system. None of that looks worthy of a delicious chocolate bite. Even a pound of Oreo or Butterfinger. Okay, maybe a pound of Butterfinger candy is worthy of a small nervous breakdown, but not really. 

Chocolate also contains an element known as theobromine, which is toxic for dogs.

It is a part of the xanthine compound, another element that’s dangerous for dogs. The levels of theobromine are much higher in dairy chocolate, so it can take considerably less milk chocolate to make a dog seriously sick than, for instance, with dark chocolate.

Chocolate affects each dog differently. It does depend significantly on the type of the dog, breed, weight. Still, even with strong and adult German Shepherds, they remain seriously susceptible to negative effects. 

A dog would have to eat 2 hundred ounces of white chocolate per pound of body weight to have a problem, which is rather improbable, but they need only eat up to 1 oz per pound of baking chocolate to become severely sick.

You can calculate the body weight to the healthy amount of consumed chocolate ratio and keep it in the back of your head all of the time.

However, a much more reasonable approach would be to eliminate any chance of chocolate consumption for your German Shepherd. With kids around the house, neighbors, guests coming in and out – you can never know for sure that no chocolate is in the dog’s reach. German Shepherds are extremely smart (not enough to cut out chocolate from their diet, though), so they can easily get to places not intended for them, open cupboards, fridges and so on. 

Nutrition is one of the primary concerns for dog owners. And, obviously, safety here is the top priority. Even if you’re not raising a K-9 German Shepherd and do not care much about all the grains and minerals a dog should eat – knowing some basic stuff is vital. 

Store chocolate somewhere the dog can’t get it. But hey, there’s an upside to it – now you can keep all of the chocolate to yourself!

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