Why is chocolate dangerous for pets?

After putting our hands on a bar of chocolate, we immediately left it lying on the table, in case a new craving for a snack emerged. A harmless gesture that can have serious consequences when you have pets. Because our furry pets, and dogs in particular, have an unfortunate tendency to want to savor whatever they find. And as tempting as it is, chocolate is absolutely to be avoided in the diet of our four-legged friends.

How is chocolate dangerous for pets?

While it is customary to say that chocolate is dangerous for the health of pets, it is its cocoa content that is problematic, Dr. Chevaillier, veterinarian of the Gâtines Clinic in Savigny-sur-Orge. “Chocolate is dangerous because it contains toxic substances (alkaloids) that have negative cardiovascular and digestive toxic properties that can endanger the animal’s survival,” he explains.

To determine the degree of danger of a chocolate, we refer to the percentage of cocoa it contains, and therefore to its concentration of methylxanthine, the most toxic alkaloid. Note that white, milk or filled chocolate are therefore “less dangerous”, due to their low methylxanthine content.

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From what quantity is the ingestion of chocolate dangerous?

Again, it all depends on the amount of cocoa present in the chocolate. For example: 200 g of chocolate containing 50% cocoa is equivalent to 100 g of chocolate containing 100% cocoa. To get an idea, “poisoning is said to be marked when a 10 kg dog eats 50 g of chocolate 100% cocoa. We also see that the dose depends proportionally on the weight of the dog, for a 40 kg dog he will need of 200 g of dark chocolate “, develops the veterinarian.

More precisely: “the ingestion will have to be taken into account according to the sensitivity of each, at half of this dose, ie 25 g of chocolate with 100% cocoa per 10 kg, ie 50 g of chocolate with 50% and 100 g of milk chocolate. Ingestion is toxic in double doses and potentially fatal in double doses, ie 100 g of chocolate 100% cocoa for a 10 kg dog, or 200 g of chocolate 50% cocoa “, adds the specialist.

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What care should I give my pet in case of chocolate poisoning?

In general, dogs are the most affected by chocolate poisoning, “due to their playful nature in terms of eating behavior,” recalls Dr. Chevaillier. In case of ingestion, the action to be taken is therefore to make the animal vomit within the next hour, or even within 20 minutes. And, of course, don’t hesitate to consult with veterinary emergencies if necessary!

Note that if humans don’t suffer from the same weakness when faced with chocolate, it’s simply because they don’t normally consume enough of it to get sick. But nothing is impossible. So watch out for liver attacks!

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