The darker the chocolate, the more toxic to your dog

With the Easter Bunny coming, the Maple Ridge branch of the SPCA is warning about the danger of chocolate to dogs.

Most pet owners know chocolate is toxic to dogs, and the SPCA adds that the darker the variety of chocolate, the more dangerous it is for our four-legged friends.

Chocolate is a poison for dogs because it contains both caffeine and a chemical called theobromine – two chemicals canines cannot metabolize as well as humans. While all types of chocolates can be toxic for dogs, the amount of theobromine varies within each type. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contains more theobromine per ounce.

While white chocolate contains very little theobromine per ounce, your dog can still get sick from the sugar and fat content as well as the caffeine, so you shouldn’t feed any chocolate to your canine friend, says the SPCA. In addition to the chocolate itself, other ingredients that can be found in chocolate bars and other goodies – like raisins, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and caffeine are also dangerous.

Signs of chocolate toxicity in your dog:

• Anxious or agitated behaviour

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Increased body temperature

• Muscle rigidity

• Rapid breathing or panting

• Increased heart rate

• Seizures

Advanced signs include cardiac failure, weakness, and coma.

READ ALSO: Business hosts New Year’s Eve fundraiser for SPCA

There is no cure for chocolate toxicity, so veterinarians can only treat the symptoms. If your dog experiences any of the above symptoms after ingesting chocolate, visit your veterinarian immediately for assistance, the SPCA recommends.

Chocolate is also toxic to cats for the same reasons, but they are less likely to eat human foods, advises the SPCA.

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