Chocolate Candy & Smoking

Second hand or otherwise this stuff is poison.



Hi. My dog, Bruce, is 5 years old. He likes to eat chocolate. I heard that chocolates are toxic to dogs. Is this true? There’s one other thing I’m really concerned about. I’ve been giving my dog candies since he was about 3 months old. I smoke a lot and I eat candies when I do. After smoking I give my dog what’s left of the candy. Is this going to affect his health in any way? I once asked my veterinarian about that and she said that she encourages the owners to give sweets to their dogs. I’m not really sure if that’s true. Do I have any reason to be worried? I hope you can enlighten me with these matters. I love my dog so much and I just want him to be in the best of health as possible.


Dr. Nichol:

Ahem. What are my chances of talking Bruce out of all of the above? I too want Bruce to be in the best health possible so I will ask him to mend his evil ways.


Chocolate: No bueno. The problem is that chocolate causes liver damage in many dogs. Our pets’ bodies don’t handle chocolate or Tylenol or many other substances the same way ours do. Chocolate contains a chemical called methylxanthine that not only damages their livers but can cause seizures. How about other candy? It’s mostly sugar, which by itself isn’t all that bad. The problem is that when a dog gets sugar the pancreas releases insulin. If they get sugar a lot, the pancreas works full time until it burns out. The permanent result could be diabetes. While diabetes can occur in any dog or cat, I know Bruce doesn’t want it to happen to him.


All of this leads us to the last, and perhaps worst, of Bruce’s vices: smoking. Did he start this as a teenager? You know, I hate to see young kids like Bruce do this. Not only will it affect his health; it’s bad for everyone in the home. The most common result of smoking for dogs is chronic bronchitis-and we see this a lot. Dogs who smoke, or who live with smokers, can’t recover until the smoke clears permanently meaning that no one should smoke in the home-for Bruce’s sake as well as yours.


So your mission, should you decide to accept it: Have Bruce reach for a high fiber dog biscuit called Fiber Form (available at your pet supply store or your local veterinary clinic) instead of a cigarette or chocolate or candy. A nice raw fibrous vegetable will be an excellent substitute for your bad habits as well. Now I have a question: Where did that other veterinarian get her degree anyway? Mail order catalog? Sheesh!