Chocolate is Dangerous for Dogs

Halloween is great, isn’t it? You can go incognito and so can your dog. And the snacks, oooh, they’re to die for, aren’t they? But if it’s a dog who indulges – even a little- chocolate can be fatal.

Of the vast array of goodies consumed in mass quantities during the holidays, chocolate is certainly the most dangerous for dogs. Whether they devour one piece of candy at a time or raid the whole bag you have a medical emergency. Chocolate and cocoa products contain caffeine and methylxanthines, substances we humans handle with no problem. Dogs can die.

Swallowed chocolate tends to form a big gooey ball in a dog’s stomach, making it slow to absorb. It doesn’t take much. Less than 1 ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is potentially lethal for dogs. Baking (unsweetened) chocolate is far more potent; 0.1 ounce per pound of body weight can cause seizures and death.

All that yelling and doorbell ringing on the big night is a serious cause of stress for lots of dogs. But they too can enjoy a safe and sane Halloween. The antianxiety gel, Sileo, can make a big difference.

You’re welcome to send this podcast anywhere you want. Feel free to share it with your pet-loving friends. If their dogs wig-out over Halloween or steal candy and other snacks, they’ll be glad for the advice.

Each week I share a short video, a podcast, or a blog to help bring out the best in pets. You can sign up at no charge on my website, drjeffnichol.com. When you do, I’ll send you my free at-home pet first aid and CPR guide.