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Mar 15 2017

Chocolate – Good for me but not my pet

It’s a great day when I learn that something I like is actually good for me.  In this case, it’s chocolate.  In the February issue of AAHA’s Trends magazine, there was an article that talked about a 30 year study that concluded that “regular chocolate eaters performed better on tests of working memory, reasoning and attention.”  So chocolate makes me smarter?  Okay, maybe I should start eating it for breakfast.

Because many of us still have Valentine chocolate  in our pantry, and we will soon be stocking up on Easter goodies, knowing that chocolate has some health benefits is great news.  But what is good for us humans is not true of our pets.

Chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs and cats.  In fact, the dark chocolate that is so good for humans is absolutely the worst for your dog.  Chocolate contains a chemical called Theobromine.  In a baking chocolate or very dark chocolate bar, this chemical is just slightly diluted, making these items very concentrated and extremely dangerous, especially to a smaller pet.  Milk chocolate is not quite as bad, but if your pet ingests any amount of chocolate, you should contact the staff of Grafton Animal Hospital at (757) 898-8433 right away.

Dr. Raiff, veterinarian at Grafton Animal Hospital, gives another warning when it comes to your chocolate baked goods, especially if you are considering baking some cannabis into your brownies.  If your pet ingests chocolate, your veterinarian will likely induce vomiting.  If your pet ingests marijuana with the chocolate, the marijuana will actually keep the pet from vomiting, leaving the toxic chocolate in your pet’s system.

So while it’s a great time of year to enjoy all those chocolate delicacies, be sure to keep them in a very safe place where your pet cannot get to them.  If your pet manages to find the hidden treasure that is your Easter basket, call us right away or keep this number handy:  Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435.  For more information about chocolate toxicity in pets, please contact any of our staff at Grafton Animal Hospital (757) 898-8433.

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