A friend of mine recently forwarded to me an article he came across which discussed chocolate toxicity in dogs. The article’s main point seemed to be that pet owners shouldn’t really worry about chocolate, that the toxicity we have always heard about was more of an old wive’s tale than a true concern.
The author, Keith Veronese, based his theory on research he did to determine exactly how much of the toxic chemical theobromine (found in chocolate) it takes to kill a dog.
Using this value of LD50, 900 milligrams of theobromine would kill your average Yorkshire Terrier, but is this a lot of chocolate? A single Hershey’s Kiss contains 8 milligrams of theobromine — your tiny Yorkshire would need to consume well over 100 milk chocolate kisses before nearing death’s door, an unlikely scenario.
I would first argue with Mr. Veronese that the typical pet owner isn’t just concerned with what it will take for their pet to die – they want to keep their pet healthy and out of the veterinary office, even if they have diarrhea or vomiting, which are two of the symptoms of chocolate toxicity that preclude death.
Take, for example, Moo Shu the French Bulldog puppy who is enrolled with Trupanion. She was featured as a Pet Insurance Claim of the Week when she got into some chocolate. Moo Shu’s veterinary care for this condition included fluid therapy, radiographs, and 5 days spent in the hospital with medications given daily, resulting in $2,378.00 worth of care.
Second, I would argue that no matter how much chocolate it would take to kill my dog, the fact that there is a possibility of death makes me concerned enough to keep any and all sweets up and out of dog’s reach. It’s just not worth the risk. (And truthfully, for a couple of the dogs I’ve had in my life, eating 100 Hershey’s Kisses is absolutely NOT out of the realm of possibility if given the chance.)
What are your thoughts? Do you think there is too much “hype” around chocolate toxicity in dogs?
Read the full article here.