Why is chocolate bad for animals?

Nearly all humans love chocolate, it gives us immense pleasure when we devour it and contains nothing that is directly harmful too us, unless you include the fat and sugar that can be detrimental to our overall health. However, it’s a different story for our beloved pets; they are unlikely to get off so lightly if they consume large quantities of the nation’s favourite treat. Here’s why you should never feed your pet chocolate:

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is an alkaloid chemical like caffeine. It causes vomiting, diarrhoea and – in high enough doses – even heart failure and seizures. The symptoms of chocolate poisoning are the same for humans as for dogs, but dogs need a much smaller dose. Dogs are carnivores and their metabolism hasn’t evolved efficient enzymes to deal with as wide a range of plant chemicals as ours. Dogs are about three times more sensitive to chocolate than us, per kilo of body weight, so two 120-gram (4.2-ounce) bars of dark chocolate are enough to make a 20-kilogram (44-pound) dog ill, while half a kilogram (1.1 pounds) could even be fatal. That’s why you should make sure you keep all your chocolate in a safe place that your pets can’t get at!

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