Your dogs, cats, rabbits, or any other household pet should not be allowed to eat chocolates. This is an important thought that pet owners should know about. The danger lies basically on the components of chocolates.
The substance called theobromine is considered toxic to animals. Thus, they should be avoided. If ingested by your pets, the effects can range from simple gastrointestinal problems to a more serious complication, death.
Some might argue that while chocolate is nontoxic to humans, they should be nontoxic to animals as well. This is not true as humans can better digest chocolates, specifically its component theobromine. Thus, chocolates cannot be considered dangerous to human beings as they are dangerous to your beloved pets.
Some chocolate products might contain more or fewer amounts of theobromine. But most of the time, milk chocolate contains the least. But, this does not mean that it is safe for you to feed your pet with milk chocolate. Your best option is to avoid giving it altogether.
The issue of how much you can give and how much is still considered ‘safe’ for your pet can be dependent on several factors. The most important one is the amount of theobromine that is present in the product. The size of your pet and how it will be able to digest the product is also a consideration. Again, just to be safe, it is better to make it a point to avoid giving chocolates to your pet.
However, if you pet has accidentally ingested them, there are a few signs that you need to observe. These signs are necessary so that you will know what your next actions will be.
Restlessness can be noted. This sign can be subtle and careful observation is needed to be able to make a decision early. There may be vomiting or passage of loose stools. Some pets may exhibit seizures or muscle twitching. A more serious sign can be lethargy or in rare cases, coma. These signs most commonly appear within half a day after chocolates are eaten.
What you can do as an owner is to observe your pet at the beginning. When you have not seen any alarming symptoms, there may be no need to take any action. Just continue observing your pet for changes in its behavior, appetite, or even sleep and play patterns.
For those who have observed that their pet seemed too irritable or restless or their pets have exhibited one or some of the symptoms listed earlier, there might be a need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet would know what necessary interventions need to be done in order to manage the specific gravity of your pet’s condition.
As a means to prevent such accidents from happening, make sure that you monitor what your pet eats. Also, don’t let small children feed them. For older members of the household, it might be necessary to educate them about the hazards of chocolates to your pets. It will also be helpful if you can know about what other food products should be avoided by your pet to prevent related accidents from happening.