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Chocolate and animals

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Chocolate is one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts. However only a gift for humans. To most animals it is toxic and could be deadly.

While chocolate is beneficial to humans in small quantities it is not a treat for any other animal. There are two chemicals in chocolate that humans can break down but they cannot because of their rapid digestive system.

Chocolate is derived from beans of the cacao tree. There are two methylxanthine alkaloids Theobromine and caffeine present in the plant and thus in the chocolate. They are also present in teas and coffee. These drugs constrict the vascular system resulting in a rise in blood pressure increasing the heart rate. For this reason, they are extremely toxic to animals and especially dogs.

It is advisable to keep chocolate, coffee and teas where your pets cannot get to them.

The signs of chocolate poisoning in your pet become evident after two to four hours of ingestion. Vomiting and diarrhea, excessive urination and erratic behavior are the most easily observed. Death can occur between twelve and thirty-six hours after the animal consumes it.

Veterinarians can treat chocolate poisoning if caught in time. The prognosis is good if treatment can begin within the first four hours. There is no antidote for chocolate poisoning.

Milwaukee pet owners can enjoy Valentine’s Day with their pets by giving them pet safe treats from Pets Mart or Pets Supplies Plus. These stores have a full stock of treats for your pet.

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