Is chocolate really a danger to dogs?

#Middlebury #PawsCorner

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Just after Halloween, our dog, Skipjack, got into one of my kids’ candy stashes and ate everything, including the wrappers. I kept an eye on him overnight and he seemed fine, just drank water more often. The next day he was normal, other than passing a pretty loose stool with plenty of brightly colored wrappers mixed into it. Is the “never let your dogs eat chocolate” rule overblown? – Tim F., Wichita, Kansas

DEAR TIM: I’ve heard anecdotes from several readers about accidental chocolate consumption. Most of them say their pets didn’t have a problem with it. But then, I’m not a veterinarian, and it’s a good bet that vets see quite a few sick pets that got into a chocolate stash, particularly around the holidays.

I recently read an article about mass-produced U.S. chocolate having less cocoa content than chocolates made elsewhere. The Food and Drug Administration requires milk chocolate to contain no less than 10 percent chocolate liquor. Compare that to the U.K., where milk chocolate must contain at least 25 percent cocoa solids.

The size and weight of your pet also must be taken into account. Bigger dogs may process toxic foods more easily than small dogs.

So, cheap Halloween candy consumed by a large dog may not have a noticeably negative effect. However, it’s still a gamble. Another issue to consider is Xylitol, a sweetener often used in sugar-free candies. That can be a danger to dogs of any size. In short, keep candy and pets separate – period.

Editor’s Note: Find a PetMD article on dogs and chocolate here.

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(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.


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