Chocolate can be fatal to your pet so be sure to guard your precious Halloween candy!

Chocolate is made from beans of the cacao tree. Theobromine is the most toxic compound in chocolate. Caffeine is also present in chocolate and a toxic component but in much smaller amounts. Both theobromine and caffeine are members of a drug class called methylxanines. Dogs metabolize theobromime much more slowly than humans, which can lead to a number of different symptoms; even death.

news-halloweenIf you suspect your animal has ingested any amount of chocolate, be sure to contact poison control or your local veterinarian as soon as possible. Be sure to look for these symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Seizures

The more theobromine a cocoa product contains, the more poisonous it is to your pet! Unsweetened bakers chocolate contains about 390 milligrams per ounce — about 10 times more than milk chocolate and more than twice as much as semi-sweet chocolate. White chocolate contains very little theobromine. The real danger is with dark chocolate. Deaths have been reported with theobromine doses as low as 115 milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.  Serious toxic reactions can occur with ingestion of about 100 to 150 milligrams of theobromine per kilogram of body weight.

It is important to always pay close attention to where you leave any of your personal belonging when you have an animal in the house. This is also true for food items. Make sure to store any candy up high or in a closet where it will be out of your pet’s reach. Even a candy wrapper can wreak havoc inside your pet.