Tag Archives: chocolate is toxic for dogs

Chocolate & Dogs

  

Valentine’s Day is almost here and you are looking for unique ways to celebrate it not only with your loved ones, but also with your biggest admirers – your dogs!

Over 35 million people will receive heart shaped chocolate boxes this Valentine’s making it the busiest day for veterinarians to field calls and treat chocolate poisoning in dogs.

Dogs, like people, love chocolate.  Unfortunately for man’s best friend, chocolate is toxic and can cause severe poisoning and even death.  That’s because chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine (a stimulant similar to caffeine).  Dogs can’t process theobromine, so the levels accumulate and become deadly.

 

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Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine.  Dark or baker’s chocolate contains 10x more theobromine than milk chocolate.  Levels vary from 130mg to 450mg of theobromine in an ounce of dark chocolate to 44mg to 58mg in an ounce of milk chocolate.

It only takes 115mg of theobromine per 2.2 pounds of body weight to kill a dog. To put that in perspective, 2 ounces of dark chocolate or 20 ounces of milk chocolate could kill a 20 pound dog.  That’s equivalent to approx. three-fourths of a dark Ghirardelli chocolate bar or four and half Hershey chocolate bars.

How many ounces is in your heart shaped box of chocolates? Depends on the size of the box. Russell Stover’s boxes have a net weight range of 1.7oz to 42oz.  Needless to say, you don’t want your dog eating any of it.

If you know your dog ate chocolate, don’t wait to do the math and call your veterinarian immediately.

On the other hand, if your dog snagged a few chocolates on the sly, you’ll want to look for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or hyperactivity.  For larger consumption, you will notice an increase in your dog’s heart rate, muscle twitching, excessive panting, restlessness, and increased urination. If not treated immediately, it can lead to hyperthermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma and death.

 

Prevention is the Best Strategy

Store chocolate in a top-level cabinet or the refrigerator where it is not assessible by your dog.  Dogs are sneaky, smart, and they love chocolate, so choose a good hiding place.

Never leave chocolate out on counters or coffee tables.  If you want to leave chocolates out for guests, secure your dog in another room or leave them with a friend for the night.

Have a heart shaped box at home that you are dying to dig into?  Secure your dog in another room while enjoying your treats. Dogs really do love the smell and taste of chocolate, and tempting them by eating it in front of them will make them want to find it later.

Doggy Safe Valentine Recipes

So how do you show some love to Fido and make him happy on this special occasion? Feeling bad that you can’t share your valentine treats? You can make your own by substituting carob for chocolate.  Here are two recipes that you and your dog will enjoy!

Peanut Butter & “Chocolate” Truffles

From the The Daily Puppy

Ingredients

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup whey protein powder or 3 TBL dry powdered milk

¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 cups carob chips

½ teaspoon vegetable shortening

In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour. Once mixed, add 3 tablespoons of dry powdered milk OR ¼ cup whey protein powder and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Mix until dough forms.  If dough is too dense or dry, add 1 teaspoon of water in increments until texture is firm, but not sticky.

Grease cookie sheet. Form dough into ½ inch to 1-inch balls (depending on the size of your dog) and place on the cookie sheet.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 2 cups of carob chips for 30 seconds on high. Stir and microwave in 10-second increments until fully melted. If needed, add ½ teaspoon of vegetable shortening for a smoother consistency.

Use toothpick and dip peanut butter balls into melted carob and return to cookie sheet to dry.

Makes 12-15 truffles. Store in a cool, dry place.

Mock Chocolate Carob-Walnut Bark

From All Things Dog Blog

Ingredients:

4 cups carob chips

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (dry roasted peanuts are good too)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

Prepare an edged cookie sheet by lining it with recycled tin foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

Melt carob chips in a glass bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir and repeat process. Stir in the peanut butter and microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir to combine. Add the nuts and cinnamon, stirring these in until evenly distributed.

Pour this mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet, spreading evenly. Chill for 15 minutes in a freezer or 30 minutes in your refrigerator.

When ready, break up the bark into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Store bark in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Recipe makes about 70 one to two-inch pieces of deliciousness that you can delight your party guests and their dogs with.

The above delicious yet safe Valentine’s Day recipes for dogs and important tips and advice are from Andrea Servadio, Co-Founder of Fitdog Sports Club in Santa Monica, Calif.

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Filed under all you need is a dog, animals, chocolate, dog health, dogs, love, Valentine's Day

A green Halloween for dogs

Dr. Al Townshend, staff veterinarian for Old Mother Hubbard, developed the tips below.

Old Mother Hubbard all natural treats at www.oldmotherhubbard.com and  at www.facebook.com/OMHpetsnacks

Tips to keep your pet safe and happy this Halloween:
  • Using flameless candles in pumpkins helps to avoid potentially harmful accidents.
  • Make sure to keep all candy out of reach of a curious nose and have plenty of high-quality, natural treats, such as Old Mother Hubbard® Soft & Chewy Bitz® for dogs, on hand for your furry friend.
  • Doorbell anxiety is common among dogs and can lead to barking and aggression which can ruin the night for you, your dog and any trick-or-treaters that come to the door.  You can help your dog get used to the sound of the doorbell by doing some “practice runs” a few days before Halloween.  Have someone stand outside and ring the doorbell, and if your dog barks, calm him or her in a soothing voice and consider offering a small treat as a reward. Repeat this exercise until your furry friend realizes the doorbell is a good thing, not something to be scared of.
  • If you plan on dressing up your pet, make sure the costume does not interfere with his or her vision, hearing, breathing or walking. Costumes should be lightweight and not too tight.  Also, loose or dangling accessories or details can present a choking hazard for your pet. Make sure to snip loose threads, beads or other hanging items before dressing your pet.
  • If you are going outside (for a parade or trick-or-treating) make sure your pet is on a leash at all times.
  • Although it may not match their costume, make sure your pet is wearing an ID or has a microchip.  With the door opening and closing all evening, curious pets may try to sneak outside and join the festivities. Reflective leashes, collars or stickers on their costumes are also a great way to help keep pets safe.
A few additional tips:

Leaving your dog outside unattended is a no no and keep your black cats inside, too.  No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, Halloween pranksters and vandals roam the streets looking for trouble and sometimes get carried away, so don’t take any chances and keep your pets inside with you where you know they are safe.

Chocolate is not the only sweet treat that poses a risk for dogs. Sugar-free candy contains a chemical called Xylitol that can make dogs severely ill even in small doses. Candy foil and wrappers can also be very harmful, as they can cause choking or a blockage in a dog’s digestive tract. If you have kids, let them know that the dog cannot share their Halloween treats.

Halloween decorations should be kept out of your dog’s reach. Dogs love shiny, small, noisy and/or  other items that can cause serious health problems. And lights and cords can be bad news for your curious dog. A wagging tail can knock stuff made of glass over (including glass jars of treats). Keep sweet treats up high and out of reach.

Strangers in spooky masks and costumes can be very scary for your dog and  cause unnecessary stress and fear. It’s probably best to keep your dog in a separate room. Try leaving a radio or TV or CD player on to drown out the sound of the visitors.

No beer, wine or other alcoholic drinks for Fido.  Do not give any amount of alcohol to any animal. A drunk dog is no laughing matter. Alcohol is poison to dogs and can cause : vomiting, disorientation, seizures, irregular heartbeat, heart attack and death. If you have a party make sure you clean up all of the leftover drinks, as some dogs are attracted to the sweetness of beer and wine.

If you are taking your dog to a Howloween party or event, make sure that they’ve got their good manners in paw. Introduce dogs slowly and carefully to one another to avoid conflict. And do not feed dogs treats together but separately to avoid any resource guarding behaviors.

Now, go look at these hysterically funny dogs in costumes, 25 of them, very creative…what is your dog going to be this year? you could also crochet an outfit with black and orange yarn and a few other items, how about a pirate dog, polka dot princess/diva, bumble bee and/or green ghost?  Recycle, reuse, repurpose items and/or use eco friendly green materials.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/25-really-creative-dog-costumes

 

 

Cool crochet costumes:

FaveCrafts.com

Hot Dog Crochet Coat: 


http://www.favecrafts.com/Pet-Crochet-Patterns/Hot-Dog-Crochet-Coat


Dog Witch Costume: 


http://www.favecrafts.com/Halloween-Crafts/Dog-Witch-Costume-Crochet-Pattern-from-Red-Heart


Punk Your Pup: 


http://www.favecrafts.com/Tie-Dye/Punk-Your-Pup-from-ilovetocreate


Skull Dog Coat: 


http://www.favecrafts.com/Crochet/Skull-Dog-Coat-Crochet-Pattern-from-Caron-Yarn


Dog’s Cupid Arrow Carrier: 


http://www.favecrafts.com/Valentines-Day/Dogs-Cupid-Arrow-Carrier


Puppy Necktie: 

http://www.favecrafts.com/Pet-Crafts/Puppy-Necktie

 

 

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Filed under cats, chocolate, dog treats, green, halloween for dogs, K9 approved, keep pets safe, organic, Uncategorized