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Halloween…a time for trick or treat, bonfires, games, costumes and other exciting activities. It’s also a time when candies flow in and out of each household. Halloween is a good excuse to over-indulge your sweet tooth. Excess of everything is bad, so a stomach ache or an upset stomach usually rise up after Halloween. But in your dog, the sweet temptation can lead to numerous negative reactions in the body, and at worst, death.
Methylxanthine, a type of alkaloid chemical, occurs naturally in the form of plant molecules. Some of the important types of methylxanthine are caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. Methylxanthines are found in various foods, beverages and medicines. They act as stimulants by exciting the central nervous system, rate of heart beat and respiratory centers of the brain. Methylxanthines can also cause the body to secrete adrenaline.
Chocolate contain methylxanthine in the form of caffeine and theobromine, which are toxic to a canine as their bodies are slow to metabolize them and as a consequence the effects are felt more profoundly by the body. Human beings’ ability to digest it quickly gives them pleasure beyond the taste.
Depending upon the quantity of chocolate, the symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, muscle spasms, increased thirst, hyperactive behavior, excessive panting, seizures and even death.
Canines with some existing health issues, like diabetes or have a problematic heart or kidney, is going to suffer more severely in case of chocolate intake.
Different kinds of Chocolate
One important thing to note is that chocolates come in diverse varieties, having different levels and combinations of ingredients.
For example, cocoa is one of the basic components of chocolate and contains high amounts of theobromine. Dark chocolates have a very high level of cocoa, so eating them can easily prove lethal for the dog. On the other hand, milk chocolates have much decreased level of toxicity as the amounts of Methylxanthine elements have a very scant presence in them. Likewise, white chocolates also come on a lower scale of toxicity. Nevertheless, health risk is posed by all kinds of chocolate, and not worth taking a chance ever.
Other types of candies are also not safe for the dog because of the inclusion of sugar, and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and hyperactivity. Moreover, ingestion of candy wrappers also poses a serious health hazard.
Immediate medical care should be provided to the canine. Also, try to find out the type and quantity of chocolate ingested. This information would assist the doctor in determining the level of toxicity.
Prevention is better than cure – as a pet owner this is what you need to believe in. Keep all the candies out of your pet’s reach ALL THE TIME. Your carelessness may make you lose your lovable pet forever. Teach your children about the importance of keeping your Fido away from the sweet temptation.
A few cautious steps would secure your dog from avoidable but deadly danger and would also let you properly enjoy Halloween!