Fudge is a favorite dessert for people young and old. And it is no doubt attractive to your four-legged companion as well.
The problem is that fudge can lead to chocolate toxicity in dogs, which can even lead to death in more severe cases. The same goes for all types of chocolate, including chocolate cake and even chocolate milk or any other product containing chocolate or cacao.
The reason why fudge is harmful and can be dangerous for pups is mainly due to the high concentration of theobromine from the chocolate in it. Theobromine can be toxic for canines, especially when consumed in large quantities or when a dog is small. The darker the chocolate used for making the fudge, the more theobromine it contains.
Read on to find out more about can dogs eat fudge and what to do if the dog ate chocolate.
What is theobromine?
This compound is a methylxanthine that cannot be adequately metabolized by dogs. It can cause a racing heart rate, arrhythmia, and other symptoms even in some humans when they drink stimulants such as coffee or cocoa. The problem is that for some canines, it can be deadly.
How are dogs affected by fudge?
The outcome after a dog eats fudge depends on the quantity consumed, the type of ingredients used for making the fudge, the size, weight, age, health of the pup, and other factors.
If the fudge is made with baker’s chocolate or cocoa, then the risk of chocolate toxicity is higher. This is because it contains larger quantities of theobromine than regular milk chocolate. Just 10 ounces can be deadly for a small pup weighing 4 lbs.
Dark chocolate, too, is very toxic for canines. Milk and white chocolate have lower concentrations of theobromine.
In some cases, the fudge, just like plain donuts, may contain no chocolate at all, so it should be safer for the dog. But it is still not recommended due to the other potentially harmful ingredients, such as sugar, fat, and dairy.
What will the chocolate fudge cause to the dog’s organism?
Since canines cannot metabolize the theobromine as humans can, this compound can remain in the dog’s bloodstream for up to 20 hours after it has eaten some fudge.
The more Hershey Kisses, Kit Kats or other chocolate-based products consumed or already in the pup’s system, the higher the risk of more severe symptoms due to the build-up of toxicity levels.
So, how much chocolate can kill a dog depends on several factors, including its weight, health, age, and the type and quantity of chocolate consumed.
For toy and small dog breeds, even a small initial amount of chocolate can lead to severe and even fatal results.
Further Reading: 18 Best Dog Foods For Small Dogs 2022
Larger dogs are more resistant to theobromine and may need to ingest much more chocolate for it to reach toxic levels in the bloodstream.
Some of the mild symptoms of eating chocolate fudge in dogs include vomiting and diarrhea. In more severe cases, the pup may experience a rapid heartbeat, tachycardia, seizures, and even cardiac arrest and death.
According to studies published in the Merck Veterinary Manual, it takes about 1 ounce of chocolate per pound of bodyweight for symptoms of chocolate toxicity to start appearing in the dog.
The most common symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs
Some of the most prevalent symptoms of chocolate poisoning in canines include diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, racing heart rate, restlessness, excessive urination, tremors, loss of control of the muscles, or seizures.
Remember to never attempt to apply any home remedies before speaking to your veterinarian or to an expert from the Animal Poison Control Hotline first!
The faster you act – the better the prognosis for your dog, so call or go to the veterinary clinic immediately.
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