Dogs are my favorite kind of creature, even better than humans. If you read my blog regularly, you will already know how much I love these animals and care for them. That’s why, this is a post that will give those of you who live with dogs a few pointers about how to take care of them best.
First and foremost, let us address the much-debated legend that dogs will die from chocolate. There’s nothing to debate people, chocolate is indeed very harmful to your dog.
Chocolate contains a compound called Theobromine. Theobromine has effects very similar to that of caffeine. In humans, the average amount present in a chocolate bar has minimal effects, but in dogs, it’s a different story.
To get an idea about what Theobromine does to your body, it is used medically as a vasodilator (it dilates the blood vessels), is administered to help in urination and is also used as a stimulant for the heart.
If your dog ingests enough chocolate with Theobromine, at first, your dog will vomit, urinate, and have diarrhea. When more Theobromine is absorbed, your dog will have seizures, irregular heart-rate and will ultimately die or end up in a coma. In other word, yes, dogs really, really, really, really love chocolate, but the stuff is as many times really dangerous and toxic. So please, be careful and don’t leave chocolate and chocolate-containing pastry unattended.
If you’d like to pamper your dog though, there are special kinds of chocolate treats that do not contain the Theobromine found naturally in Cocoa plants. I used them to help train Titan, my 6-year-old cocker spaniel.
As for dogs eating sugar, this is often mistaken that chocolate is bad because it has sugar, which is toxic cause, as I once overheard “dogs don’t have a pancreas”. Well, they do have a pancreas, and sugar in moderate amounts is not strictly-speaking lethal, but it seriously damages your dog’s teeth. So, avoid giving your dog any food with sugar.
To help take care of his/her teeth, get them a big, healthy bone (either a real bone, or a synthetic one fortified with vitamins and minerals) so they can not only have fun with it, but also clean their teeth and maintain a cavity-free enamel. Avoid chicken bones though, they tend to shatter and form very sharp shards of bone that can damage your dog’s stomach or esophagus. Also, when you give them a bath, use an old toothbrush and brush the canines =D
That’s it for now, take care of your dogs everyone!