You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it: you’re not supposed to feed a dog chocolate. It’s one of those things that people say a lot, but that nobody ever questions. For me it’s a total conceptual mystery, like the Stock Exchange, Scientology and why people find Adam Sandler movies funny. Human chocolate is apparently highly toxic to doggy stomachs, but I’ve always been far too scared to test out this often-discussed theory. I might occasionally give a dog a sneaky piece of chocolate when they give me the sad-puppy-eyes treatment, but I’d never feed them a whole bar.
The Easter and Christmas seasons are always extra stressful for devoted dog owners. With so much chocolate lining the cupboards and counter tops, you have to extra careful to make sure your cute canine companion doesn’t overdose on a Toblerone or Mars bar. Personally, I’ve always been terrified of having a dead dog on my sticky, chocolate-covered hands all because I couldn’t hide my Easter eggs properly.
So what’s the root of the problem? Why can’t a canine enjoy a bit of candy? Let’s get scientific for a moment. Normal chocolate contains a stimulant called “theobromine”, which is a bitter alkaloid that comes from the cacao plant. Although it’s completely harmless to us lucky humans, for our puppy pals it can be fatal – affecting not just the central nervous system, but also the heart. Maybe now people will take the advice of dog experts a bit more seriously.