There is a huge debate in the canine world on whether chocolate milk should be given to dogs. It seems that a lot of people consider it a bad idea, but there are some who think otherwise.
You should always remember that dogs are not able to digest some human foods, which can cause them some serious intestinal problems. Chocolate milk, in particular, is just too rich for dogs and could even be deadly to them. Chocolate contains methylxanthines (such as caffeine) that are toxic to dogs. Additionally, many adult dogs are lactose intolerant, so it would be wise to not feed any lactose-containing product to your pet.
So, the answer to ‘Can dogs drink chocolate milk?’ is No. They can’t.
Read on to find out all about chocolate milk and your pup should stay as far from this drink as possible.
Why is Chocolate Milk Bad for Dogs?
Chocolate contains a chemical component called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. It can be harmful since the dog’s digestive process deconstructs it slowly. The lethal dose of theobromine for dogs is between 100 and 250 milligrams per kilogram of their body weight. As an example, if your pet dog weighs 20 pounds, just 2 ounces of chocolate can be risky.
Moreover, dogs stop producing the enzyme lactase as they grow into adults. This enzyme helps break down the sugar lactose, which is found in milk. Without lactase, your dog will have problems digesting milk from any source, including chocolate milk. Also, the high amount of sugar in chocolate milk doesn’t help. Too much sugar can lead to obesity, pancreatitis, hyperactivity, diabetes, and other health problems.
Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
The ASPCA considers chocolate as one of the most toxic human foods to avoid feeding dogs. Chocolate poisoning in dogs is common, especially when your dog consumes large amounts of chocolate. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs include:
- Excessive drooling
- Increased thirst
- High blood pressure
- Heart arrhythmias
- Cardiac failure
- Muscle stiffness
If you suspect your dog ingested a large amount of chocolate or chocolate milk and notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, get the pet to your veterinarian immediately.
How Much Chocolate Milk Can Dogs Consume?
When it comes to chocolate milk, the only acceptable amount is zero.
Theobromine has a half-life of about 18 hours in dogs, so symptoms of poisoning can appear 24 hours or more after ingestion. If you suspect your dog ingested any amount of chocolate milk, make sure to take him or her to the veterinarian immediately. However, dogs can drink very small amounts of chocolate milk without life-threatening health issues. They might throw up or have diarrhea for a few hours. Still, we recommend you don’t let your dog drink chocolate milk at all.
“My Dog Drank Chocolate Milk. What Should I Do?”
First, check the amount of chocolate milk your pooch drank. If it was a small amount, wait a few hours and see if the dog has any side effects. The most common side effect is diarrhea. If it doesn’t stop after a few hours or if your pet shows other symptoms, take him or her to the veterinarian immediately! But, if your dog ingested a large amount of chocolate milk, rush to the vet ASAP. Do not wait for symptoms to show.
After getting to the vet, the vet will run tests to determine the cause of the chocolate milk poisoning. The veterinarian may try to induce vomiting in your dog. Activated charcoal may also be recommended so the toxins don’t enter the system. Some dogs may also need IV treatment to rehydrate and flush their kidneys.
If a mild amount of chocolate was ingested, a veterinarian may recommend a low-fat diet for a few days and lots of water to help eliminate the toxins from your dog’s bloodstream. The veterinarian may also recommend giving your dog milk that has been treated with activated charcoal to adsorb toxins from the body, as well as keeping your pooch hydrated.
Chocolate Milk Alternatives For Dogs
There are a lot of alternatives that you could give your dog instead of chocolate milk if they’re lactose intolerant or don’t like the taste of milk – some options are soy milk or almond milk which are often lower in lactose content than cow’s milk.
Chocolate milk is not good for dogs. While your dog can consume small amounts of chocolate milk without any health problems, it’s best to avoid the risk altogether by not giving your dog any form of chocolate. If you suspect your dog drank any amount of chocolate milk and is suffering from the above-mentioned symptoms, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately. Keep all forms of chocolate far away from your dog.
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Have you ever fed chocolate milk to your dog? Did you know about the harmful effects? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community in the comment section below.