You might’ve heard that dogs can eat milk chocolate, but is it true? A lot of people would say no because of how messy it can be; others would say yes according to their own personal experience. This article will discuss this question while providing interesting information about it.
Can dogs eat milk chocolate? The answer is no. Milk chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Dogs don’t have the enzyme that metabolizes this chemical, so they can’t break it down properly.
You must know that most dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning they can’t digest milk and milk products.
Lactose Intolerance In Dogs
Dogs have genes that prevent them from digesting lactose, which is part of what scientists call their “lactase persistence.” Lactase, an enzyme in the saliva and gastrointestinal tract, breaks down lactose after it’s been digested by other components in the body. This breaks down much of the carbohydrates into simpler sugar molecules that can be absorbed by the body (this is why humans can digest milk.) Dogs don’t have such an enzyme and thus can’t break down lactose as humans do.
Dogs that are lactose intolerant can develop symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, excessive gas, and stomach cramping. They will also act extremely thirsty despite having food and water available to them.
Some breeds of dogs are more tolerant to lactose than others. These include Australian cattle dogs, Beaucerons, border collies, and Shetland sheepdogs among others. However, even if your dog is able to eat milk chocolate with no symptoms at all, it’s still highly advisable not to let them do so, as milk chocolate contains many harmful chemicals beyond lactose. The two most common chemicals in chocolate are theobromine and caffeine.
Theobromine And Caffeine
Theobromine is an alkaloid found in cocoa and cacao beans which is toxic to most mammals, including dogs. It is extremely lethal when ingested, especially when combined with caffeine.
Caffeine is a psychoactive drug that can act as both a central nervous system stimulant and an analgesic (painkiller). Caffeine chemically resembles adenosine, which acts on cells in the brain to produce continuous dilation of blood vessels to the brain, which keeps the dog’s body from getting too cold or too hot. The effects of caffeine last from three to four hours depending on how much caffeine their body takes in each day.
Approximately 20 percent of the total dog population in the United States is reported to have a sensitive disposition towards caffeine, and up to 1.5 percent of these individuals become severely ill when exposed to large amounts of caffeine at once.
Milk chocolate contains both of these elements within small amounts.
To answer the question, ‘Can dogs eat milk question?’ No. They can’t. Milk chocolate is made with milk and has a high amount of sugar in it. Most dogs are lactose intolerant so, giving your dog milk and milk products is out of the question. As for sugar, this will make their blood levels of glucose increase quickly. This can lead to problems like an upset stomach or diarrhea, but the major danger is that it could affect their heart or nervous system.
If you’re worried about your dog getting sick from eating certain foods and don’t want to see your pet’s health deteriorate, then we suggest you leave the food alone and take them to a veterinarian for examination who can then give you advice on what treats are safe and which aren’t.
Thank you for reading the article.
We have so many other articles about chocolate and chocolate-flavored products. Find them all here.
Here are some milk-related articles too if you’re interested.
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