People food toxic to pets: Chocolate
|What it's in: When it comes to chocolate, dark equals dangerous. That’s because the darker the chocolate, the larger the amount of theobromine—a cousin chemical to caffeine—it contains. Thus, baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and gourmet dark chocolates are more toxic than milk chocolate. White chocolate has very little theobromine and will not cause poisoning in pets.
For milk chocolate, any ingestion of more than 0.5 ounces per pound of body weight may put dogs and cats at risk. Ingestions of more than 0.13 ounces per pound of body weight of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning. Almost all ingestions of baker’s chocolate can result in poisoning and are considered emergencies.
Very young pets, geriatric pets, and animals with underlying disease are at a higher risk for poisoning than healthy, adult dogs and cats. Due to the large amount of fat in chocolate, some pets may develop pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) after eating chocolate or baked goods containing chocolate (see fatty foods).