Chocolate is probably the food that most often comes to mind when people talk about human foods that pets shouldn’t eat, but a little bit of chocolate may not be dangerous, Hackett says. To be safe, however, he recommends keeping your pets away from any and all chocolate.
The danger with chocolate? For dogs, it’s the caffeine. All chocolate has some traces with dark chocolate containing the most. “The worst is when a dog gets a hold of dark baking chocolate, which could potentially lead to a fatality,” Hackett says. Milk chocolate attracts dogs in particular, because it is likely to have eggs, sugar, and cream. These ingredients are high in fat and could cause pancreatitis. Ingestion of chocolate can also cause tremors, vomiting, and an irregular heartbeat. Hackett says that every owner should know what the regular heartbeat of their pet is, so that they can better monitor a potentially dangerous situation.
A potato chip or two shouldn’t be cause for concern, Hackett says, but if your pet gets a hold of an entire bag of chips, they can get in trouble quickly. The issue is sodium, which can cause a shift in fluids and electrolytes and lead to dehydration, tremors, and even seizures. Your vet can help restore electrolytes and fluids.
With home brewing on the rise, animals are sometimes consuming unused hops, Hackett says. When eaten, hops can cause seizures, elevated heart rate, and high temperature. If you are a home brewer, dispose of hops out of the reach of your pets. Make sure to not throw hops or remaining particles even in the yard.