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Oreo loves chocolate and it requires constant vigilance to keep him away from any and all forms of it. In fact, he is a major garbage hound.


I'm no nutritionist but I am guessing that sweets for dogs are not the best food, even if you brush their teeth. (and I congratulate you for doing that). I would guess that the empty calories would contribute to weight gain and maybe down the road, diabetes.


We do a lot of training with Oreo and use nutritious, healthy natural dog treats and he still is heavier than he ought to be. It is hard to cut back on his regular diet of Canidae to balance it with training treats.

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Sophie loves sweets as well, and if a candy wrapper gets dropped she plays with it and chews it until I get it from her. Especially chocolate wrappers!!


Could you make up a special doggie cookie using something like Splenda or molassas, using whole wheat flour? Does she like cut-up apples or bananas?What about a peanut butter and honey on whole wheat bread cut into tiny pieces? (Can dogs have honey?)It seems like there should be some healthy sweet alternatives.

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Treats are great for motivating a dog, just make sure that they are a part of your dog's total nutrition.

Chocolate is a no-no for dogs, however. I thought this might be helpful:


?Chocolate contains theobromine (a compound similar to caffeine) which is poisonous to dogs. A dose of 50 mg/lb can be fatal to a dog. Milk chocolate contains 45 mg of theobromine per ounce and unsweetened baking chocolate contains 400 mg per ounce. Just one ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate can kill a small breed dog. Theobromine when ingested by dogs causes release of epinephrine (adrenaline) which causes the heart to race and serious cardiac arrhythmias to develop. Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, hyperactivity followed by depression and coma, seizures, and death.?



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My husband has a client who is the manager of a chocolate factory. He came by today, and the enticing scent of chocolate came along too. Sophie just lay at his feet smelling and snuffeling his shoes and the bottom of his pants!She thinks that she LOVES chocolate, and we have to be very carefull to keep it away from her.I occasionally let her play with an empty chocolate wrapper as she seems to enjoy it so much...poor thing. Can you imagine a life without chocolate??

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Okay, as I understand it, dogs and cats don't have the liver enzyme that humans have that breaks down theobromine. I'm not clear on whether theobromine and caffiene are the same thing, or just closely related. They're both methylxanthenes. What happens in a human is that the theobromine is more efficiently broken down and removed from the blood stream while with a dog, it is not, and just circulates through the blood stream at high concentrations, affecting the heart and central nervous system at a much higher level. Also keep in mind that high doses of caffiene can be toxic to humans. I would imagine that consuming an amount of caffiene greater than what your body can efficiently break down would cause similar effects in a human to what we see in dogs who consume chocolate.

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Theobormine and caffiene are different, but both have toxicities for dogs in chocolate ingestion, so you have to fight both issues at once. It's been over a decade since I had to know the metabolic mechanism, so don't quote me, but I believe the issue is that the cytochrome p450 enzyme systems in dogs do not have the ability to metabolise the theobromine in the same way as in people (different enzyme array in dogs than people - go figure!) Hence, the persistence of theobromine in the bloodstream in dogs (the half-life is around 18 hours, I think). I'm not sure if dogs can't conjugate theobromine, and that short-circuits the excretion, or if the problem lies at another stage of metabolism. At any rate, I *think* the LD50 is 200mg/#, but there have been fatal poisonings reported at less than half that dose.

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AK Doc,

Since this thread has turned to things dog can't metabolize, I have a question about grapes.

I read on one of the boards that grapes and raisins were lethal to dogs. I've never asked my vet about it but do you know what it is about grapes that is so bad for dogs?

Poor dogs, no chocolate, no grapes, no coffee or soda.

HKM's Mom

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I've heard that about grapes as well (not from a medical source), but I can't find a reference that says so. So I guess that means that so far as I know, not a problem, but I can't prove it. Maybe better safe than sorry, though; grapes are pretty sugary, and not an essential part of a dog's diet (although I'm pretty sure that wine is an essential part of MY diet! :rolleyes: ), so you could safely skip giving them, if you have doubts.

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Just got this in the email

FYI Please pass on. ...what a sad story.


WARNING: Raisins and Grapes as dog treats


Raisins and Grapes can be toxic for dogs- even a small quantity

of seven can be harmful!

Please read below and pass on to others with dogs:


This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet.

My patient was a 56 pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix who ate half a cannister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4 :30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7AM. I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject.

We had her bring the dog in immediately.


In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me---had heard something about it, but....Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give I V fluids at 1 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours. The dog's BUN

(blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an I V catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids. At the point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care. He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values have continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over

120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220.

He continued to vomit and the owners elected to euthanize.


This is a very sad case-- great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk.

Poison control said as few as 7 raisins could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Laurinda Morris, DVM

Danville Veterinary Clinic

Danville, Ohio



Kellie DiFrischia


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