Bad News for Good Boys

Study: Chocolate Poisonings in Dogs Spike at Christmas

'Tis the season for dog chocolate poisoning, according to a new study. If you’ve got a canine buddy in the house, keep an eye on them this holiday season: a survey published Wednesday in Vet Record of 229 British veterinarians found that Christmastime is peak dog chocolate-poisoning season. Chocolate naturally contains theobromine (a stimulant, like caffeine), which can instigate vomiting, spike heart rates, and induce seizures in dogs. Researchers at the University of Liverpool noticed that younger puppies were more likely to eat chocolate than their adult counterparts. And while chocolate poisoning occurs all year-round, Christmas sees a notable increase, even more so than other candy-oriented holidays like Halloween, Easter, or Valentine’s Day. Sources include cake, bars, Santa figurines, Advent calendars, and tree decorations, the report noted. Veterinarians recommended avoiding hiding chocolate for children and making sure chocolate wasn't as easily accessible.