THE Guardia Civil have put out a public health warning to dog owners: feeding them chocolate can kill your beloved pooch.

The warning comes as chocolate rises to third as the most common cause of poisoning treated by veterinarians.

The fact that chocolate is so harmful to dogs is due to the toxic component, theobromine, being metabolised much more slowly in dogs than in humans, leading to a build-up that can cause a range of symptoms.

On the minor end, your dog can suffer from vomiting and diarrhoea, and the more severe effects include heart problems, seizures, and in extreme cases, death.

The size and breed of the dog, the type of chocolate ingested (with dark chocolate and baking chocolate being the most dangerous), and the amount consumed are all factors that influence the severity of the poisoning. 

Just a single chunk of dark chocolate can be lethal for a small dog.

In the event your dog accidentally eats some chocolate, they need to see a vet immediately. 

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may not appear straight away, but early intervention is key to preventing serious health issues or fatalities.

As such, the Guardia Civil advises pet owners to avoid using chocolate as a treat and instead give them dog-safe treats and affection as a safer way to reward them. 

The warning is part of a broader initiative by the Guardia Civil to promote responsible dog ownership in Spain and awareness of common household hazards for animals. 

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