Helpful Information and Links about the Shetland Sheepdog
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Shetland Sheepdog Fun Facts
The Shetland Sheepdog, as its name implies, is essentially a working Collie in miniature.The Sheltie was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1909 but did not receive separate classification as the Sheltie (apart from Collie) until 1914.The Sheltie is one of the most successful obedience breeds.The first Sheltie registered by the AKC (1911) was "Lord Scott", who was imported from Shetland by John G. Sherman, Jr. of New York.The American Shetland Sheepdog Association, parent club of the breed, was organized at the Westminster Kennel Club in 1929, and held its first specialty show in 1933.Shetland Sheepdog HistoryThe Shetland Sheepdog, as its name implies, is a working Collie in miniature. There is little doubt that the small working Collie, from which came the modern show Collie evolving on larger lines, was likewise the progenitor of the Shetland Sheepdog evolving on smaller ones. It was assisted in the process by the environment of the Islands, which produced diminutiveness in all its stock, and by crosses with other breeds residing in, if not indigenous to, the Islands.
As the Islands were isolated from the trend of travel, the little dogs were a long time coming to the ken of dog-loving folk. Thus the breed did not take its place on the show bench until well along in the present century. The year 1909 marked the initial recognition of the Sheltie by the English Kennel Club. Not until 1914 did the breed obtain separate classification as Shetland Sheepdogs, and not Shetland Collies, because of pressure brought to bear by the Collie breeders. The first Challenge Certificate was awarded to the breed in 1915, after which World War I put a stop to all progress for the next few years.
The first Shetland Sheepdog registered by the American Kennel Club (1911) was "Lord Scott" who was imported from Shetland by John G. Sherman, Jr. of New York. The American Shetland Sheepdog Association, parent club of the breed, was organized at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1929, and held its first specialty show in 1933
A Sheltie's New Year's Resolution
I promise to drive my human less crazy this winter by burning off all my extra energy!
Sheltie Color Terms
Sable: A shade of brown
Tri: Consisting of three distinct colors, black, tan, and white
Tri factored: Carrying the tri gene
Bi factored: Carrying the bi gene
Merle: A marbling marking pattern of darker hairs against a lighter shade
Bi: Consisting of two colors
Shaded sable: Sable coat consisting of darker overlay(guard) hairs. A shaded sable may be tri factored, but not always.
Pure for sable: Carrying only the sable gene and no tri or bi genes
Irish Pattern: White markings on the collar (chest and neck) area, and legs, of varying amount
Double Merle: Also called double dilute. The result of mating two dogs with the blue merle & tan, bi blue, or sable merle coat color. It is generally accepted that the puppies resulting from this cross may have significant health problems, that could include deafness. This does not apply to 'color headed whites', which are completely different, and do not have these same risks.
Sable Merle: This coat color can be the result of mating one parent of merle color with the other parent sable. It can be difficult to distinguish which puppies are sable merle and which are sable. A sable merle is a merle in the same fashion a blue merle is.
Socialization: Positive exposure to many different situations, noises, places, and other animals, from the time of birth onward, in order for a puppy to learn about its world, and grow to be a confident adult. Proper socialization is of key importance in shelties.
Make size: That the sheltie will reach a minimun of 13 inches in height at the top of the shoulder blade when mature.
Go over: The sheltie will grow to be taller than the acceptable 16 inches in height at the top of the shoulder blade when mature.
Proven: The dog has produced offpsring.
Stack: A stance position in conformation showing so the judge can see the dog's attributes, usually foursquare.
Cryptic: A sheltie that does not appear to be of merle pattern, but in fact is
Been on stock: The sheltie has been exposed to livestock of some type- ducks, sheep, cattle, goats in a pasture or arena.
Shows instinct: The sheltie has exhibited some degree of herding instinct, which is inherited
White factored: A color modifier that effects the amount of white on the body. Mating two white factored dogs can produce color headed whites.
Blow coat: Shedding of the undercoat, usually twice a year
Baiting: The handler uses treats to get the dog to look at, or focus on the handler
Crate trained: The sheltie is accustomed to spending time quietly in its crate, and knows not to eliminate in the crate.
Stop: The point between the eyes seperating the head planes on the sheltie's head
Head planes: The top of the muzzle and the top of the skull - ideally form two parallel planes when viewed from the side.
Shetland Sheepdog History
by Terry Thistlethwaite
The Lilliputian Collie, the Peerie Dog (meaning "fairy"),the Little Bear Dog, the Fairy Dog, the Toonie Dog (from the Norwegian "tun", meaning "farm"), and ultimately theShetland Collie are all names by which the
Shetland Sheepdog has, over the years, been known.
The Shetland Islands off of Scotland have a closegeographical proximity to Norway, and expectedly the history
of these islands is tied closely with a Celtic and a Norwegian influence as well. The Vikings came from Norway to Shetland during the eighth and ninth centuries and brought with themthe small spitz dogs that would come to have their influence
on a number of herding breeds. Their suitability to thesmall rocky and climatically foreboding islands of Shetland,
with it's characteristically diminutive breeds oflivestock, along with their proclivity to take on all
manner of canine farm chores, endeared these dogs tothe Shetlanders right from the start.
During the mid nineteenth century, the tourist trade inShetland nearly brought about the demise of their little
herding dogs. In order to fill the pet trade demand for thedarling little tykes, Shetlanders would often interbreed them
with just about "anything small" and ended up with what wasbasically a batch of mongrel looking types, often with no
herding instinct whatsoever. Desperate to retain the muchneeded small working dog that was quickly disappearing
from the gene pool, the island farmers and herdsmen bredtheir diminishing number of true spitz type dogs to the
working Collies coming into Shetland along with the sheepbeing imported in the late eighteen hundreds.
In 1906, the Shetland Collie made his debut at the annualCrufts Dog Show in England, a sure sign that the breed had
"arrived" as an established purebred. In 1908, in Lerwick,Shetland, the Shetland Collie Club was founded. The
following year , 1909, a breed club was established inScotland, as well. The English Shetland Collie Club was
founded in 1914.
As is typical when a new breed comes on the scene,established breeders of other "Collie" breeds were
uncomfortable with what they perceived as an intrusion intotheir ranks, and objected to the little dog from Shetland
carrying the moniker of "Collie" as well. The breed name was thus changed to Shetland Sheepdog in 1914, and to this day
both Collie and Shetland Sheepdog breeders will protest vehemently when an unindoctrinated observer of the obvious unwittingly refers to the latter as a "Miniature Collie".
The British Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1909, andthe American Kennel Club gave them breed status in 1914.
Of course, 1914 also marked the outbreak of World War One,and along with it came a serious setback in the breeding andimportation of dogs. This had a significant effect on theShetland Sheepdog breed, especially in the U.S., as it was
only in fledgling status as a pure breed at the time. That factaccounts for the time span between the the AKC's acceptance of the breed, and the establishing of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association,which did not come until 1929.
Some of the prominent early U.S. breedersand importers of Shetland Sheepdogs were:
Constance Hubbard of Astolat;
Jess and Donna Brownes of BrowneAcres ;
Mrs. Cleveland of Geronimo;
William W. Gallagher of Paige Hill;
Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Miller of Pixie Dell;
Betty Whelen of Pocono;
Evelyn Davis and Mary Van Wagenan of Sea Isle;
Tobi Ain Brace of Shelt-E-Ain;
Dorothy Allen Foster of Timberidge;
Katherine and Willis Nichols of Walnut Hall
The importing of Shetland Sheepdogs from the British Isleswas common among U.S. breeders and fanciers into the
1950's. While it was probably size considerations thatprimarily brought about the initial decline in importation (the
British and international standard for the breed being anideal of 14.5 inches, while the American standard set a
range of 13 to 16 inches, with the larger dogs becoming themore "acceptable" for show) 8British and American type has
also diverged considerably. Today's British Sheltie has morethe appearance of the British Collie, and the American Sheltiehas more the appearance of the American Collie than eitherbreed has it's own counterpart "across the pond".
It is likely that the early popularity of the Collie breed in theU.S. along with the "suburbanization" of the American family
starting midway thru the twentieth century, weighed heavilyin the popularization of the "lap sized Lassie" Shetland Sheepdog as a family pet. By the 1980's, in fact,the adoringly nick-named "Shelties" had made their wayinto the top ten rankings in AKC registrations. Many familiesand individuals who felt precluded by space from having thelarger Collies report being initially drawn to the Shetland Sheepdog for their resemblance to the Collie, butin a smaller package. Once owned by the breed, however,they became fully smitten with the Sheltie joy de verve,and the unique Sheltie personality. It is certainly not unusualto see admirers, fanciers, and breeders who possess andenjoy both breeds, both for their similarities in look, and fortheir uniqueness in character.
Shelties remain extremely popular today in the U.S., andcan typically be seen in the show and obedience ring, as
well as having a large presence in the agility ring. Theyalso excel in other popular venues such as herdingcompetitions (naturally!) flyball, tracking, Frisbee, and theupcoming sport of freestyle or "canine dance". Known for their high intelligence, easy trainability, and devotionto their families, these little dogs from a tiny chain of islandshalf a world away from where the Disney studios in 1973showcased a beautiful representative in the presentationThe Little Shepherd Dog Of Catalina have certainly managedto make their mark on the outside world!
Resourced from The Shetland Sheepdog and Sheltiesarticles by Iris Combe & Pat Hutchinson
Sheltie Talk, by Betty Jo McKinney and Barbara Reiseberg
The Shetland Sheepdog, by Margaret Osborne
The New Shetland Sheepdog by Maxwell Riddle
The New Complete Shetland Sheepdog by Maxwell Riddle
American Kennel Club records,
American Shetland Sheepdog Association records,
The Shetland Collie Standard
from the breed club in Lerwick, Shetland, 1909
Skull: Nearly as possible flat, moderately wide between the ears, and gradually tapering toward the eyes. There should only be a slight depression at the stop. The cheeks should not be full or prominent.
Muzzle: Of fair length, tapering to the nose, and should not show weakness, nor be snippy or lippy. The nose must be black, whatever colour the dog may be.
Teeth: Sound and nearly as possible level. Very slight unevenness is permissable.
Jaws: Clean cut and powerful.
Eyes: Of medium size, set somewhat obliquely, close together and of almond shape and of brown colour; full of intellegence and expression
Ears: Small and moderately wide at the base, and placed close together on top of skull. When in repose, they should be thrown back, but when on the alert brought forward and carried semi-erect, with the tips drooping forward.
Neck: Of fair length, somewhat arched, and of proportion to the body.
Body: Moderately long and level with well sprung ribs and strong loins; chest deep.
Forelegs: Straight and muscular, and with a fair amount of bone.
Hind Legs: Muscular at the thighs, with well bent hocks.
Feet: Oval in shape, soles well padded. Toes arched and close together.
Tail: Moderately long with abundant hair, carried low when the dog is quiet, with a slight upward swirl at the end, but gaily carried when the dog is excited, but not over the back.
Coat: Must be double. The outer coat consists of hard hair.The undercoat, which resembles fur, is short, soft, and close.
The mane and frill should be abundant, the mask or face smooth, as also the tips of the ears. The forelegs well
feathered. The hind legs above the hocks profouselycovered with hair, but below the hocks fairly smooth.
Colour: Any colour except brindle is permissable.
General Appearance: That of the Scotch Collie in miniature. (Collie character and type must also be adhered to.) Height must not exceed 38 cm [15"] at maturity,which is fixed at ten months of age.
Faults: Short nose, domed skull, large drooping ears, weakjaws, snippy muzzle, full or light eyes, crooked forelegs,
cow hocks, tail carried over the back, undershot or overshotmouth.
Bark: This is a sound made by dogs when excited. Dogs bark at milkmen, postmen, yourself, visitors to the house and other dogs; some of them bark at nothing. For some reason dogs tend not to bark at burglars, bailiffs and income tax collectors, at whom they wag their tails in the most friendly manner.
Both humans and dogs love to play well in adulthood, and individuals from both species occasionally display evidence of having a conscience.
To a dog, motoring isn't just a way of getting from here to there, it's also a thrill and an adventure. The mere jingle of car keys is enough to send most any dog into a whimpering, tail-wagging frenzy.
It is fatal to let any dog know that he is funny, for he immediately loses his head and starts hamming it up.
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (P.G. Wodehouse)
The Heimlich maneuver works on house pets. My pit bull was choking on his dinner. I squeezed his stomach and the neighbor's cat shot right out.
I've caught more ills from people sneezing over me and giving me virus infections than from kissing dogs.
The eyes of a dog, the expression of a dog, the warmly wagging tail of a dog and the gloriously cold damp nose of a dog were in my opinion all God-given for one purpose only — to make complete fools of us human beings.
Man or Beast
If you want someone who will do anything to please you, get a dog.
If you want someone who will bring you the newspaper without tearing through it first for the sports page, get a dog.
If you want someone who'll make a total fool of himself because he's so glad to see you, get a dog.
If you want someone who eats whatever you put in front of him and never says his mother made it better, get a dog.
If you want someone who's always eager to go out any time you ask and anywhere you want to go, get a dog.
If you want someone who can scare away burglars without waving a lethal weapon around, endangering you and all the neighbors, get a dog.
If you want someone who never touches the remote, couldn't care less about Monday Night Football, and watches dramatic movies with you as long as you want, get a dog.
If you want someone who'll be content just to snuggle up and keep you warm in bed, and who you can kick out of bed if he slobbers and snores, get a dog.
If you want someone who never criticizes anything you do, doesn't care how good or bad you look, acts as though every word you say is worth hearing, never complains, and loves you unconditionally all the time, get a DOG!
On the other hand...
If you want someone who never comes when you call him, totally ignores you when you walk in the room, leaves hair all over the place, walks allover you, prowls around all night and comes home only to eat and sleep all day, and acts as though you are there only to see that HE's happy...
If you want a dog who...
•Is conveniently-sized, light on his feet, and graceful
•Has a lovely feathered coat in a variety of striking colors
•Is athletic and animated, a swift light-footed runner and
•Has a "soft" personality (sweet, gentle, sensitive)
•Is peaceful with strangers and other animals
•Is bright and attentive and learns very quickly
A Shetland Sheepdog may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
•A careful search to avoid highstrung, neurotic individuals
•Providing sufficient exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom
•"Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
•Shyness or fearfulness in some lines, or when not socialized enough
•Excessive sensitivity to stress and loud voices
•Chasing things that move (instinctive herding behaviors)
•Frequently brushing and combing
•Potential for serious health problems
A Shetland Sheepdog may not be right for you
Winter precautions for petsIt is one of the most joyous and festive times of the year, but winter months can create special dangers for all our pets. Here are a few tips to help keep your “furry children” safe during this special time of year.
Tinsel/Ribbon – can be ingested and cause serious gastrointestinal trauma.Christmas tree water (with additives) – can cause stomach upset.Bubble lights – contain methylene chloride which can be harmful if swallowed as a liquid or inhaled as a vapor.Lights/electrical cords – cats, kittens & puppies may bite cords causing electrocution.Glass/Plastic ornaments – can cause serious gastrointestinal trauma.
Antifreeze – even a small amount (1 tablespoon) can be fatal to a small pet.Rodenticide – should not be used in a home with pets or small children.Ice Melts – can cause ulceration if left on the skin or feet. Can also cause serious gastrointestinal trauma if ingested.
Alcohol – can be toxic to pets causing breathing problems & depression.Chocolate – dark and/or bakers chocolate is more harmful in smaller doses than milk chocolate. All chocolate should be kept away from pets.Human Food – is too rich for pets, and while it’s tempting to share over the holidays, it’s best to keep your pet on his/her normal diet.Macadamia Nuts – cause difficulty walking, tremors & swollen limbs.Yeast dough – if enough is ingested before it has risen fully or cooked, it will continue to rise causing serious gastrointestinal distress.
Holly Berries – can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large quantities.Mistletoe – can be very toxic to pets if ingested.Pointsettias – are not as toxic as once believed, but can cause stomach upset.Lillies – even in small amounts, can cause serious kidney damage if ingested.Yew – causes muscle tremors, difficulty walking & has adverse cardiac effects.Cyclamen – the roots of this plant can cause serious gastrointestinal distress.
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, you should call your veterinarian or you can call the NAPCC.
(NAPCC stands for National Animal Poison Control Center)This is not a free call.* 1-800-548-2423 ($30 per case, credit card only; free follow-up until problem is resolved.)* 1-900-680-0000 ($20 for 5 minutes, $2.95 per minute thereafter).
Did you know: there are over 700 plants that can be toxic to your dog?
10 Most Common Poisonous Plants for Dogs
I know we are still many weeks away from spring here in the Northeast, but it is a good time to review & check our homes for some of the most toxic plants for dogs.
Azalea – The toxins in azalea plants can be very severe and potentially cause drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system weakening and depression, and in some cases possibly coma or death.
Castor Bean – Poisoning as a result of this plant can cause abdominal pain, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting increased thirst, loss of appetite and weakness. More serious cases could also lead to dehydration, tremors, seizures, twitching muscles, coma and possibly death.
Cyclamen – The most poisonous portion of this plant is located in the root. Ingestion of the plant can cause severe vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation. In some cases death has been reported as a result.
Kalanchoe – Ingestion of this plant can cause gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac rhythm and rate problems.
Lilies – Plants of the lily variety are very poisonous to cats as well as dogs. Even very small amounts of this plant could cause serious kidney damage.
Marijuana – Animals who attempt to snack on this plant can suffer serious consequences such as diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, drooling, in-coordination, and even possibly seizures and coma. You really shouldn't have this plant around anyway. ;)
Oleander – All portions of this plant are poisonous and can cause gastrointestinal irritation, hypothermia, heart problems and possibly death.
Sago Palm – While the seeds and nuts of this plant are most poisonous, the entire plant is toxic. Animals ingesting parts of this plant may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, depression, seizures and liver failure.
Tulips – The toxic portion of this plant is the actual bulb, which can cause drooling, central nervous system depression, gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac issues and convulsions.
Yew – Poisoning as a result of the yew plant can affect the nervous system and cause in-coordination, trembling and breathing difficulties. It may also result in gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac failure and could possibly lead to death.
And on a related note…
Coco bean mulch is also toxic to dogs. I don't know why more people do not know about it or make the connection between coco & chocolate, but the manufacturers need to do a better job of informing customers of the dangers.
Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ' Theobromine'. It is lethal to dogs and cats, but it really attracts them because it smells like chocolate.
Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline.
Halloween reminder: Dogs cannot eat chocolate….We’ve all heard it, “Don’t give your dog chocolate it will kill him”. We’ll how true is it you’re probably wondering. Do I have to rush him to an emergency vet if he ate one of my M&M’s?
Well, it depends…
Toxic LevelsThe bad news is chocolate contains theobromine that is toxic to dogs in sufficient quantities. This is a xanthine compound in the same family of caffeine, and theophylline.
The good news is that it takes, on average, a fairly large amount of theobromine 100-150 mg/kg to cause a toxic reaction. Although there are variables to consider like the individual sensitivity, animal size and the TYPE of chocolate the dog consumed.
* White chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of body weight. It takes 250 pounds of white chocolate to cause signs of poisoning in a 20-pound dog, 125 pounds for a 10-pound dog.
* Milk chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of body weight. Approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous to a 20-pound dog; one-half pound for a 10-pound dog. The average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of milk chocolate. It would take 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog. Semi-sweet chocolate has a similar toxic level.
* Sweet cocoa: 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight. One-third of a pound of sweet cocoa is toxic to a 20-pound dog; 1/6 pound for a 10-pound dog.
* Baking chocolate: 0.1 ounce per pound body weight. Two one-ounce squares of bakers’ chocolate is toxic to a 20-pound dog; one ounce for a 10-pound dog
Clinical SignsHyper excitabilityHyper irritabilityIncreased heart rateRestlessnessIncreased urinationMuscle tremorsVomitingDiarrhea
TreatmentIf you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate contact your Vet immediately! They can help you determine the the proper treatment for your pet.
In the event your dog has eaten chocolate, always gather as much information as possible. Note the type of chocolate the dog ate, how much chocolate was eaten and approximately when your dog ate it. Write this information down. Should you need medical help, your veterinarian will appreciate any facts you can provide. If you can’t get this information quickly, don’t belabor it. Write down what you can.
If your dog doesn’t eat enough chocolate to induce toxicity, but is vomiting (without your prodding) or has diarrhea, it’s likely that it’s the chocolate’s high fat content that is the culprit. Watch your dog carefully. You don’t want him or her to dehydrate. Provide plenty of fluids.
A good outcome is likely if treatment is provided within 4 to 6 hours of ingestion. The effects of chocolate can linger for 12-36 hours, though, so your dog may require hospitalization.
Easter Hazards in DogsBy: Virginia Wells
As Easter approaches, many of us look forward to the excitement of Easter festivities like Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, and parades. But the joys of Easter can mean danger for your pets. Each year thousands of pets are injured and/or become deathly ill. To keep your pet safe, you should be aware of some common Easter pet perils.
Easter Lilies(and others such as the day lily and the tiger lily). For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life -- the spiritual essence of Easter. Cat owners, however, need to be especially careful with these beautiful flowers because their leaves contain toxins that can cause severe kidney damage. So far, toxicity has not been reported in dogs.
Eating just one leaf of this toxic plant can result in severe poisoning and within a short time your cat will exhibit signs of toxicity. Minutes to hours after ingestion, your cat may stop eating and begin vomiting. As the toxins begin to affect the kidneys, your pet may become lethargic, and within five days, kidney failure will cause death.
If you suspect your cat has eaten part of a lily plant, it is important that you contact your veterinarian immediately. If treatment is started early, chances for recovery are good, but once the kidneys have been severely affected, your cat may not survive. Obviously, the best prevention of lily toxicity is to keep the plants away from your kitty. If you bring Easter lilies into the house, keep them in a separate room where your nibbling cat cannot enter.
Plastic Easter Grass and Other Goodies. Like children, cats and dogs love to nibble on goodies in the Easter basket. Unfortunately, our curious pets enjoy everything in the basket, even the colorful plastic grass, toys and foil-wrappers on candies.
Take care to keep Easter baskets away from your dog and your cat.The plastic in Easter grass is non-digestibleand can get caught in the intestines, leading to blockage and possible perforation. Cats love string-like objects and often play with the grass before eating it. Once ingested, the grass, as well as small plastic toys, can cause choking or become lodged in the stomach or intestines and create an obstruction.
Your pet may also ingest ribbons, bows, streamers and other decorative items – even ribbons and bows tied around their necks. Don't be tempted to decorate your puppy or kitty; they don't enjoy it and it may result in choking or strangulation. Keep these items away from your pet and throw candy wrappers in a covered trash can.
If you suspect that your pet has ingested something that may not pass through his intestinal tract, contact your veterinarian. Waiting until your dog or cat starts to vomit will make removal of the object more difficult and costly. Also, if you notice a sudden loss of appetite, vomiting, excessive drooling or abnormal bowel movements, consult with your veterinarian immediately.
Chocolate Toxicity. Did you know that chocolate can poison your pet? Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, and other candies and wrappers can become lodged in the stomach or cause your pet to choke.
Chocolate has a high fat content and contains caffeine and theobromine, which stimulate the nervous system and can be toxic if taken in large amounts. Depending on the type of chocolate ingested and the amount eaten, various problems can occur. White chocolate has the least amount of stimulants and baking chocolate has the highest. Here is a list of the most common sources of chocolate and the amount leading to toxicity:
•White Chocolate: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 45 ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe toxicity occurs when 90 ounces per pound of body weight in ingested. This means that a 20-pound dog would need to ingest at least 55 pounds of white chocolate to cause nervous system signs. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 27 pounds. These high amounts mean that theobromine toxicity from white chocolate is highly unlikely.
•Milk Chocolate: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 0.7 ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 2 ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that a little less than one pound of milk chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 1/2 pound.
•Semi-Sweet Chocolate: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 1/3 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 1 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that as little as 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 3 ounces.
•Instant Cocoa:Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 1/3 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 1 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that as little as 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 3 ounces.
•Baking Chocolate: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 0.1 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 0.3 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Two small one-ounce squares of baking chocolate can be toxic to a 20-pound dog. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 1 ounce of baking chocolate. This type of chocolate has the highest concentration of caffeine and theobromine and very little needs to be ingested before signs of illness become apparent.
Once toxic levels are eaten, you may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination, and excessive panting. The high fat content in chocolate can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Make sure that chocolate is kept in a safe place. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian immediately. Animals treated for chocolate toxicity generally recover and return to normal within 24 to 48 hours.