Researchers in the USA have found that eating dark chocolate has several benefits for both brain and body, according to the results of two new studies that were presented last year. Eating chocolate that is at least 70% cacao has positive effects on mood, memory, inflammation and immunity. One could almost say it reduces stress… but we knew that already, right?

The effect of chocolate on cats and dogs, however, is very different. Chocolate can be poisonous to pets, due to the presence of a compound called theobromine. Humans can metabolise theobromine easily, but dogs and cats can not, resulting in a build-up of potentially toxic levels.

Symptoms of ‘chocolate poisoning’ include hyperactivity, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased drinking and increased urination, increased heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and possibly death. Of course, symptoms will vary depending on the animal’s weight and how much they have eaten, but if you suspect your dog or cat has eaten any chocolate in any form, please consult your vet without delay.