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Author Topic: Why can dogs eat rotten meat, but not chocolate?  (Read 4837 times)

Matt Leach

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Why can dogs eat rotten meat, but not chocolate?
« on: 18/05/2010 09:30:03 »
Matt Leach asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why is it that a dog can eat a decomposing, maggot-ridden rat, but can't handle chocolate?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 18/05/2010 09:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline ATremor

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Why can dogs eat rotten meat, but not chocolate?
« Reply #1 on: 21/05/2010 17:13:37 »
Well the reason chocolate is toxic in the first place is because of the chemical theobromine. Thebromine is metabolized at a much slower rate in dogs than in humans leading to toxic effects. I would think one reason for this would be due to the fact that through the evolution of canines they weren't exposed to this chemical often. This would give no reason to adapt the ability to metabolize theobromine efficiently. Meat on the other hand was the main food source.  I'm sure in times of famine or in times of scarcity canines would eat whatever they could find. This would include leftovers and scavenging for carrion if possible.  In addition rotten meat is already broken down so it would be easier to digest.
 

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Why can dogs eat rotten meat, but not chocolate?
« Reply #1 on: 21/05/2010 17:13:37 »

 

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