Pet Hospital Keeps 'Goodbye' Chocolate So Dying Dogs Can Try It Before They Sleep

If there's one thing every dog owner knows about what a dog should and should not eat, it's that you should never, under any circumstances, give chocolate to a dog.

But what if that chocolate was one last treat before the dog is put down? This is what one animal hospital is trying out.

First, a disclaimer: don't feed chocolate to dogs.

Unsplash | Pauline Loroy

There are a number of foods that are safe for humans but toxic to dogs, including chocolate and grapes.

Chocolate contains theobromine. What is this? Doesn't matter, really. What does matter is that it's a compound that dogs are unable to metabolize effectively.

An animal hospital has a jar of 'Goodbye Kisses'.

In a now-viral Facebook post, Smiths Station Animal Hospital in Smiths Station, Alabama, shared this photo of a jar of Hershey's Kisses. The idea is simple: before a dog is put to sleep, why not let them try this forbidden treat?

It evolved from 'goodbye pizza.'

Unsplash | Peter Bravo de los Rios

Pizza is a treat that's safe enough for dogs to eat, but not exactly healthy. In the past, the animal hospital would let dogs go to town on a slice of pizza, but now they're doing the same thing with chocolate.

It struck a chord with other pet owners.

The post has attracted more than 13,000 comments to date. Many of them are from pet owners dealing with the grief of losing their friends, with some of them showing what treats they gave their dogs before they were put to sleep.

The post has gone viral.

Flickr | Dionepsoc

"We didn't expect this kind of response," staffers told local media. "It just goes to show that everyone around the world shares at least one common interest, and that is the love we have for our pets."

It's a source of comfort for both dogs and humans.

Unsplash | Justin Veenema

"My staff has always kept little snacks and candy bars tucked away specifically for those appointments," veterinarian Dr. Nicole Namie said.

"Typically, these are treats that I wouldn't recommend giving to my patients, but in their final moments I think it’s important to offer them something special."

It's always tough to say goodbye.

Unsplash | Victor Grabarczyk

While the 'goodbye chocolate' won't lessen the grief that pet owners feel, it's still a lovely gesture.

Let us know what you think of this story, and how you'd honor your pets, in the comments below.

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