Is chocolate a treat for your pet or a reason to worry?

The rumors about the dogs and chocolate are correct, it can be a favorite treat, but it has negative consequences for all the breeds. Chocolates are toxic to dogs because of their theobromine component. Humans can efficiently metabolize this component, but the process of the dogs is slow which allows building up toxic levels in their system. A relatively small amount often leads to diarrhea, vomiting accompanied by an upset stomach.

However, a large dog can consume increased amounts as compared to the small dogs before suffering from ill effects. On the other hand, a significant portion of chocolate can have adverse effects like irregular heartbeat, muscle tremors, seizures, bleeding, and even death. All the chocolates are not the same and do not contain the same amount of theobromine. Amongst all, dark chocolate is the highly dangerous for dogs than other chocolates as it has a high level of toxic materials.

Chocolate Toxicity

Chocolate has stimulants like methylxanthines, caffeine, and theobromine. These are toxic chemicals which can cause stomach disorders and upset the entire metabolic processes resulting in chocolate toxicity. However, the level of methylxanthines differs from product to product, but there is no specific amount which is safe for dogs. The individual methylxanthines vary from a dog to another. This is the reason some dogs eat chocolate and do not experience any harmful side effects, while a few dogs suffer very severely after eating a small amount.

Chocolate poisoning amount

All chocolates are not created in the same way, the dry cocoa powder has the highest amount of methylxanthines (28.5 mg/g) with unsweetened chocolate (16mg/g) dark chocolate (5.4 – 5.7 mg/g) milk chocolate (2.3 mg/g). Mild symptoms related to chocolate toxicity is visible when the dog intakes methylxanthines at least 20mg per kg of body weight. Heart problems due to chocolate toxicity can occur after intake of 40 to 50 mg per kg. Lastly, seizures start occurring at a dosage above 60 mg per kg. It means eating one chocolate bar is injurious and can have ill effects, especially for the smaller dogs. Similarly, a tiny piece won’t kill a large breed. However, it is not advisable to feed chocolate.


Chocolate Type Quantity Dog’s Weight
Baking Chocolate 0.5 ounce 10 pound
  1 ounce 20 pound
  1.5 ounce 30 pound
Recommended Companies

Baker’s Chocolate, Callebaut, Guittard, Lindt, Ghirardelli,

Menier, Valroha and Scharffeen Bereger.

Dark Chocolate 1.5 ounce 10 pound
  3 ounce 20 pound
  4.5 ounce 30 pound
Milk Chocolate 3.5 ounce 10 pound
  7 ounce 20 pound
  10.5 ounce 30 pound
Recommended Companies Kit Kat, Cadbury, Dove, Kinder, Toblerone, Ferrero Rocher, galaxy, mars
White Chocolate 47 pounds 10 pound
  95 pounds 20 pound
  145 ponds 30 pound

Symptoms of Toxicity in Dogs

If an owner suspects that the pet has eaten chocolate, one should call the vet immediately and look for the following signs.

  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • seizures
  • vomiting
  • hyperactivity
  • diarrhea
  • increased thirst
  • increased heart rate
  • elevated blood pressure
  • collapse
  • tremors
  • high body temperature

Tips to prevent chocolate toxicity

It is one of the most common deserts on which people rely. The dog becomes ill and even dies if it eats any chocolate. Tips to prevent chocolate toxicity.

  • Don’t feed the dog with chocolate even in minuscule amounts, keep a watch if it accidentally ingests a bite or two.
  • Chocolate flavoring is also not advisable as it might contain tiny bits of toxic ingredients. On the other hand, flavoring can also allow the dog to develop a taste for it and associate chocolate as food.
  • Dogs are known to be ingenious when it comes to food, hence keep all the chocolate related food flavoring or bars locked inside a cabinet to avoid them have a bite.
  • The most common way of getting poisoned is chocolate lying around. It takes just a split second for the dogs to eat things which are scattered around.
  • Don’t develop the habit of treating them chocolates, instead develop training which tells them it is not a food but poison.

However, if the dog gets poisoned with chocolate, call the veterinarian as soon as possible or call the local poison control center for advice.

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