What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate?

By: Healthcare for Pets | Dec 7, 2020

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate?

Chocolate ingestion can lead to sickness and even death in dogs. Vets say chocolate poisoning in dogs is one of the most common causes of dog poisoning.  Theobromine and caffeine are the parts of chocolate that are troublesome for dogs. One main issue is how they process these compounds very slowly, especially theobromine.

 

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in a Dog May Be:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Too much energy
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Shaking
  • Seizures

 

How Much Chocolate Is Toxic to Dogs?

This depends mostly on the weight of your dog. According to the ASPCA: mild effects of theobromine poisoning can be seen at a dose of 20 mg/kg. Severe signs begin at about 40 mg/kg and seizures can begin at 60 mg/kg. A lethal dose is 100-200 mg/kg.

So, a low dose of theobromine for a rottweiler could be an exceptionally large dose for a corgi. An 85g of milk chocolate may cause serious issues for a dog weighing 7kg but only be a mild irritant for a 25kg dog. Using the chart below a 25kg dog would have 8.16mg of theobromine per kilo of body weight. Whereas the 7kg dog would have 29mg of theobromine per kilo of body weight, much more serious.

However, some dogs have a genetic predisposition of being unable to metabolize theobromine. Because of this it is important to monitor your dog for symptoms no matter how much they ate.

Type Quantity of theobromine (per gram of chocolate)
Dark chocolate 5.5mg
Cooking chocolate 16mg
Milk chocolate 2.4mg
White chocolate 0.01mg
Source: The Veterinary Expert

 

Dog Chocolate Poisoning Timeline

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning usually appear within 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. The symptoms may last up to 72 hours. Older dogs and dogs with heart conditions are more at risk of sudden death from chocolate poisoning.

 

So, What Should You Do if You Think Your Dog Has Eaten Chocolate?

Keeping in mind that no amount of chocolate is safe for dogs, you have a few options. You can check a dog chocolate toxicity calculator to see if your dog is likely to have symptoms or call animal poison control (1-888-426-4435 in Canada and the U.S.). However, there is no substitute for veterinarian care and you should monitor your dog closely looking for symptoms noted above.

 

Portions of this article were referenced from the article linked here. If you would like more scientific details give it a read.

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What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate?
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What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate?
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Chocolate ingestion can lead to sickness and even death in dogs. Vets say chocolate poisoning in dogs is one of the most common causes of dog poisoning.
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Healthcare for Pets
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