Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? How Chocolate Is Dangerous To Dogs: Explained

can dogs eat chocolate

If you’re a chocoholic, you’ve probably wanted to give some chocolates to your fur buddy; however, you might have been unsure if it is safe. Well, if you’re curious we’ve answered all your queries regarding whether or not your dog can eat chocolate.

About Chocolate

Chocolate, like many other foods, has chemical compounds that affect a dog’s body at very low levels. These chemicals are calledcoumarinsand they can be harmful in some cases. Chocolate contains at least four coumarins that may be toxic even in small amounts: methylxanthines, caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

As lovers of chocolate, it is difficult for us to really ask this question and believe the answer is no. This is why we’ve put together this article for you to find out why chocolate is dangerous to canines and what you can do if your dog ingests some. Read on!

So, can dogs eat chocolate? To answer it simply, No, Dogs can’t eat chocolate. This most loved confectionery for humans is in fact, poisonous for dogs.

How Is Chocolate Dangerous To Dogs’ Health?

Chocolate and other cocoa products contain chemicals called theobromine and caffeine, both of which are extremely hazardous to a dog’s health. The dogs’ body cannot metabolize theobromine easily and that makes digestion a slow process. It allows time for toxic levels of the chemical to build up in their system.

Caffeine, on the other hand, speeds up dogs’ heartbeats. Chocolate affects dogs differently because their body cannot process these chemicals the same. The pressure on their kidneys and nervous system is immense.

Signs and Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

If you need a reason to avoid giving chocolate to your dog, the following list shows what happens when dogs eat chocolate:

Symptoms usually appear within 6 to 12 hours of consumption and can last up to 72 hours.

It is also possible that the dog will vomit immediately after ingesting chocolate and the symptoms may not progress. Even in that case, give your dog immediate medical attention.

You might also be interested in “Can Dogs Eat Chocolate Ice Cream?”

What Can You Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate?

If you think your dog has gulped down a piece of chocolate, first of all, don’t panic. Without wasting a single second, CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY!

Your veterinarian will give them several doses of activated charcoal to induce vomiting. The charcoal removes the toxins out of the body without being absorbed into the bloodstream.

If the condition is serious, the effects of the poisoning are resolved through supplemental treatments, such as medications or IV fluids. If your dog is suffering from seizures, the vet will keep them overnight to monitor their vitals.

Your dog will most probably recover within 24 hours. But sometimes, it might take longer than that, depending upon the case.

You can call the Pet Poison Helpline for any case related to toxicity.

You can also find an online chocolate toxicity calculator developed by VetsNow to calculate and assess the toxicity level of your dog.


How Can You Prevent Your Dog from Eating Chocolate?

Ultimately, it is up to you to ensure your dog does not draw near chocolates or cocoa products. Here are a few things you can consider:

We have answered some frequently asked questions about chocolate poisoning in dogs.

 What Types of Chocolates Are the Most Poisonous for Dogs?

Here is the list of chocolates from most to least poisonous according to their theobromine content.

(Note: mg refers to milligram and oz. means ounce. 1 ounce is equal to 28.34 grams)

The effect of poisoning also depends upon the weight and size of your dog. For example- a 70 lbs. Labrador Retriever has much less risk of toxicity compared to an 8 pound Yorkshire Terrier.

How Much Chocolate Can Dogs Eat?

Veterinary treatment is required if dogs have consumed up to 3.5g of dark chocolate and 14g of milk chocolate for every kilogram they weigh.

However, it is best if you don’t give any chocolate to your dog, regardless of the amount. Even the smallest crumb might be dangerous. So, rather than wondering how much of it is safe, avoid chocolates altogether.

Can Dogs Eat Semi-Sweet Chocolate?

No. Dogs cannot eat semi-sweet chocolate. The cocoa content in these chocolates can start from a minimum of 35% and can range up to 60%, 70%, or even 90%.

Can Dogs Eat Milk Chocolate?

No. Although these chocolates contain comparatively less amount of cocoa, other components such as vegetable fats, emulsifiers, and artificial flavorings can be harmful to dogs’ health.

Find out everything about milk chocolate here: Can Dogs Eat Milk Chocolate?

Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?

No. Although the risk of cocoa poisoning is minimal, that doesn’t mean these chocolates are safe for dogs’ health. White Chocolate is high in fat and sugar. A dog’s body is not equipped to handle those quantities and so, their digestive system is at risk. White Chocolate can cause gastrointestinal upset and acute pancreatitis in the long run.

Explore more on “Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?”

Can Dogs Eat Dark Chocolate?

No. Dark Chocolate contains a high amount of cocoa. It also contains Xylitol as a sweetener, which is highly dangerous to dogs. Even a small amount of dark chocolate can be a danger to their health.

Also, Check this out “Can Dogs Eat Dark Chocolate?”


Can dogs eat chocolate? In a nutshell. No. Dogs CANNOT eat chocolate. If you find your dog trying to cram down chocolate or any chocolate flavored product, call the vet immediately. Do not be a judge of the situation. If you think your dog has ingested even a small amount, provide them with immediate medical attention.

Now that you know how chocolate can be dangerous to dogs’ health, explore more about other chocolate-related dog articles that you might be interested in.

Have you ever shared some chocolates with your dog? What was their reaction? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below.

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