Sharing sweet treats and rewards are common gestures of love as a dog owner but sometimes these sweet little mistakes could cause an intolerable and excruciating harm to our pets; and even loss of their life. Be very vigilant about what you share with your pooch as the animal totally depends on you for its care. Being a dog owner and chocoholic can be passable but what about sharing this sweet delicacy with your innocent pal, can dogs eat chocolate? Or is chocolate dangerous for dogs to eat? Let’s find it?
Can Dogs Really Have Chocolate?
We love chocolate and revel in its divine taste but is chocolate safe for our dog too? Well, Chocolate in any way is not safe and appropriate for canines. Chocolate can lead to severe illness, from seizures, tremors, coma and even could lead to death. According to veterinary experts this sweet treat is one of the most common causes of poisoning in dogs. Although white chocolate contains the toxic ingredient in a very small amount but still consuming large amounts of white chocolate could lead to pancreatitis, weight gain and obesity which is not good. When such are the deadly and fatal effects of chocolate for your dog, why sharing it? Instead opt for nutritious dog-friendly fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, strawberries, celery, and cucumbers, which are safe and healthy both.
Can chocolate kill a dog?
Yes, Chocolate has the potential to kill a dog but it depends on the kind of the chocolate, the amount consumed and the size of the dog. White chocolate, for instance, contains very small trace amount of Theobromine, which actually is the toxic ingredient. Other kinds of chocolate like darker and cocoa ones contain very high amount of Theobromine and therefore are poisonous for canines. Red alert! Never share chocolate with a dog.
If you wonder are all dogs allergic to chocolate or are there some dog safe chocolates too; It is enough to say that chocolate is one of the deadliest human food for canines though white chocolate contains the least toxic ingredient Theobromine but ingesting it could turn fatal too. So keep all kinds of chocolate far away from your dogs.
Why is chocolate dangerous for dogs?
Well as a responsible dog owner it is good to know why dogs can’t eat chocolate. And why is chocolate such deadly to dogs but one thing which is important is dogs can’t have chocolate no matter what.
Chocolate contains Theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic, so is downright dangerous and deadly for canines. Dogs cannot metabolize it well and eliminate it much more slowly than we do, which results in toxic elements building up in their body. Theobromine could also affect the heart, lungs, kidneys and nervous system of a dog. The amount of Theobromine depends on the type or kind of chocolate. In general darker and cocoa varieties of chocolate contain very high amount of it. Among the different varieties of chocolate available, baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most toxic ones for canines.
How much chocolate can make a dog sick?
So how much chocolate is poisonous for dogs? Well, the amount of chocolate consumed, the kind and the dog’s size will determine if it can make a dog sick. If a dog consumes 20 mg of Theobromine per pound of dog, immediate veterinary care is needed. To put it in perspective, we are sharing a chart of toxic ingredient Theobromine in different kinds of chocolate per ounce to give you an idea about how much Theobromine if ingested by a dog needs immediate veterinary care. This is a general amount and chocolate companies may increase or decrease the amount of Theobromine, so do not totally depend on it and use your discretion.
|Kind of chocolate||Amount of Theobromine/ounce|
|Milk chocolate||58 mg/oz.|
|Dark chocolate||150 mg/oz.|
|White chocolate||0.25 mg/oz.|
|Bakers chocolate||450 mg/oz.|
So, what if a 20 pound dog has consumed 100 grams or three ounces of milk chocolate?
As you can see from the chart:
- 1 ounce of milk chocolate=58 mg of Theobromine
- 3 ounce x 58/20 pounds of dog weight =8.7 mg
Remember 20 mg Theobromine if ingested by a 20 pound dog is an emergency situation. So, not an emergency condition but gage your dog very careful for any symptoms of ill-health.
What if a 20 pound dog has consumed three ounces of dark chocolate?
- 3 ounce x 150/20 pounds of dog weight=22.5 mg
It’s for sure an emergency condition and you should rush to the vet without any delay.
What if a 20 pound of dog has consumed 3 ounces of white chocolate?
- 3 ounce x 0.25/20 pounds of dog weight=0.037 mg
Although very far from the 20 mg emergency condition but gage your dog very carefully for any symptoms.
What if a 20 pound dog has consumed 3 ounces of baker’s chocolate?
- 3 ounce x 450 /20 pounds of dog weight=67.5 mg
An immediate emergency condition, rush to your vet without any delay.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs:
Although symptoms of chocolate toxicity really depends on the kind of chocolate consumed and the size of the dog. Some of the common symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include:
- Excessive thirst
- Erratic behavior
- Severe hyper excitability
- Elevated body temperature
- Rapid breathing
- Increased urination
What should you do If your dog eats chocolate?
If you suspect that your dog has recently eaten chocolate, take your dog to the veterinarian soon, it would be much better if you get hold of the wrappers of the chocolate consumed, so it’s easier for your vet to start treatment accordingly. If due to any reason it’s not possible to reach the vet immediately then the best approach would be to induce vomiting using a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Monitor your dog very carefully and if you see any symptoms get your dog to the veterinarian straightaway, only prompt treatment could save the life of your companion.
Chocolate poisoning in dogs is undoubtedly a severe threat and common too. This sweet treat could turn poisonous for canines within no time. It is advisable for all dog owners to dog proof your home and keep chocolates, raisins, grapes, sugar-free and all such deadly foods far away from the reach of your dog. Put them in high places or locked drawers or cabinets where your dog can’t reach them especially during Easter, Halloween, Christmas and weekends where chocolate is mostly found throughout the home. Be vigilant and cautious for the safety and happiness of your four legged companion because you love him and can’t afford a mistake.