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Dogs & Chocolate: Everything You Need to Know
Chocolate is definitely human’s favorite treat, but for dogs, it is not safe. Every year hundreds of dogs across the world die after eating Chocolate.
Despite all the sweetness, taste, and flavors a piece of Chocolate contains, offering it in any amount to your dog can prove clinically unhealthy and even fatal.
As a responsible pet owner, you might stay alert of what and how much your dog eats; an alert eye is also a must.
Even if your dog eats a piece of Chocolate by mistake, the result may come fatal.
But do you know Why Chocolate is Bad for Dogs? Or why can’t dogs eat chocolate?
Here’s all that you need to know about Dogs & Chocolate together.
Can dogs have a little bit of Chocolate?
When the question comes, can dogs eat Chocolate? The simple and crisp answer is- Absolutely No.
Dogs under any circumstances (purposely and accidentally) must not consume/ feed Chocolate.
Chocolate or its raw form, which is Cacao contains Theobromine and Caffeine.
While humans can digest and metabolize both of these Chemicals easily, this process takes time in dogs.
This, as a result, let toxicity from both Theobromine and Caffeine build up in the dog’s body, concluding in a high level of health hazards.
Theobromine and Caffeine in themselves are safe Chemicals. But when it comes to dogs, their body is not naturally made for digesting them both.
Accumulation of these chemicals can also affect the heart and muscles of your dog.
How much Chocolate will kill a dog?
Chocolate toxicity in dogs is not just wordily claimed, but there are pure scientific claims behind it.
By now, we know that Theobromine and Caffeine are responsible for the toxicity of Chocolate; though this is only partially.
The level of chocolate consumption that can kill a dog also depends upon how much they have eaten.
- 9 milligrams of Theobromine per pound of dog will lead to Mild Toxicity.
- In comparison, ’18 milligrams of Theobromine per pound of dog will lead to severe toxicity (death).
For example, if your dog weighs nearly 11 pounds, 200 milligrams of Theobromine can possibly kill them.
However, if we talk about the exact quantity of Chocolate that is marked unsafe, it can vary upon how dark the Chocolate is.
Dark Chocolate means more Cacao and an even higher percentage of Theobromine.
Whereas milk chocolate, compound chocolate, and so contains a level/ percentage of chemicals when compared.
Thus, the darker and more raw Chocolate is, the more harmful it can prove for your dog (when consumed).
Different types of Chocolates and the amount of Theobromine in them. (milligrams (mg) per ounce (oz))
- Cocoa powder: 400 to 737
- Cacao beans: 300 to 1500
- Unsweetened baking chocolate: 390 to 450
- Dark chocolate: 135
- Milk chocolate: 44 to 60
- White chocolate: 0.25
Can dogs have a little bit of Chocolate?
How many ounces of Chocolate can a dog eat? There is no amount of Chocolate that can be claimed safe for dog consumption. Basically, the amount of Chocolate your dog must eat should ideally be ZERO.
However, for knowing the exact amount (ounces) of Chocolate your dog can eat (accidentally), you can use our dog chocolate calculator.
While we show you the method of calculation, make sure you have data in hand already:
- Caffeine dose = (Chocolate type * Amount eaten) / Weight
- Theobromine does = (Chocolate type * Amount eaten) / Weight
- Total Chocolate does = Caffeine dose + Theobromine dose
- Both Caffeine and Theobromine are calculated in mg/ kg.
- Take the amount eaten in grams.
- Take your pet’s weight in Kilogram.
- For Chocolate type, take the concentration of theobromine/caffeine in 1 g of any Chocolate type/ product.
Chocolate Toxicity (why can’t dogs eat chocolate?)
Here’s are some numbers showing how much harm a certain amount (s) of chocolate can do.
- By consuming 15.01 mg/kg chocolate, your dog will stay harmless. (Though this is still not the recommended Chocolate for dogs. On the one hand, it can prove safe for some, while on the other hand, it can prove fatal for others. Thus, we always and strongly discourage feeding chocolate to your dogs).
- By consuming 15.01 to 34.02 mg/kg of Chocolate, your dog may experience vomiting or diarrhea.
- By consuming 34.02 to 45 mg/kg of chocolate, your dog may experience a rapid heartbeat. And unlike humans, rapid heartbeats or tachyarrhythmia may not go naturally for dogs.
- By consuming 45 to 55.01 mg/kgof chocolate, it can trigger seizures and tremors in dogs (extreme medical conditions).
- By consuming 55.01 mg/kg or more Chocolate, your dog can suffer a heart attack, brain stroke, or possibly die.
How much Chocolate can kill a dog?
How much Chocolate can kill a 60 to 70 lbs. (Pound) dog?
The data below defines how much Chocolate is marked safer for dogs (comparatively) if consumed accidentally.
If they have consumed an amount lesser than or equal to the data defined below, they will perform Ok.
Disclaimer: Despite any safer recommendation, we strongly discourage feeding dogs or other pets Chocolate or Cacao in any other form.
- Chocolate with 86% cocoa- Over 39.6 g (1.4 oz)
- Chocolates with 72% cocoa- Over 47.4 g (1.67 oz)
- Chocolate with 60% cocoa- 56.8 g (2 oz)
- Dark Chocolate (Sweet)- 92 g (3.2 oz)
- Milk Chocolate (Sweet)- 212 g (0.47 lb.)
- White Chocolate (Sweet)- 12.6 kg (27.8 lb.)
What happens if dogs eat Chocolate?
Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
Once your dog eats Chocolate, he/ she will soon start showing some clinical signs.
While in some dogs, these signs occur soon within an hour or so, in others, it can take 6 to 7 hours as well.
14 Signs of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
- Increased thirst
- Elevated heart rate
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- A rise in body temperature (hyperthermia)
- Panting or anxious behavior
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Also, some advanced poisoning signs may include seizure, collapse, coma, or even death.
Note: The above symptoms may vary depending upon the type and amount of chocolate your dog ate.
Is there a dog breed that can eat Chocolate?
There is no such dog breed in the world that can eat Chocolate without suffering from its toxicity.
However, as pet owners claims, certain dogs lived a healthy and long life despite having Chocolate constantly.
Though no matter what other pet parents claim or suggest, Chocolate is always a big NO for your dogs or any other pet. Despite not harming one, it can still prove fatal for the other dog.
What can I give my dog after eating Chocolate?
Once you realize that your dog ate a whole piece of Chocolate, the visual can really panic you. Especially pet parents who know how hazardous they will want to redo the whole process.
Though while redoing what’s already done is impossible, there are a few things you can do when your dog just have had some chocolate:
If your dog has ingested a toxic dose of Chocolate recently, try to make them vomit right away.
Hydrogen peroxide 3-percent solution is the recommended medication that can help you with the process.
However, a piece of quick advice from your vet is always ideal, as if they swallow the peroxide, it can prove dangerous (very rare cases).
If it is few hours since your dog ingested Chocolate, you can also try the Activated charcoal method.
Activated charcoal, when it enters your dog’s system, absorbs whatever is inside there.
Use 1 to 4 grams of activated charcoal per Kilogram of your dog’s weight.
In situations when,
- Your dog ingested chocolate hours ago.
- They are showing symptoms.
- Or if the above-mentioned first aids do not help.
It is advisable to take your dog to an emergency clinic.
It is a time when they need expert supervision, hospitalization, and medical therapy.
What foods can kill dogs?
Along with Chocolate, there are several other food items your dog should never eat.
We have prepared a list for the same to stay cautious and safe the next time. Have a look:
- Tea, coffee or any type of Caffeine
- Grapes and Raisins
- Salty Snacks
- Wild mushrooms
- Yeast Dough or anything made out of it.
- Iron supplements
- Black Walnut
- Kitchen spices
- Rubbing Alcohol/IPA Sprays
- Onions, garlic, and chives
- Macadamia nuts
Of everything we learned and researched, Chocolate in no form is safe for dogs.
Thus, the families with pets at home must ensure that no chocolate is left/ kept in reach of dogs or cats.
Remember, it can clinically harm or, in instances, even kill your dog.
Several times, not even Vets can help if a dog has consumed Chocolate in large quantities. Thus, it is always better safe to feel sorry afterward.