Why shouldn’t my dog eat chocolate?

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It might be a treat for us, but chocolate contains toxic ingredients that can be poisonous to dogs. Here’s what you need to know:

Is all chocolate bad for dogs?

A small dog consuming even a small amount of high-quality chocolate can be toxic. Chocolate poisoning depends on the type of chocolate as well as the amount consumed. Generally, if the percentage of cocoa solids in the chocolate is high, so is the risk of chocolate toxicity. Dark chocolate usually has the highest percentage, followed by milk chocolate then white. Whilst this is the general rule, some brands of milk or white chocolate can occasionally contain high cocoa content.

Why is chocolate bad for dogs?

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is a stimulant similar to caffeine. Theobromine can have negative effects on the heart, kidneys and nervous system. In severe cases, if unrecognised or left untreated, the heart rhythm can be stimulated enough to cause the heart to stop. It can also cause seizures, induce comas or even be fatal.

What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning?

Chocolate poisoning in dogs can usually be recognised by the signs of vomiting and diarrhea, followed by trembling. Other signs can include: hyperactivity, increased temperature, rapid breathing and a high heart rate.

What should I do if my dog has eaten chocolate?

If your dog has eaten chocolate, you should call your vet as soon as possible. If you can, keep the chocolate’s packaging to provide your vet with the details of the cocoa content. Your vet can then check your dog’s weight and calculate whether a toxic dose has been eaten. If so, they will probably ask you to take your dog into the practice so that they can give your dog medication to help them throw up the chocolate before it can do any harm. If this doesn’t work, your dog may have to stay overnight for further treatment.

So watch out where you keep those Creme Eggs, Mini Eggs and Easter Eggs stashed, because although chocolate is a treat for us, it’s not a treat for dogs. Visit our recipe page for quick, easy and healthy treats you can make instead and whatever you do, don’t give in to those puppy dog eyes.

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2 comments

  1. Can I just say after reading the chocolate post for dogs, this is summon we dint understand while we read if or owe it wot to do if your dog eats chocolate, we give ours a chocolate sweet or a chocolate biscuit, we also did the same with our old staffy he used to love the chocolate, so why doesn’t it make our 2 yr old staffy I’ll, it didn’t make our other staffy I’ll either! I see on loads of groups were ppl ask this question, as they also give there staffs chocolate + there dogs are never I’ll, it’s only the odd 2 or 5 sweets it’s not a lot but still we didn’t no why ppl say it’s so bad for them,

  2. Hi Wayne, depending on the levels of cocoa in the chocolate, different brands will have different levels of toxicity. The reactions of individual dogs to the toxic ingredient, theobromine, can also vary. To be absolutely safe, we’d advise against feeding chocolate to dogs.

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