Unfortunately chocolate is toxic to dogs unless it is the special dog choc drop treats that you can buy in the pet shop. All chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, although the amount of theobromine differs in the different types of chocolate, for example, in 25g of chocolate there is the following amount of theobromine:
White chocolate has trace amounts
Milk chocolate has 44-64 mg
Dark chocolate has 150-160 mg
Unsweetened (baking) chocolate has 390-450 mg
Cocoa powder has 800 mg.
It’s thought that if a dog consumes more than 20mg per kg of body weight of theobromine, symptoms of chocolate poisoning will develop. If your dog eats chocolate by mistake, contact your vet for advice as they will most likely want to see your dog as soon as possible. If you are uncertain whether your dog has eaten the chocolate or not, there are some symptoms to look out for in the following 4-24 hours. If any of these occur, then take your dog in as a priority.
- Heart rate increase
- Rapid breathing
- Restlessness and hyperactivity
- Loss of coordination
The amount he has eaten will be important, as well as the quality of chocolate, and can affect the outcome. At a very high dose chocolate can be fatal so vets take this very seriously and will often need the dog to be admitted for certain treatments before he can go home to recover.