Is chocolate poisonous to dogs?

Published by
min read
133889996

Can it be true? Is chocolate poisonous to dogs? The answer is yes. The hazard to your dog however, depends on the type of chocolate, the size of dog, and the amount consumed.

The component of chocolate that is toxic to dogs is called theobromine. Whereas humans easily metabolise theobromine, dogs process it much more slowly allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system.

Size matters

A large dog can consume a great deal more chocolate than a small dog before it will suffer ill effects. It's also worth remembering that different types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine. Cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate have the highest levels while milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest.

A small amount of chocolate will probably just give your dog an upset stomach. He may throw up or have diarrhoea. Large amounts though, will have a more serious effect. In sufficient quantities, theobromine can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding, or a heart-attack.

What to look out for

The onset of theobromine poisoning is usually marked by severe hyperactivity.

Don't worry if your dog has eaten a single chocolate or helped himself to the last square of your bar, because this won't provide a large enough dosage of theobromine to hurt him. If you have a small dog though, and he has eaten a box of chocolates, you need to get him to the vet immediately. And if you're dealing with any quantity of dark or bitter chocolate, err on the side of caution. The high level of theobromine in dark chocolate means it takes only a very small amount to poison a dog; just 25 grams may be enough to poison a 20 kg dog.

The usual treatment for theobromine poisoning is to induce vomiting within two hours of ingestion. If you are worried that your dog may have eaten a large quantity of chocolate do not hesitate to call your vet. Time will be of the essence.

Related Articles

  • Human Foods That Are Dangerous for Your Dog

    180680638 Read to learn about 5 human foods that are toxic to dogs. Learn their effects on a dog's health and what to do if they accidentally eat one of these foods.
  • How and when to feed your Dog?

    180680638 Learn the importance of feeding your puppy or adult dog the right amount of food at proper intervals and find out what feeding method is best for your dog.
  • A few ground rules

    Learn how to help your puppy learn good behaviors by starting with proper table manners. Follow these helpful feeding tips.
  • Feeding your puppy

    Find the ideal feeding plan for your puppy with Hill's Pet puppy foods

Related products

  • Hill's™ Science Plan™ Canine Adult Advanced Fitness™ Lamb with Rice

    Hill's&#153; <span class='nowrap'>Science Plan™</span> Canine Adult Advanced Fitness™ Lamb & Rice is formulated to support digestive health and lean muscle. With clinically proven antioxidants and highly digestible lamb.
  • Hill's™ Science Plan™ Canine Adult with Chicken

    Hill's&#153; <span class='nowrap'>Science Plan</span>&#153; Canine Adult Savoury Chicken is formulated to support lean muscle and healthy vital organs. With clinically proven antioxidants, lean proteins and omega 3's.
  • Hill's™ Prescription Diet™ s/d™ Canine

    For the nutritional management of dogs with urinary tract disease. Urinary tract disease in dogs is often caused by the formation of mineral-based crystals and stones in the urinary tract that can cause discomfort, bloody urine and even life-threatening obstruction. For dogs, struvite crystals generally cause urinary tract disease. <span class='nowrap'>Prescription Diet</span>&#153; s/d&#153; has been formulated by veterinarians to help resolve struvite crystals and stones in your dog. Struvite forms as a result of urine that's saturated with protein, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium combined with an improper urine pH.
  • Hill's™ Science Plan™ Puppy Mini Chicken

    Hill's&#153; <span class='nowrap'>Science Plan™</span> Puppy Healthy Development™ Mini Chicken is formulated to support immunity and mobility, for puppies who prefer a smaller kibble. With clinically proven antioxidants and DHA.