Chocolate is an irresistible treat for most of us. But if you feel like you can offer a bite of your favorite chocolate to your dog as a treat when it behaves well, think again! It can be hard to say to those puppy eyes or a small whimper of a plea for treats, but some foods are just not for our pets. So, can dogs eat chocolate?
Let’s find out, shall we?
Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Chocolate?
Chocolate is extremely toxic for your pet and can even be life-threatening in some cases. Chocolate is made up of theobromine and caffeine. While the human body can metabolize these, your dog in no way can handle the stimulation. This leads to a very high level of toxins in their bodies.
Chocolates are largely made up of sugar and butter, which also does not bode well with your dog’s health.
How Is Chocolate Toxicity Determined In Dogs?
The threat posed by chocolate to your dog’s health depends on the type of chocolate, the amount consumed, and the weight of your dog. With chocolate toxicity increasing in several pet households, this calculator lets you predict the risk caused by chocolate ingestion.
According to the American Kennel Club, here is a list of the most dangerous types of chocolates.
- Cocoa powder (highest level of toxicity)
- Unsweetened baker’s chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
The level of theobromine poisoning in dogs is influenced by the quantity of chocolate consumed per kilogram of body weight.
- When your dog consumes 20 mg/kg, it may experience mild symptoms of poisoning.
- When your dog consumes 40 mg/kg, it may start to suffer from cardiac arrests and other severe symptoms.
- 60 mg/kg can result in seizures.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning
Toxicity induced by chocolate is a serious condition. If you believe your dog has eaten chocolate, consult the vet immediately.
Here are some signs that can help you detect chocolate poisoning in dogs.
- Puking (some dogs may vomit blood)
- Increased activity
- Heavy breathing and restlessness
- Loss of coordination
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
What To Do When Your Dog Eats Chocolate?
The symptoms of chocolate toxicity are typically visible 6 to 12 hours after your dog has eaten chocolate.
If you feel that your dog has had some sneaky encounters with chocolate, do not wait for the symptoms to show. Rush your pet to the vet without any delay. The earlier you admit your dog, the faster the treatment. If your vet is not available, seek help from the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) for emergency treatment.
The levels of toxicity, of course, depend on the age and type of chocolate. It’s best that you carry the packaging of the chocolate your dog has consumed to help specialists provide the most appropriate treatment.
Unfortunately, once your dog has eaten chocolate, there is nothing you can do but hope he recovers. What you can do is make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Here are some ways to keep your dog away from chocolate:
- Keep all chocolates, cocoa powder, chocolate mixes, candies, and desserts with chocolate content away from your dog’s reach.
- Keep an eye on your dog, especially during holidays or special occasions.
- Do not leave half-eaten chocolate.
- Ensure that your floor is cleaned properly after chocolate spills.
- Train your pet to follow the “leave it” or “drop it” command when you see him picking up a bar of chocolate.
The answer to your question, can dogs eat chocolate, is a resounding NO. As pet parents, we are often keen on sharing our food with our pets. While this may seem cute, we do need to be more careful about what we are feeding them. Items like chocolates are best kept off the list.
If you are looking for dog-friendly sweet treats, organic peanut butter or fruit popsicles in moderation are safer. You can even give your dogs cheesy treats in moderate quantities.