Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

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Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

Can dogs eat chocolate?

No, dogs can’t eat chocolate.

It is toxic to dogs because it contains a methylxanthine – theobromine.

Human beings easily process theobromine, but dogs metabolize this substance more slowly, allowing it to accumulate to toxic amounts.

The danger of chocolate depends on the type of chocolate, the quantity consumed and the dog’s weight.

Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning can take numerous hours to progress, and even longer to resolve.

Generally, a small amount of chocolate will give your dog only a tummy ache with vomiting or diarrhea.

can dogs eat chocolate

In large amounts, theobromine induces hyperactivity, muscle tremors, seizures, arrhythmias, internal hemorrhage or even a heart attack.

Different chocolate types have different theobromine levels.

Remember that: Dark is dangerous!

Cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate contain the highest theobromine levels, while milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest.

Type of Chocolate Theobromine Caffeine
White chocolate 0.25 mg/oz 0.85 mg/oz
Milk chocolate 44-60 mg/oz 6 mg/oz
Dark semisweet 135 mg/oz 20 mg/oz
Unsweetened baker’s chocolate 390-450 mg/oz 47 mg/oz
Dry cocoa powder 400-737 mg/oz 70 mg/oz
Cocoa beans 300-1500 mg/oz —-
Cocoa bean mulch 56-900 mg/oz —-
Table: Theobromine and caffeine content in different types of chocolate. (source:
How much chocolate can kill a dog?

The toxic dose of theobromine (and caffeine) for pets is 100-200mg/kg.

Using the table above you’ll have a rough estimate of what to expect.

Some dog treats use carob (Ceratonia siliqua) as a chocolate substitute.

Carob looks like chocolate, but its theobromine content is usually low.

So carob is considered to be safe for most dogs.

In the treat’s label, the ingredients are listed according to their amount in the product, so make sure carob is lower on that list.

I hope this clarifies any doubt regarding dogs and chocolate!

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.

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