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.
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: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-safety-tips/is-chocolate-poisonous-to-dogs/)
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!