Dogs vs. Chocolate: How Toxic is the Sweet to Your Pup?

Sad Dachshund Lying Down

Chocolate is sweet, smooth, and delicious—for humans, that is.

Although dogs love chocolate too, this sweet treat actually proves toxic to your pup, especially when eaten in large amounts.

Before you leave your box of chocolates out in the open or sneak your dog a small chocolate treat, read up on how chocolate is toxic to your furry friend!

What causes chocolate to be toxic?

Chocolate contains theobromine, an alkaloid that humans easily metabolize but dogs process slowly. This causes toxic levels of theobromine to build up in a dog’s system, causing them to become ill.

Chocolate also contains caffeine, which speeds up your dog’s heart rate.

Different types of chocolate

The type of chocolate determines the amount of theobromine it contains. White chocolate contains the least, making it the least toxic, while cocoa powder contains the most, making it the most lethal to dogs.

Unsweetened baker’s chocolate and semisweet chocolate fall more towards the toxic range, and dark chocolate and milk chocolate contain a little less of the substance, though still enough to be toxic.

The type of chocolate and how much your dog eats, as well as their body weight, determines their risk of getting sick after ingesting the sweet.

Chocolate poisoning warning signs

Small amounts of theobromine may only give dogs an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. Larger amounts could result in more serious problems like muscle tremors or seizures. In most severe cases, internal bleeding or heart attack could occur.

If you notice that your dog has grown more restless, is experiencing an increase in urination, or an abnormal heart rate, it could be cause for some concern.

These symptoms start about 6 to 12 hours after your dog has eaten the chocolate and last for up to 72 hours.

What to do if your dog ate chocolate

After determining your dog ate chocolate (or even if you just think they did), the first step is to call your veterinarian.

Your vet can determine the best next steps based on the size of your pet and how much chocolate they consumed. You may need to take your pup to the vet where they will induce vomiting or take other necessary measures to treat your pup.

Although you love your dog more than most people, you’ll have to find another cheesy gift to give them on Valentine’s day—perhaps cheese!

Keeping dogs happy and healthy is very important to us at Patti’s Dachshund Farm—how could it not be when we have our mini Dachshunds running around!

If you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family, be sure to check out our latest litters and contact us if you have any questions.