can dogs eat and have chocolate

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Safe For Dogs?

Can dogs eat chocolate?

This is a complete guide to fully explain and answer this question.

I am going to be covering everything about feeding chocolate to dogs and some of the dangers associated with doing that.

Let`s dive in.

Are Dogs Allergic To Chocolate?

Are dogs allergic to chocolate and is it okay for them to have it?

Yes. Dogs are allergic to chocolate and it is not safe for you to let them eat it. This is because chocolate contains a toxic substance called theobromine which is easily processed by humans but slowly metabolized by the dog`s digestive system.

In the next sections I am going to be explaining in much detail why dogs cannot eat chocolate and the main causes of chocolate poisoning in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

bar of chocolate

Dogs are not supposed to eat chocolate and as mentioned earlier, this is because of the presence of a toxic substance called theobromine in chocolate and cacao products

Significant amounts of theobromine are found in chocolate and since dogs metabolize the substance more slowly than humans they are at risk of theobromine building up to very toxic levels within their system.

The toxic build up of theobromine in dogs can cause some serious health problems and if treatment is not immediately administered, death may be the outcome.

But My Dog Ate Chocolate Once?

The effects of theobromine in dogs are controlled by a lot of factors. The amount of theobromine in a specific chocolate brand, the amount of chocolate the dog eats and the size of the dog can all influence the level of theobromine poisoning.

Your dog can actually eat chocolate and no signs of poisoning will show. But since you do not know the amount that can affect your dog, it is always safe to keep chocolate away from your dog and if you suspect that your dog might have taken chocolate regardless of the quantity it is very important to immediately consult qualified experts.

What About White Chocolate?

Dogs can safely eat white chocolate since it contains a tiny fraction of theobromine. White chocolate contains only 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce so many dogs can enjoy the treat without any effects.

However, some dogs can get sick after eating white chocolate so it is better to firstly give them a little and increase the dosage after observing how they react to small amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate Cookies?

The main ingredients used to prepare chocolate cookies are all not safe for dogs. Chocolate and flour are toxic to dogs and for that reason, it is always safer to make sure that your dog does not eat chocolate cookies.

Can Dogs Have Chocolate Ice Cream?

Chocolate ice cream is also not safe for dogs and they should not eat it in any amount. There is still a significant amount of theobromine found in chocolate ice cream so it should be avoided at all costs.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate Pudding?

All chocolate products are not safe for dogs and chocolate pudding is one of them. The best way to protect your dog from chocolate poisoning is to avoid it.

Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs

Theobromine has been proven to affect the cardiovascular system in animals.

Medical tests have shown that theobromine causes cardiac failure and death, lesions in the thymus, testes, and heart, sperm damage, and decreased weight in animals that were fed very high doses of theobromine over time.

Lesions in the testes and sperm damage was observed after a rabbit was exposed to moderate-to-high levels of theobromine.

All these observations are proof of the negative effects and potential health threats that theobromine has on animals and since chocolate contains the substance in very notable amounts it is important for dog owners to never give it to their dogs in any amounts.

CAB Direct reports a case were a proprietary dog food containing a cacao byproduct caused sudden death in 6 dogs. This food contained from 13 to 15 grains theobromine per lb., and it is suggested that its action on the heart was responsible for the deaths of these dogs. 

Europepmc also examined the effects of cacao bean shells containing potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound (similar in effects to caffeine) and theophylline on dogs. A dog, which ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells was observed to have developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Further analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

So here is the bottom line, dogs are not supposed to eat chocolate and every responsible dog parent should try their best to keep it away from them.

Signs And Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs

  • Restlessness
  • Increased urination
  • Upset stomach with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Irregular and abnormal heartbeat
  • Heart attack
  • Internal bleeding

Once you notice any of these signs and symptoms on your dog it is important that you immediately visit your nearest vet or call the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) for advice.

How Long Does It Take For Chocolate To Affect Dogs?

The amount of time it takes for the effects of chocolate poisoning to be observed in dogs vary.

There are a lot of factors that determine how long it will take for your dog to be affected but you should generally expect it to be anywhere from six to twelve hours.

All this will depend on the amount of chocolate the dog takes and the size or breed of the dog.

Treatments Of Dog Chocolate Poisoning

Treatment of chocolate poisoning in dogs starts with inducing vomiting within the first 2 hours of ingestion and the administration of activated charcoal to block the body from absorbing theobromine into the system.

Intravenous fluid therapy is another treatment that is also used to help stabilize the dog and promote theobromine excretion from the body system.

But if your dog ingest chocolate, I strongly advise you to firstly call the pet help line before you try anything on your own.

Can Chocolate Kill Dogs

A quick summary of this whole article is the fact that chocolate and all cacao byproducts are actually dangerous for dog ingestion and dog parents should try their best to keep such products away from their dogs.

Chocolate poisoning has the potential to kill your dog or cause some irreversible damages that your dog will have to live with for the rest of its life.

Be safe and keep chocolate away from dogs.