Most dogs are greedy scavengers who will take any opportunity to eat, this can include things that are bad for them such as chocolate.
Chocolate is dangerous to dogs and dogs should never eat it – ever.
Chocolate is potentially deadly to dogs and should be kept well out of a dog’s reach. Dogs do not know what is safe or unsafe to eat and most dogs, given the chance, will happily eat chocolate even though the results can be fatal. You should never feed chocolate to your dog and, if your dog does manage to eat some then you should keep a close eye on him for any reaction. If in any doubt or if you have concerns then you should take him to to vet immediately.
Why is chocolate poisonous to dogs?
Chocolate can make your dog really unwell. It contains chemicals called Theobromine and Caffeine.
Theobromine has a very similar effect to caffeine and both chemicals act as stimulants upon the heart, blood vessels and muscles.
Dog’s cannot deal with these two chemicals as well as humans can, which makes them ultra sensitive to their effects.
Dark chocolates, baking chocolate and the ‘gourmet’ style chocolates are the most dangerous as they contain higher levels of the two chemicals.
How much chocolate can kill a dog?
It can take as little as one ounce of chocolate per pound of bodyweight to have fatal consequences for a dog.
At lot depends on the type of chocolate. For example if your dog ate a full bar that was 70% chocolate then things could be serious, but, if the bar contained less chocolate then he would need to eat more before it became a problem.
If your dog does eat chocolate and you are concerned you should speak to your vet straightaway.
How long does it take for a dog to get sick after eating chocolate?
Most dogs will show symptoms between six to twelve hours after eating chocolate although with some dogs these could start sooner.
If your dog starts to:
- Show signs of hyperactivity
- Has diarrhea
- Is restless
- Has a sore tummy
- Is panting
- Feels warm
Then you should contact your vet straightaway. Try to find the packaging which may help your vet to understand the type and quantity of chocolate that your dog has consumed.
Always follow the professional advice of your vet.
Will a little bit of chocolate hurt my dog?
Feeding chocolate to dogs can never be recommended. No one can tell just how a particular dog will react, even to just a small amount.
You may think that you are being kind to your dog by giving him chocolate but you could do more harm then good.
You can, however, get a type of chocolate drop that has been designed for dogs and is perfectly safe for them to eat.
How to stop your dog stealing chocolate
Dogs enjoy chocolate, just like humans do, but they don’t realise that it is bad for them, so you, as the owner need to make sure that it is impossible for your dog to steal it. Here are some useful tips to help you to keep your dog safe:
- Keep chocolate locked away. Make sure that all chocolate, and things that contain chocolate are out of the reach of your dog. Remember that dogs are clever and many can jump and climb. When you are not around they get up to all sorts of tricks. Don’t leave chocolate where your dog can get it.
- Make sure that bins are secure. Dogs love to get their heads into the bin as it is often a good source of waste food. Keep your bins secure, get some fasteners to prevent the dog from getting the lid off.
- Tell your visitors. Many people don’t have dogs and know little about them. Tell them not to feed the dog, no matter how much he begs and to keep chocolate away from him.
- Watch out at Easter and Christmas. Dogs can easily unwrap presents and tear open boxes. Make sure that anything that might contain chocolate is kept out of his way. Don’t put chocolate decorations on the Christmas tree and be careful with Advent calendars too.
Is there any type of chocolate that is safe for dogs?
The only form of ‘chocolate’ that is suitable for dogs is not really chocolate at all.
Dog ‘chocolate’ treats are made to look and taste similar to chocolate but, they contain no cocoa or other chemicals that are harmful to dogs.
If you do want to give your dog a ‘chocolate type’ treat then these are the types that you should choose.
Dog safe chocolate treats
It is pretty clear that there is no reason to feed chocolate to a dog and to do so would be a dangerous act that could kill your dog.
Last update on 2023-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API