Why Should You Not Give Chocolate To Dogs

Theobromine, naproxen, and lidocaine cannot be adequately metabolized or broken down in dogs with a certain mutation in their CYP1A2 gene (the variant is 1117C>T). This could explain why some dogs become ill after ingesting only a small amount of chocolate and has crucial consequences for their medical care.

What should you do, then, if you think your dog may have consumed chocolate? You have several choices. To determine if your dog is likely to have symptoms, use an internet calculator like this one or contact animal poison control (1-888-426-4435 in Canada and the U.S.). You should keep a close eye on your dog regardless of what they say, checking for symptoms such a high heart rate, vomiting, or tremors, while keeping in mind that such resources are not a replacement for veterinary care.

You should take your dog to the vet immediately away if they consumed an unknown amount of chocolate, are displaying symptoms, are pregnant (theobromine can cross the placenta and impact the puppy), or have any other health issues. Veterinarian anti-chocolate remedies are most successful if administered as soon as possible after intake, even if symptoms may not appear for up to two hours after ingestion.

What precisely is done to treat theobromine poisoning in dogs? Decontamination of the stomach. Emptying the stomach is the first step (if the ingestion was recent enough). This frequently involves the use of the chemical apomorphine, which is injected into the eye to be swiftly absorbed.

A veterinarian will then give activated charcoal, a finely powdered substance that can bind a range of medications and chemicals. Because it turns your dog’s stool black, activated charcoal is typically given by combining it with wet dog food as soon as possible after ingesting the poison. Charcoal must occasionally be administered again, although it can also be effective with just one dose.

A theobromine-intoxicated dog will only receive medication to treat their specific symptoms after these steps, such as Diazepam for seizures or hyperexcitability, beta blockers for a fast heart rate, atropine for a low heart rate, or other medications.

It turns out that cats are more prone to theobromine poisoning than dogs, despite the fact that we never hear of a cat becoming ill after eating chocolate. How come?

primarily because dogs tend to eat more recklessly than cats do. While cats tend to be fussy eaters, dogs are infamous for eating almost anything they can get their hands on, even joint butts, which puts them at risk for cannabis toxicity. This can be partially explained by the fact that cats cannot taste glucose.

You probably wouldn’t eat much of it if all chocolate tasted like 100% dark chocolate.

Takeaway message

  • Theobromine, which dogs cannot adequately metabolize, is the main reason why chocolate is deadly to dogs.
  • With respect to weight, a dog’s ability to consume chocolate without developing symptoms varies significantly.
  • If your dog consumes chocolate, you should keep a close eye on them and take them to the vet if they exhibit any symptoms, are very young, pregnant, or have other health issues.

Special thanks to Henry, who, as you may assume, inspired this paper by eating chocolate, and Rachel Malkani, a veterinary PhD candidate and MSc. CDBC.

How much chocolate canine toxicity?

According to the Merck/Merial Manual for Veterinary Health, chocolate includes both theobromine and caffeine, both of which can raise a dog’s heart rate and excite their nervous system. Calculate your dog’s risk of toxicity using this simple application. The likelihood that your dog may get sick after eating chocolate depends on the type, quantity, and weight of the dog. Various forms of chocolate have different amounts of these harmful ingredients. Following are a few chocolate varieties, listed by theobromine content:

  • cocoa butter (most toxic)
  • Unsweetened chocolate for baking
  • Unsweetened chocolate
  • a deep chocolate
  • chocolate milk

You and your veterinarian can decide whether you have an emergency by knowing how much and what sort of chocolate your dog consumed. A dog would typically have minor signs of chocolate toxicity at 20 mg of methylxanthines per kilogram of body weight. Around 40 to 50 mg/kg of chocolate causes cardiac symptoms, while 60 mg/kg or more causes convulsions.

That translates into a pretty alarming dose of chocolate, which is roughly one ounce of milk chocolate for every pound of body weight. Even one Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar, which weighs 1.55 ounces on average, can have harmful effects, especially for little dogs. On the other side, your dog generally won’t die from eating a tiny piece of chocolate bar or a crumb of chocolate cake, especially if it is a larger breed. Nevertheless, chocolate should never be given as a treat.

What occurs when a dog consumes chocolate?

Yes, dogs are poisoned by chocolate. Although seldom fatal, eating chocolate can cause serious disease. Theobromine, a substance found in chocolate together with caffeine, makes it poisonous. The major poison in chocolate, theobromine is extremely similar to caffeine. Both substances have medical uses as a smooth muscle relaxant, blood vessel dilater, diuretic, and stimulant of the heart. Theobromine and caffeine are not metabolized by dogs as well as they are by humans. Dogs are therefore more susceptible to the impacts of the toxins.

How much chocolate is poisonoustoadog?

The type of chocolate affects how much theobromine is poisonous. The danger of chocolate to dogs increases with its darkness and bitterness. Gourmet dark chocolate and baking chocolate are extremely concentrated and have a theobromine content per ounce of 130–450 mg. Only 44–58 mg/ounce are present in typical milk chocolate. With approximately 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce, white chocolate rarely offers a risk of chocolate poisoning. Dogs can get sick from the chocolate’s fat and sugar even if the amount consumed is not toxic. In severe situations or in dogs with particularly sensitive stomachs, they can lead to pancreatitis. In order to put this into perspective, consider that a medium-sized dog weighing 50 pounds would only have to consume 1 ounce of baker’s chocolate or 9 ounces of milk chocolate in order to possibly exhibit poisoning symptoms. Small amounts of milk chocolate are generally not dangerous for dogs to consume.

What are the clinical signs of chocolate poisoning?

Clinical symptoms vary according to the type and amount of chocolate consumed. The most frequent clinical symptoms in many dogs include excessive urination, excessive panting, increased thirst, restlessness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Muscle tremors, convulsions, and heart failure are among the symptoms that might appear in severe cases. The prognosis for chocolate poisoning can go worse due to complications including aspiration pneumonia from vomiting. If in doubt, quick veterinary care is advised if a poisonous quantity of chocolate is consumed.

Why can dogs not eat chocolate when we can?

She is staring at you with those big puppy-dog eyes as it is time for meal. Her chops are covered in her tongue. She might whimper or bark softly to let you know she’s there. You give her a piece of steak, saying, “Here, sweetheart.” Go lay down right now.

If you choose the correct food, feeding your dog a little “human” food isn’t all that harmful, but you must exercise extreme caution. According to Cailin Heinze, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and assistant professor at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, there are some foods that are safe for humans but not for dogs.

While some delicacies, like chocolate, are delectable for humans, they are poisonous to dogs. As are avocados and macadamia nuts. Why, yes! What foodstuffs shouldn’t you feed your dog? Ten of them are listed here in no particular sequence. You can clip a printed copy of this tale to your refrigerator door.


Fido, no guacamole for you. Avocados contain persin, which is safe for people to consume in little amounts. But even a small quantity of the substance can cause your dog to throw up or have diarrhea. Avocado seeds may also be eaten, become lodged, and clog the stomach or intestines of your dog.

Grapes and Raisins

Dogs get poisoned by raisins and grapes for reasons that aren’t fully understood. Kidney failure is one of the most dangerous side effects, according to Heinze. One or two raisins may be hazardous to some dogs. Induce vomiting as quickly as you can if you notice your dog eating a grape or raisin.

Onions, Garlic and Chives

Heinze claims that the majority of people are unaware that these three items are toxic to dogs. Whether they are powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated, they can destroy the red blood cells in your dog and result in anemia. Poisoning can result from excessive eating. Therefore, keep your dogs out of the garden so they can’t sneakily eat these vegetables. Some people might think that garlic is beneficial for dogs. Heinze advises not to believe it. “Why take a chance when there is no benefit?”

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts, which are frequently used in trail mix, baked goods, cookies, and muffins as well as in jars and pouches, might cause your dog to become lethargic, weak, and melancholy. Why are nuts so awful? Although scientists are unsure, even a small amount can result in poisoning. The most typical signs include fevers, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, and gagging.


Everyone should be aware that dogs shouldn’t consume any sort of chocolate. Despite the fact that we humans eat chocolate, it includes stimulants called methylxanthines that are harmful and are found in theobromine. A small amount of chocolate can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs, whereas an excessive amount might result in seizures, abnormal heartbeat, and even death. Off-limits to all chocolate is the table. Depending on the kind of chocolate, the degree of toxicity varies. Compared to, say, milk chocolate, dry cocoa powder has a higher proportion of methylxanthines. But while a single M&M won’t harm your dog, a whole milk chocolate bar might, especially in smaller canines.

Raw Eggs

Even while raw eggs don’t generally cause poisoning, it is possible. Giving dogs raw eggs is often discouraged by veterinarians. However, scrambled and hard-boiled cooked eggs can be a delectable delicacy. The same is true with raw fish and meat. Fish that has been fully cooked, particularly salmon, is a wonderful source of protein, healthy fats, and amino acids.


Maybe you shouldn’t have a dog if the thought of giving it booze ever occurs to you. Don’t do it at all. No beer, not a drop. no wine There is no whiskey flavor. not even a shot of Jell-O. Dogs are affected by alcohol in the same manner as humans are, but the effects are far more mild. A dog’s diarrhea and vomiting might be caused by alcohol. A coma, death, and breathing issues are all effects of alcohol. The consequences are worse on a little dog.


Foods called black walnuts are unusual. Although they don’t actually contain any toxins, walnut trees’ husk, nuts, and bark can all develop poisonous mold over time. Tremors and seizures may be brought on by the mold, which is a potent neurotoxic. Additionally, avoid giving black walnuts to horses. It can result in laminitis, an infection of the hoof, and colic.


Xylitol is a food additive that is an artificial sweetener, albeit it may not be a household name. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is frequently found in baked goods, various varieties of peanut butter, confectionery, and gum. Dogs’ rapid bloodstream absorption of xylitol results in a large insulin release from the pancreas. That may result in a sharp drop in blood sugar (hyperglycemia) as well as potential liver failure.


Any form of caffeine, including coffee, soda, energy drinks, tea, and coffee grounds and beans, can be fatal to your dog. Never give your dog ice cream or beverages with coffee flavoring. They are all caffeinated. Keep K-cups and bags of coffee out of your dog’s reach and make sure to throw away spent coffee grounds. Your dog won’t become ill from a few licks of coffee that has spilled on the floor, but if they gulp a cup down, it can make them agitated, hyperactive, and even fatal.

Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 if you’re unsure what to do if your dog consumes something it shouldn’t.

Foods Dogs Can’t Eat FAQ

The things that can kill dogs the fastest are chocolate, coffee, grapes, avocados, and the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Dogs’ metabolisms differ from humans’, and some diets can result in serious health problems or even death.

If you use the proper ingredients and vitamins, you can choose to feed your dog homemade food. Leafy greens, yogurt, red meat, salmon, and whole eggs are a few healthy ingredients. Before beginning to feed homemade, see your veterinarian and do some research to make sure your dog is receiving a balanced diet.

It’s possible that human food lacks the precise ratio of nutrients needed by dogs. Even worse, some food categories could really kill your dog. However, including wholesome things in your dog’s diet, such as eggs, some fruits and vegetables, plain yogurt without added sugar, and raw or cooked meat, can be very beneficial.

It is better to feed your dog a combination of wet and dry food or dry food with lots of wholesome “human additions” like green vegetables, low-sugar fruits, raw eggs, pumpkin, and plain kefir or yogurt (filled with probiotics!). While it is safe to only feed your dog dry food, this is not the best option. Your dog’s nutrition will be well-rounded as a result.

Dog Food Advisor rates foods using debatable criteria. On the validity of the advise offered on the website, there is disagreement in the online community. Dog Food Advisor is therefore not the only source of information you should consult, even though it can offer you a general notion of where to start your search for dog food companies.

Why are grapes inedible to dogs?

No matter what breed, age, or gender a dog is, grapes and raisins are extremely poisonous to them. Ongoing study is being done to determine why.

Kidney damage is associated with grape intoxication. The fruit can cause abrupt renal failure and possibly death if consumed.

Unknown toxin in grapes prevents dogs from metabolizing their tannins, flavonoids, and monosaccharides. This might be the main cause of canine grape poisoning.