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Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? No, Here’s Why

Dogs should never eat chocolate. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss all of the dangers of dogs eating chocolate and what to look for if your dog does eat chocolate.

Golden retriever in front of lots of chocolate.

If your dog just ate chocolate, it can take 1-2 hours or a full day for symptoms to appear. Signs of toxicity include fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea. If you notice any of these symptoms they can be easily treated but you must seek medical help quickly. For additional details, please keep reading.

Even though eating chocolate in small doses can be healthy for humans, it’s extremely dangerous for a dog to eat any type of chocolate. In fact, chocolate is considered a toxin to dogs and can be fatal in some cases.

Despite the toxicity, dogs usually find chocolate extremely delicious and can eat a huge amount if under no supervision. So it’s very important to always keep chocolate out of your dog’s reach.

In this article, we’re going to answer the question: can dogs eat chocolates? We’ll explain why chocolate can be fatal to dogs, and what to do if your dog innocently gets into your whole chocolate stash.

Why Is It Dangerous?

One word: methylxanthines. Chocolate contains large amounts of caffeine and theobromine which fall under a class of chemicals known as methylxanthines.

Methylxanthines are known for their effects on the heart, muscles, and nervous system and they can be helpful to humans in small doses.

However, dogs are unable to digest these chemicals the way we do, making them extremely sensitive to their toxic symptoms. Allergies also play a major role in your dog’s symptoms after ingesting chocolate. In fact, dogs can develop an allergic reaction to literally anything edible, just like us.

If you think your dog is suffering from an allergic reaction to chocolate, it’s best to seek help from a veterinarian.

Milk chocolate on a white bsckground.

Signs of Toxicity in Dogs

If you haven’t gathered, chocolate is incredibly dangerous for dogs. For this reason, we’ve included the main signs of toxicity in bold so if you are ever in a situation where your dog ate chocolate, you can quickly find the answers in this post.

Timing

Just one to two hours after ingesting chocolate, symptoms can start appearing in the dog due to the large amount of toxins in its gut. But, it may take up to a day for symptoms to appear.

Physical Symptoms

Chocolate toxicity symptoms include fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms could last up to a week. Other toxicity symptoms may include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Higher rate of urination

Advanced signs may include seizures, collapses, or death.

Chocolate chunks next to curls.

Does The Type of Chocolate Matter?

Even though all types of chocolate are considered dangerous, some types have higher amounts of toxins compared to other types. In fact, the higher the amount of theobromine in the chocolate ingested, the more intense the symptoms would be.

As an example, cacao beans are considered the most dangerous type as they contain the highest concentration of theobromine. Only very low doses can be ingested before possibly fatal symptoms appear.

On the other hand, white chocolate is considered the least dangerous as it contains much lower amounts of toxic chemicals.

A stack of white and dark chocolate bars.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Chocolate?

The way you react to a dog’s toxicity does play a huge role in how badly it’s going to suffer. Here are the steps to take right away.

  1. Call the vet
  2. Estimate how much chocolate they ate and what kind
  3. Keep your dog calm
  4. Possibly encourage vomiting if recommended by a vet

These steps will help the veterinarian know how dangerous it is and the best course of action to help your pup.

Jack russel looking at a bar of chocolate on the floor.

In Conclusion

To sum up the case, chocolate toxicity can be easily treated if you immediately call a veterinarian. However, storing your chocolate in the refrigerator is the easiest way to prevent your dog’s illness.

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