Chocolate was known by the Aztecs as a gift from the gods. It is a very popular treat and often accompanies festivities in many forms – coming in heart-shaped boxes, as a hot drink, or as a cake, to name a few. As with many chocolate-infused celebratory events, busy preparations, arriving guests, and last-minute touches make it easy to overlook what the dog might be up to. This makes it easy for your sly four-legged friend to find an opening to jump up on the counter and devour the dessert centerpiece – a chocolate cake. Now, not only is your homemade delicacy ruined, but you’re worried about your dog getting sick from having eaten chocolate!
How Much Chocolate is in a Chocolate Cupcake?
The amount of chocolate in a cupcake varies greatly from one recipe to the next. One recipe calls for 5 ounces of bitter baking chocolate, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, and 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate. At these high amounts, one cupcake contains enough chocolate to be dangerous for a medium sized dog. A large dog would require careful monitoring, and a small dog would likely need immediate veterinary care.
Cupcakes aren’t inherently dangerous for your dog, as long as they don’t contain ingredients that are toxic to your dog. However, they are not good for them. The high sugar content can cause problems if your dog eats them regularly. Just like humans, dogs need a balanced diet with limited empty calories.
However, there are some ingredients, other than chocolate, that can make cupcakes dangerous for your dog.
Citrus flavored cupcakes, including lemon and orange, can pose a danger for your dog. Large amounts of citric acid can cause stomach irritation and nervous system depression.
A lemon cupcake isn’t likely to pose a serious danger to your dog, because of the small amount of citric acid it contains. However, it can cause mild stomach upset.
Raisins might seem like a way to slip a little health into your frosted treat. However, they are dangerous for dogs. Scientists don’t know why grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, but they can cause kidney failure. Pet owners are advised never to feed them to their dog.
Macadamia nuts pose a danger to your pet. They can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, and tremors. Other types of nuts aren’t toxic to your dog. However, they contain a high fat content that can cause stomach upset.
Milk is a common cupcake ingredient. It isn’t toxic to your dog. However, they have less of the lactase enzyme, the enzyme that breaks down dairy. This is similar to lactose intolerance in humans. It won’t cause serious harm, but it can cause digestive upset.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute. It’s most commonly found in sugar-free gum. However, it is sometimes used in baking as well. It’s very dangerous for dogs.
It causes an insulin release. Insulin is used by the body to regulate glucose levels. Too much insulin causes hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
Xylitol can cause vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Severe symptoms include seizures. It can cause elevated liver enzymes and liver failure.
What to do if my dog eats a chocolate cupcake?
If your dog ate a chocolate cupcake, it’s important not to panic. Depending on the size of your dog and the amount of chocolate, it could be a medical emergency. However, many dogs are fine after consuming chocolate.
The first thing you’ll want to do is remove any remaining chocolate cupcakes so your dog can’t ingest more. The smell and taste can be very tempting for your dog, so avoid leaving them within reach or tossing them in a trash can where your dog can get to them.
My First Reaction When My Dog Ate Chocolate
When it comes to my dogs, Im a crazy dog mom. I love them to pieces and I want to keep them happy, healthy, and safe. I was pissed at myself for leaving the cake at the edge of the counter, but I knew that I couldnt freak out because Rodrigo would pick up on my negative energy.
So, instead, I split into two personalities…
Both personalities kind of even each other out and you get a semi-stressed dog owner who is annoyed by how complicated the information online is.
What if my dog eats a chocolate cupcake?
What happens if your dog eats a cupcake?
How much baking chocolate is toxic to dogs?