What to Do if Your Dog Ate Chocolate
If you believe your dog has eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately or call the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) for advice. Note that if your vet is not open, some services provide live chat and video options to connect you with a vet. Based on your dog’s size and the amount and type of chocolate consumed, your veterinarian may recommend that you monitor your dog for the clinical signs listed above and call back if his condition worsens.
In other cases, the veterinarian may prefer you bring your dog into the clinic. If your pet consumed the chocolate less than two hours ago, your veterinarian may induce vomiting and give them several doses of activated charcoal, which works to move the toxins out of the body without being absorbed into the bloodstream. For more severe cases, veterinary intervention may be needed to provide supplemental treatment, such as medications or IV fluids, to resolve the effects of the poisoning. Dogs suffering from seizures may need to be monitored at the clinic overnight.
The answer is still no, but a qualified no. If you’re baking and happen to drop a chocolate chip that your dog gets to before you do, don’t panic. The toxicity of chocolate to dogs is based upon their weight, the type of chocolate as well as the amount they ingested. According to a WebMD article, a 27 lb dog will become ill after 27 ounces of milk chocolate but just 3 ounces of baking chocolate. In short, a small amount of chocolate won’t kill the average-sized dog (but don’t make it a habit of feeding it to them!).
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We’ve all had our dogs get into something they shouldn’t have and then panicked. Or maybe we’re just quick to cave when our four-legged friend begs at the table. If you’re not sure about a food’s toxicity to your pup or just need some advice, you can always call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
In the event that your dog has ingested more than a few chocolate chips, it’s best to induce vomiting through hydrogen peroxide (one teaspoon for every 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight). If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide or simply aren’t comfortable with this, call your vet immediately.
If you’re reading this hoping we’ll say new scientific evidence shows that you and your dog can share a bag of Hershey’s Kisses this Friday night, sorry — you’re out of luck. But according to an urban legend in the Miller household, my childhood dog once got into a bag of chocolate Halloween candy and lived to digest it the next morning. The only thing that gave him trouble was the wrappers. So can your dog eat chocolate?
Why is chocolate poisonous to dogs?
The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine. Humans easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs process it much more slowly, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system.