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Chocolate is a delicious treat for humans, but it isnt a suitable treat for dogs. Chocolate toxicity is a common problem seen in dogs, and it often stems from accidental ingestion. While chocolate is toxic to dogs, the level of toxicity depends on the type of chocolate, how much they ate and how big the dog is. Lets take a closer look at what happens if a dog eats chocolate and what you should do.
What Happens if a Dog Eats Chocolate?
It depends on your dogs size and how much chocolate theyve consumed.
If you have a medium or large dog who consumes only a small amount of chocolate, then you may only notice signs associated with an upset stomach, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
But if your dog consumes a large amount of chocolate or if you have a small dog who consumes chocolate, then they may develop the following signs of chocolate toxicity:
These signs are usually proceeded by an onset of extreme excitement.
Understanding Dogs and Chocolate: Is It Harmful?
Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains theobromine and to a lesser extent, caffeine. Humans metabolize theobromine easily, but dogs dont. Dogs process theobromine and caffeine slowly, which allows these toxic compounds to build up in their systems and cause clinical signs associated with chocolate toxicity.
But when it comes to toxicity, not all chocolate is the same. What happens if a dog eats chocolate is different based on the type of chocolate they consumed. Bakers chocolate and cocoa, for example, are considered to be the most toxic, then dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.
Chocolate toxicity is so common in dogs that the Merck Veterinary Manual offers a chocolate toxicity meter that you can use to determine if your dog has consumed a toxic amount of chocolate.
How Much Chocolate Can Kill Your Dog?
Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the weight of your dog, it could cause a serious medical emergency. If you know your dog has eaten chocolate, it’s important to monitor them for signs of toxicity. Learn how much is too much, which types of chocolate are the most dangerous, and what signs to look for that may signal your dog needs treatment.