What Happens When Dogs Eat Chocolate? The Truth

Dogs love eating chocolate, but when dogs eat chocolate, the effects can be a fatal mix. If you dog does eat chocolate and intoxication occurs, it is essential that you take the dog in for medical treatment as quickly as possible.


Why is Chocolate poisonous to dogs?

It is extremely important to keep in mind that no amount of chocolate is safe for dogs to consume. However, baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate are the riskiest; white and milk chocolate pose a less serious risk, but is still extremely harmful. Chocolate poisoning is caused by an excessive consumption of methylxanthine alkaloids, which are naturally occurring toxins in chocolate. Chocolate is made from cocoa and cocoa beans, which contain caffeine and a chemical compound known as theobromine, which is what makes chocolate so dangerous.

Theobromine and caffeine are the primary methylxanthine alkaloids found in chocolate and both are highly poisonous to dogs. Theobromine is extremely lethal to dogs and can quickly kill a dog of any size. Theophylline is similar to caffeine, so the combination of caffeine and theophylline cause a significant increase of caffeine in the dogs system. Although humans are able to safely consume it in extremely large quantities, dogs metabolize theobromine and caffeine slower. Due to the slow metabolizing of theobromine, so it gradually builds up in the dogs system. While humans get a “high” for about 20 minutes from chocolate, it can last several hours in dogs, which eventually leads to excessive intoxication.

The Early Signs of Chocolate Poisoning

Although the signs may not be immediately apparent, once your dog has eaten the chocolate, the poisoning gradually works its way through his system. If your dog is getting sick from eating chocolate, the first symptoms will include; vomiting, nausea, increased urination and diarrhea. These symptoms typically will begin about 2 to 4 hours after consumption of the chocolate and you will typically notice chocolate in the vomit. The excessive urination is his body’s way of attempting to clear out the chocolate.

Advanced Signs of Chocolate Poisoning

Advanced signs of poisoning typically include cardiac arrhythmia’s, stiffness, hallucinations, epileptic seizures, excitement, muscle twitching and extreme response to light, noise and touch. It is extremely important to take your dog to a veterinarian hospital before this happens. If treatment is not immediately sought, internal bleeding, weakness, heart failure, coma and ultimately death can occur within 12 to 36 hours consumption.

Chocolate can make your dog extremely ill and in many situations, kill dogs. Chocolate is also one of the most common causes of canine poisoning. It is extremely important to understand that there is no specific treatment for chocolate poisoning. However, if your dog is seen by the veterinarian within 2-4 hours after consuming the chocolate, the veterinarian may be able to give the dog medications to induce vomiting. The vet may also use a stomach tube to help flush the dog’s stomach with fluids in hopes of eliminating the chocolate from his system. Advanced symptoms are typically bad; however, the vet may be able to control the seizures and other advanced symptoms with medications that may help to prevent heart failure.


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