Humans love chocolate because of its sweet, yummy goodness. Chocolate can boost your mood and be a comforting snack. When your dog is being good you want to reward them with a delicious treat. You should stick to dog treats and steer clear of chocolate for your pup. While the darker the chocolate is and the more helpful it can be for humans, it is even more toxic to dogs.

What Makes Chocolate Toxic?

Theobromine and caffeine are chemicals found in cocoa. Dogs and other animals are poisoned by theobromine and caffeine in high concentrations. Dogs are the most often affected, although cats and other animals may also get poisoned by chocolate. It is vital to keep your pets away from chocolate and ensure they cannot get their paws on it. Chocolate’s theobromine content varies between dark and milk chocolate. The darker the chocolate the more theobromine it contains. Because theobromine toxicity is dose-dependent, the total impact of chocolate consumption on the dog is dependent on their size, the quantity of chocolate consumed, and type.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include:

  • Tremors in the muscles and limbs
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • Increased heart rate

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Chocolate?

Call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 if your dog is experiencing signs of chocolate poisoning to get them the help they need. If treated right away, your dog should survive and be their old self in a couple of days but it depends on the severity of the chocolate poisoning and their past medical history. Treatment may include decontamination such as vomiting, and giving activated charcoal, which can be used to prevent theobromine absorption into the body if treated early. IV fluids may be provided if your dog is dehydrated. Medication may be necessary to treat restlessness and other symptoms.

Chocolate Snacks Alternatives

While humans enjoy chocolate, you may be tempted to share the goodness with your dog. Do not share chocolate with your dog. Instead, provide them with dog-friendly ice cream, peanut butter, or healthy fruit like apples, bananas, blueberries, and mangoes. Like all snacks, these should be given in moderation. Consult your vet before giving your dog any new food. Your vet may also have some creative ideas and recommendations of snacks for your sweet pup to safely enjoy.