Chocolate is one of the most popular sweets in the world, but did you know that it can be fatal if your dog eats it? Chocolate poisoning is a real thing and can be very dangerous for dogs. The severity of the poisoning will depend on the type of chocolate, the amount eaten, and the size of your dog. So, if your dog ate an entire chocolate bar it could be a disaster.

How Much Chocolate Is Too Much for A Dog?

Depending on the type of chocolate and weight of your dog, even the smallest dose can be fatal. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which are toxic chemicals to dogs. Humans can metabolize both caffeine and theobromine quickly, but dogs do not have that luxury. Since they cannot metabolize it at a fast rate, the chemicals build up in their systems and cause negative reactions. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is because it contains higher contents of theobromine.

What Are the Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning?

The clinical signs of chocolate poisoning are directly related to the type and amount of chocolate consumed. Monitor your dog closely for any symptoms of poisoning. Common symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:

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

If your dog has eaten a chocolate bar, these clinical signs may be severe and come on quickly so contact your vet and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 promptly.

Treatment For Chocolate Poisoning

The good news is that chocolate poisoning can be treatable. If you think your dog ate a chocolate bar, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline®. You may need to bring your dog into the clinic where they may give your pup activated charcoal, which will bind to the theobromine and prevent it from being absorbed into the body. They may also induce vomiting to get rid of as much of the chocolate as possible.

Dogs can experience poisoning in as little as two hours, and it can take up to 3 days for the chocolate to get out of their system. With prompt treatment, most dogs will make a full recovery from chocolate poisoning. However, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so you can act quickly if your dog does eat chocolate.