It is common knowledge around the dog world that chocolate is a big no-no for them. Dog owners try to prevent their dog from eating chocolate. Do we really know what can happen to them if they do eat chocolate, though? Read more below to learn everything you need to know about dogs and chocolate.

Why Is Chocolate Harmful to Dogs?

Some toxic foods for dogs include onions, garlic, rhubarb, grapes, and chocolate. Many dogs are treated for chocolate poisoning each year. A dog’s environment should not include any type of chocolate. But why is chocolate poisonous to dogs?

As with anything, the chocolate dosage determines the severity of symptoms. But that is not an excuse for dogs to enjoy chocolate every day. Chocolate has a lot of sugar, fat, and theobromine in it that can hurt dogs. Caffeine is another ingredient that can harm dogs. These ingredients are metabolized slowly, so they stay in the body longer. After consumption, caffeine levels peak within 30-60 minutes, however, theobromine levels peak after 6 hours.

 Clinical Signs of Dogs Eating Too Much Chocolate

Theobromine and caffeine are stimulants and can increase heart rate and overwhelm a dog’s nervous system. Constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea are all common side effects when your dog eats even a little amount of chocolate. If enough chocolate is consumed in relation to the size of the dog, the clinical signs may be considerably more severe and even fatal. When dogs ingest large amounts of chocolate, there can be toxic consequences such as:

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

Treatment Plan

If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, do not wait, and call your veterinarian and Pet Poison helpline to get immediate medical attention for your pup. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to examine your dog and determine the extent of the problem. If the veterinarian thinks it is appropriate, they may induce vomiting. A vet may administer IV fluids, anti-diarrhea medications, etc. Call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 if you have any questions or concerns about dogs eating too much chocolate.