Why is Chocolate Poisonous to Dogs and How Toxic is Dark Chocolate Compared to Milk Chocolate?

It’s true that chocolate is toxic or poisonous to dogs.

chocolate is toxic to dogs

However, how bad depends on the quality and quantity of the chocolate, and the size of your dog.

First, some chocolate basics.

The active ingredient in chocolate is a caffeine-related chemical called theobromine.

The darker the chocolate, or the higher the quality, the more theobromine you’ll find there.

For instance, a Kit Kat bar, a wafer cookie lightly coated in low-octane milk chocolate, doesn’t have as much theobromine as a square of unsweetened baker’s chocolate or a dark chocolate Godiva truffle.

Because dogs, and other animals as well, metabolize theobromine more slowly than humans, this chemical can be highly toxic to them.

The small milk chocolate Easter egg you have in your basket might not have enough theobromine to kill Fido, although the amount of chocolate a dog can consume without ill effects depends on its weight.

If Fido weighs 110 pounds and eats a pound of M&Ms, he’ll probably live, probably.

However, if Fido’s only 60 pounds, and he gets into the bag, watch out. In either case, get your dog medical attention immediately.

It’s best, in the long run, to leave the chocolate to the humans in your household, and not even give your pup a taste for it in the first place.

If your dog finds your hidden stash, however, here are the early warning signs that your dog has theobromine poisoning: vomiting, incontinence or frequent urination, diarrhea, and muscle spasms.

Induce further vomiting if you can and immediately call your vet.

For dogs, chocolate is to die for.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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