Dogs love just about everything that we love to eat. When you’re eating something like dark chocolate, your fur baby may saunter up with eyes just begging for a bite! But is dark chocolate safe for dogs?
Has your dog eaten dark chocolate? Are you worried the dark chocolate will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve put together some information about dark chocolate and whether it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What is Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that contains no milk solids. It includes cacao beans, sugar, and an emulsifier (such as soy lecithin) to improve its texture and flavorings, such as vanilla. The more cocoa and less sugar dark chocolate contains, the more bitter it tastes.
Dark chocolate is usually the preferred type of chocolate to make desserts and for baking. It usually contains over 70% cocoa and comes in different varieties, including bittersweet, semi-sweet, and sweet.
While humans can safely enjoy dark chocolate in moderation, what about dogs? Can dark chocolate make a dog sick?
Dark Chocolate & Dogs
Dogs love dark chocolate; however, it can make a dog very sick. That’s because dark chocolate contains the highest amounts of theobromine and caffeine compared to other types of chocolate.
Dogs are not able to metabolize theobromine or caffeine. That means these substances remain in the dog’s system longer. What’s more, these substances can cause problems with the dog’s digestive tract, heart, central nervous system, and kidneys.
When dogs eat 3 oz of dark chocolate per pound of body weight or more, they can become very sick.
Symptoms of Dark Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten dark chocolate:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Higher blood pressure
- Low blood pressure
- Racing heart
- Muscle tremors
- Heart failure
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency. Don’t wait to see if your dog’s symptoms improve or worsen. He needs to see the vet now.
Treatment of Dark Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
Treatment depends on the amount of dark chocolate your dog has eaten, his weight, and the severity of his symptoms. If your dog has recently eaten dark chocolate, the vet may try to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal. These treatments help rid the dog’s body of toxins.
Your dog may also require an IV for fluids and administering additional medications. The vet will treat any other symptoms that may arise.
In some cases, your fur baby may need to be hospitalized for a couple of days until he’s stable.
The good news is that most dogs will make a full recovery if they receive prompt treatment. In the future, be sure that all chocolate is kept out of your dog’s reach. Prevention is always the best medicine!