My Dog Ate Hershey Kisses Will He Get Sick? (Reviewed by Vet)

Reviewed By Emma Chandley, BVetMed MRCVS PGCertSAS •  Updated: 12/15/23 •  4 min read
Dog Severe Toxicity Level
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Dog Ate Hershey Kisses

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Are you a chocoholic? It’s OK to admit it! Who doesn’t just love the taste of chocolate? Chocolate is one of those perfect treats. Unfortunately, dogs also love this wonderful treat. It’s not unfortunate because you have to share it with them. It’s because chocolate is toxic to dogs. Too much of this yummy stuff can make them very sick.

Chocolate is Toxic to Dogs

Even something as small as a Hershey’s Kiss is enough to make a dog sick. Well, one Kiss may not make a dog sick (depending on the size of the dog). But if your fur baby has eaten several of these sweet treats, he could become very sick.

Chocolate is obtained from the ground and roasted seeds of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao). And it contains a group of substances called methylxanthines. Methylxanthines include theobromine, and also caffeine, which is what makes dogs sick. Both substances act as a diuretic, heart stimulant, and even work to dilate blood vessels, as well as relax smooth muscles. These substances have the same effect on both dogs and humans. Of these two substances, chocolate contains more theobromine than caffeine.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

However, while humans can break down theobromine quickly, dogs break down the substance much slower. In fact, it can take up to 18 hours for a dog to process theobromine. Dogs metabolize theobromine more slowly than humans, which increases the chances of the substance causing toxicity. In dogs, theobromine can cause heart problems, respiratory failure, and more.

Different Types of Chocolate are More Toxic

To make matters confusing when it comes to toxicity, some types of chocolate are more toxic to dogs than others. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is for our canine companions. Milk chocolate is the least toxic.

Here are some figures to give you an idea:

When it comes to Hershey’s Kisses (the Milk Chocolate type):

So, if your fur baby has eaten several Hershey’s Kisses, you’ll need to call the vet right away. Be sure to note the type of chocolate in the Kisses, as well as about how many your dog’s eaten. This information will help the vet.

What to Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Hershey Kisses?

After eating Hershey’s Kisses, your dog may seem to be acting pretty normal; however, it can take up to 12 hours before your fur baby starts showing symptoms.

The first thing you need to do is stay calm. Remember, your dog entirely depends on you for his care, even when he’s eaten Hershey’s Kisses. He needs you to remain calm and do what’s necessary to help him right now. So, take a breath and read on.

Next, the vet will need to know your dog’s weight, the amount and kind of chocolate he’s eaten, how many kisses your fur baby’s eaten, and whether your dog has other conditions or if he takes medications. All of this information is pertinent to the vet.

Now you’re ready to call the vet. Be sure to follow their recommendations exactly. In most cases, the vet will ask you to bring your dog to the clinic to be checked.

But what if your normal vet isn’t available? It’s a good idea to call the Pet Poison Helpline or head to the nearest emergency vet’s office. This is the best way to get your dog the help he needs now.

Treatment of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

The vet will run some blood tests and urinalysis and may even perform an EKG to monitor your dog’s heart function. After this, the vet may induce vomiting, use activated charcoal and other therapies that help your dog’s body to get rid of the toxin. Your fur baby may also need to be treated for heart issues and other symptoms such as tremors if these are present. He may also need to stay in the hospital for a few days to make sure he’s OK.

The prognosis is pretty good if a dog receives fast medical treatment for chocolate toxicity. And if your dog has a penchant for chocolate, be sure to keep it out of his reach in the future.

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Emma Chandley, BVetMed MRCVS PGCertSAS

This article has been reviewed and approved by an independent Veterinarian: Emma graduated from the Royal Vet College in London in 2011. She has a keen interest in surgery and went on to do a post graduate certificate in small animal surgery and was then awarded advanced practitioner status in the same discipline.

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