Should I Call The Vet If My Dog Ate Chocolate?

By Kim •  Updated: 07/06/22 •  3 min read
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Should I Call The Vet If My Dog Ate Chocolate?

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Dogs and chocolate don’t mix, even though your dog would like to persuade you he can safely eat chocolate! Chocolate is toxic to dogs. So, what should you do? Is it time to call the vet if your dog has eaten chocolate?

Why is Chocolate Toxic to Dogs?

Chocolate tastes so good that it’s hard to imagine that it contains anything that could harm your dog. However, chocolate contains some substances that are toxic to dogs. These include theobromine and caffeine.

The problem with theobromine and caffeine is that dogs are not able to metabolize these substances. We can handle these substances, but not dogs. In a dog, theobromine and caffeine hang around in the system for a lot longer than it does in humans. These substances can cause a racing heart and stimulate the dog’s nervous system.

What’s more, the type and amount of chocolate also determine how toxic this sweet stuff is for dogs. That’s because there are different levels of theobromine and caffeine found in the different types of chocolate. Here’s a list of chocolate types from most to least toxic for dogs :

The level of toxicity is also determined by how much chocolate your dog has eaten and how much your dog weighs, and his size (if he’s a small, medium, or large dog). That’s pretty complicated; however, you can generally say that 20 mg of per kilo of body weight is mildly toxic. Heart problems may occur if a dog eats 40 to 50 mg/kilo of body weight, and seizures may occur at larger amounts.

Symptoms of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten chocolate:

If you notice these symptoms in your dog and know or suspect he’s eaten chocolate, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency. Don’t wait to see if your dog’s symptoms worsen or improve. He needs to see the vet immediately.

There are treatments the vet can give your dog. For instance, the vet may induce vomiting or use activated charcoal to help the dog to get rid of the chocolate. In some cases, the vet may need to provide additional treatments such as an IV for medications and fluids and more.

The good news is that dogs who receive prompt treatment have the best chance of making a full recovery! So, be sure to get your fur baby to the vet as soon as possible if your dog has eaten chocolate.

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Kim

Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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