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Dogs, like most humans, love the smell of chocolate. You may think that you are giving your dog a treat by occasionally offering it a small piece of chocolate. In fact, chocolate is toxic to Dogs and should not be given to them at all.


Even small amounts of theobromine, an ingredient in chocolate, can cause vomiting and restlessness in pets. Larger doses can be fatal. While most pet owners expect a dog to develop an upset stomach after eating a large amount of chocolate, few realize its toxic potential.

The lethal dose of theobromine depends on the size of the dog and the type of chocolate. Ounce for ounce, baking chocolate has six to nine times as much of the substance as milk chocolate does.

Estimates of the smallest amounts that can be fatal are:

  • 4 to 10 ounces of milk chocolate or 1/2 to 1 ounce of baking chocolate for small Dogs, such as Chihuahuas and toy poodles.
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of milk chocolate or 2 to 3 ounces of baking chocolate for medium-sized Dogs, like cocker spaniels and dachshunds.
  • 2 to 4 1/2 pounds of milk chocolate or 4 to 8 ounces of baking chocolate for large Dogs, including collies and Labrador retrievers.
Cats have much different eating habits and seldom are poisoned by chocolate.

While a very small amount of chocolate may not harm some Dogs, it's safest to avoid giving it to them at all. If an accident occurs, a veterinarian should be consulted. Treatment may require inducing vomiting, stabilizing the animal's heartbeat and respiration, controlling seizures and slowing the absorption of theobromine. If the animal already is comatose, its stomach may need to be pumped. 

The toxicity in chocolate affects the heart and the ner

vous system of your dog. The two main elements that cause this toxicity in Dogs are caffeine and theobromine.

The telltale signs of toxic poisoning in your pet are as follows:

  • rapid breathing
  • restlessness
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • excessive need to drink
  • loose stools
  • excessive excitability
  • seizure
    If you suspect your pet is suffering from toxic poisoning take it to your local vet immediately.

    Make sure that chocolate, of any kind, is always kept well out of reach of your dog, this includes white chocolate.

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