What Makes Chocolate Toxic to Dogs
Chocolate contains substances known as methylxanthines (specifically caffeine and theobromine), which dogs are far more sensitive to than people. Different types of chocolate contain varying amounts of methylxanthines. In general, though, the darker and more bitter the chocolate the greater the danger.
For instance, 8 ounces (a ½ pound) of milk chocolate may sicken a 50-pound dog, whereas a dog of the same size can be poisoned by as little as 1 ounce of Baker's chocolate!
Why Isn't Chocolate Toxic to Humans?
Humans can break down and excrete methylxanthines such as theobromine much more efficiently than dogs.
What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Chocolate?
If you know your dog has ingested chocolate , or has any of the symptoms1 below, contact the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680 or your veterinarian right away.
Remember, with any poisoning, it’s always cheaper, less invasive, and has a better prognosis/outcome if you treat early. Once your dog has already developed clinical signs and is affected by the poison, it makes for a much more expensive veterinary visit!
COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Ice Cream Rich Chocolate
Serving: 1 cup ( 148g)
KIT KAT Wafer Bar
Serving: 1 bar (42g)
Serving: 1 cup (170g)
REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups (2pk)
Serving: 2 cups (45g)
Ready to Eat Chocolate Pudding
Serving: 4 oz (108g)
Doughnut, cake-type, chocolate, sugared or glazed
Serving: 1 Doughnut (3' dia) (43g)
Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar
Serving: 1.55 oz (43g)
Chocolate Chip Cookies , made with margarine
Serving: 1 Cookie Med (2 1/4" dia) (16g)
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
Serving: 2 Tbsp (39g)
Serving: 1 bar (58g)
Theobromine: 37.1 mg
Hershey's KISSES (Milk Chocolate)
Serving: 9 pieces (41g)
Generic Hot Fudge Sundae Topping
Serving: 1 Sundae (158g)
Hershey's Semi-Sweet Baking Bar
Serving: 1 Tbsp (15g)
REESE'S PIECES Candy
Serving: 1 package (46g)
Cookies, brownies, commercially prepared
Serving: 1 Square (2 –3/4” sq x 7/8") (56g)
aThe amount of caffeine and theobromine will vary naturally due to growing conditions and cocoa bean sources and variety.
Foods Highest in Theobromine
|Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened, processed with alkali [Dutch cocoa]||1 cup (86g)||2266 mg||67.1mg|
|Baking chocolate, unsweetened, squares||1 cup, grated (132g)||1712 mg||106mg|
|Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened||1 cup (86g)||1769 mg||198mg|
|Baking chocolate, unsweetened, liquid||1 oz (28g)||447 mg||13.2mg|
|Puddings, chocolate flavor, low calorie, regular, dry mix||1 Package (40g)||238 mg||7.2mg|
|Desserts, rennin, chocolate, dry mix||1 Package, 2 oz (57g)||242 mg||7.4mg|
|Puddings, chocolate flavor, low calorie, instant, dry mix||1 Package, 1.4oz box (40g)||189 mg||5.6mg|
|Syrups, chocolate, HERSHEY'S Genuine Chocolate Flavored Lite Syrup||2 tbsp (35g)||68.3 mg||2.1mg|
|Cocoa, dry powder, hi-fat or breakfast, processed with alkali||1 oz (28g)||685 mg||20.2mg|
|Candies, chocolate, dark, 70-85% cacao solids||I bar (101g)||810 mg||80.8mg|
|Cocoa, dry powder, hi-fat or breakfast, plain||1 Tbsp (5g)||92.6 mg||10.3mg|
Symptoms of concern include:
- Increased body temperature
- Increased reflex responses
- Muscle rigidity
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma)
"CAFFEINE & THEOBROMINE." The Hershey Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.
"Nutrition Information." Nutrition Facts, Calories in Food, Labels, Nutritional Information and Analysis – NutritionData.com. Condé Nast, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.