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Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Publish Date: April 8th, 2021; Author: Darren M. Jorgenson.

Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs

Many of us say chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but have you ever wondered why?

You might be too caring for your pet and likes to share everything with him like chocolates, ice creams, cookies, and more, but have you think once that chocolate makes your dog’s health severe.

Well, the type of hazard that chocolate may cause to your dog depends on the type of chocolate, the amount consumed, and your dog’s size. Chocolate and cocoa items, in large enough quantities, can destroy your dog.

In this article, we will tell you why it is recommended dogs not eat chocolates.

Chocolate poisoning

Chocolate poisoning or toxicity is a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia and CNS failure. Most commonly, Chocolate poisoning occurs in dogs, although many species are sensitive. It happens due to the consumption of chocolates that results in death.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning or toxicity

Well, the minor symptoms start occurring in your dog after 6-8 hours of eating chocolates and can last up to 72 hours, that include the following:

  • Diarrhea & vomiting
  • Agitation or hyperactivity
  • Drooling
  • Increase in thirst

Significant symptoms may include:

  • Racing heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart arrhythmias

Worst symptoms due to high dosage include:

  • Seizures
  • Tremors or twitching
  • Cardiac failure
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Collapse
  • Death

Aged dogs and dogs with heart conditions are more at risk of sudden death from chocolate poisoning. 

Can Chocolates kill a dog?

Well, the answer to this question is yes! Chocolates can kill your dog for sure. Several ingredients are used to make chocolates, and some of them can be dangerous for your dog. Elements like theobromine are the most dangerous compound in chocolate for your dog. Not only that, but caffeine is a second deadly drug compound for dogs. Also, sugar can cause a risk for liver and kidney disease.

Types of Chocolates dangerous to dogs

  • Cocoa,
  • Cooking chocolate,
  • Dark chocolate,
  • Milk chocolate and,
  • White chocolate

Some chocolates with a high concentration of theobromine, caffeine, or sugar are cocoa, cooking chocolate, and dark chocolate. At the same time, milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest quantity. Since dark chocolate contains a large amount of theobromine, it only takes a small amount to kill a dog. A 44-pound dog may be poisoned by less than an ounce of dark chocolate.

Well, the quantity of theobromine is minimal in white chocolates or milk chocolate, but still, the amount of sugar and fat it contains is more dangerous for your dog.

A high-fat and sugar diet can put our dogs at risk for conditions like pancreatitis, which is excruciatingly painful for both dogs and owners.

Why not chocolates?

  1. Chocolate has toxic components that are theobromine. Humans can efficiently metabolize theobromine, but dogs cannot process it instantly, which allows it to build up to toxic levels in their system.
  2. By consuming chocolates, a large dog suffers from fewer ill effects rather than a small dog.
  3. A small quantity of chocolate can give your Fido an upset stomach with vomiting or diarrhea.
  4. A large quantity can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding, or a heart attack.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Chocolate?

Even though small quantities of milk chocolate may not be harmful to larger dogs, it is still not a good idea to give your dog chocolate as a treat. To devoid this situation, you can only take some of the steps like preventing your dog from feeding chocolates. Some of them are as:

Put it away:

Make sure to remove all the chocolate items like cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix away from your dog. Please keep them in safe places like they cannot reach them anyhow, such as on a high shelf in a closed-door pantry. Tell your family members, especially children’s to keep the chocolate stuff out of the dog’s reach. Do not put chocolates on countertops and tables. During any special occasions, keep this thing in mind to keep the chocos away from them.

Teach ‘leave it’ command:

Teach your dog a command called to leave it as it could be very beneficial for your pet to avoid dangerous things. It is found out to be very effective in preventing dogs from eating something that falls onto the ground or left within reach during a walk.

Crate train your dog:

The best way to ensure your dog doesn’t eat anything harmful while you’re not supervising him is to crate train or box train him. Make a comfortable, quiet spot for your dog to retreat to when he needs to be alone or when you can’t watch him in a sturdy crate big enough for him to stand up and turn around. Offer some toys and treats to help him feel like the crate is his den.  


No pet lover can even dream about perceiving their pet dying in front of their eyes. To avoid such situations, you need to make some decisions first. If your dog eats up chocolate, do not get panic at that moment as your dog can sense it and get frightened at the same time. In case you notice some symptoms in your dog, then you must call a veteran.

About Post Author

Darren M. Jorgensen has a fondness for all animals, though dogs especially, have a huge home in his heart. He enjoys quilting, making handcrafted soap and bodyworks and anything that produces practical products. Jorgensen lives with his own service dog who doubles as an Emotional Support Animal. He gets it.


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