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July 3, 2012 at 4:09 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate?

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Before We Begin: If you dog has eaten chocolate, inform your local veterinarian as soon as possible.

When I was 8 years old, I had a traumatic experience. I fed my dog, Lena, chocolate not knowing any better. I had snuck into the basement with a handful of tootsie rolls and fed them one-by-one to Lena. When my mother caught me obviously she told me to stop, that chocolate can kill dogs and being only 8 years old and a girl, I instantly started crying. I felt so bad that I crawled into Lenas crate, and spent the next hour holding her and telling her I was sorry.

It wasn't good for her to be sure, but little did I know, the amount of tootsie rolls I had fed her were not near the amount it would take to harm her.

How Much Chocolate Does It Take To Poison A Dog?

It depends on the type of chocolate and the weight of your dog. The higher the concentration of cacoa, the more toxic the chocolate will be to a dog. (Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk, milk chocolate is more toxic than white) The bigger your dog, the more chocolate they will have to consume to be affected and vice versa.

White Chocolate Toxic Amount:200 ounces per pound of body weight

  • For a 20 lbs dog, 250 pounds of white chocolate is poisonous
  • For a 10 lbs. dog, 125 pounds of white chocolate is lethal.

Milk Chocolate Toxic Amount: 1 ounce per pound of body weight

  • For a 20 lbs dog, one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous
  • For a 10 lbs dog, one-half pound is harmful. (To put it into perspective, your 10 lbs dog would have to eat 2-3 candy bars, to start feeling sick.)

Sweet Cocoa (Not Hot Chocolate)Toxic Amount:0.3 ounces per pound of body weight

  • For a 20 lbs dog, one-third of a pound of sweet cocoa is too much.
  • For a 10 lbs dog, 1/6 of a pound of sweet cocoa is over the edge.

Baking Chocolate Toxic Amount:0.1 ounce per pound body weight

  • For a 20 lbs dog, two one-ounce squares of bakers chocolate is bad.
  • For a 10 lbs dog, one ounce of bakers chocolate, is all it takes.

What makes chocolate harmful to dogs?

A little thing called "theobromine" is to blame. Theobromine, a stimulant found within the coca bean, increases a dogs urination and affects their nervous system and heart. Chocolate in small doses may just act as a harmless stimulant, but, in large doses it can cause harmful affects to their health.

You will need to tell your vet the following things about your dog:

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Weight
  • Medical conditions
  • The approximate time the chocolate was eaten.
  • The approximate amount of chocolate consumed.
  • Any symptoms they are experiencing.

ALSO: Bring the packaging the chocolate was in if you still have it to show your vet!

Depending on the situation your veterinarian may suggest one of the following:

Try and get your dog to vomit. Do not do this until youve spoken to your veterinarian. This may be the technique they tell you to use, but the way you carry it out differs from breed to breed.

Feed your dog their favorite food. Unfortunately, this only works on small dogs, but it works well! Doing this will dilute the chocolate in their system. If you try doing this with large dogs, it may make them hyper and crash.

Remember: do not try any techniques at home without asking a veterinarian their advice first!


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