Why is chocolate bad for dogs? Breaking down the facts

A delicious treat for humans, so why is chocolate bad for dogs. Here’s everything you need to know about chocolate and your dog.

So many of us enjoy the sweet (or bitter, if dark chocolate is your thing) gooey, crunchy, rich, velvet smooth taste of our favourite bar of chocolate. And because we love to sometimes share some yummy treats with our favourite furry members of the family, it seems only natural that we want our dogs to get in on the goodness.

But the thing is, chocolate is actually really bad for your dog, and here’s why…

Why is chocolate bad for dogs?

There is a toxic ingredient naturally found in cacao beans used to make chocolate known as theobromine, which is kind of like caffeine, and it is poisonous to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Humans can easily digest theobromine, but dogs process it at a much slower rate – which allows it to build up to toxic levels in your dog’s system.

Related: 9 healthy human foods for dogs

What happens if a dog eats chocolate?

If your dog manages to get their paws on chocolate, then they may show some of the following signs of food poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Seem restless and hyperactive
  • Rapid breathing
  • Seem uncoordinated or suffer from muscle tension
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Suffer from seizures

Chocolate poisoning affects your dog’s heart, their central nervous system, and their kidneys. If your dog has eaten chocolate, then symptoms will typically appear between 4 and 24 hours after your dog has eaten it.

The signs and effect of chocolate poisoning in dogs will depend on the amount eaten and the size of your dog. For example, a Labrador who has eaten 200g of milk chocolate will have an upset stomach with vomiting and diarrhoea. 500g of chocolate will cause heart problems, and anything more than this can cause a seizure.

It is sometimes hard to tell how much chocolate your dog has eaten, but it is always best to take your precious pooch to the vet when you think they are sick.

What should I do if my dog eats chocolate?

If your dog has eaten too much chocolate and is showing some of the signs and symptoms we mentioned above, then you need to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

If you are insured with our pawesome partner, Oneplan Pet Insurance, then they will help cover the costs of emergency AND routine care and also let you go to any vet of your choice. It’s what makes their cover so cuddle-worthy.

The other great thing about Oneplan is that they cover pet hospital pre-authorisation deposits of up to R5000 – which is great for when your beloved fur baby needs any kind of emergency in-hospital treatment as a result of eating something they shouldn’t have. You can read more about Oneplan’s furnominal pet insurance here, or click here to get a hassle-free quote.

It will help if you can tell your vet how much chocolate your dog ate and when they ate it. This helps in determining the amount of treatment needed.

But surely, I can just give my dog one piece?

Even a small amount of chocolate can give your dog an upset tummy. And a few candy bars can poison your dog. Regardless the kind of chocolate or how much you want to share with your dog, they are all bad for your precious pooch.

So, next time you are tempted to give your little Bruno just one piece of your favourite chocolate treat, think again and don’t. It’s that simple.

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.