Chocolate Toxicity In Dogs

Posted on October 05, 2016 by Michael Moll

Chocolate And Dogs

dog eating chocolate

As we move closer to chocolate infested holidays - you know, Halloween and Christmas - it's super crucial to think about hiding places for your chocolatey treats. Most dogs will take any opportunity the eat something sweet if they can access it, so you need to ensure that everyone in the household understands just how bad chocolate is for our furry friends. Chocolate Toxicity is not a myth - it is a certain recipe for severe consequences.

Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine). The level of methylxanthines in chocolate varies based on the type (dark, milk, white chocolate). Theobromine is similar to caffeine as it is medicinally used as a heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and smooth muscle relaxant. Theobromine toxicity can result in very severe clinical signs if it is left untreated. Symptoms include:

Increase in body temperature
Increase in reflex response
Muscle rigidity
Increased heart rate
Decreased blood pressure
Heart Failure

Basically, chocolate is a huge NO for our dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. This makes baking chocolate and high-quality dark chocolate the most dangerous. Toxic doses can be as low as 20 mg of chocolate. If your pet ever ingests chocolate, it is crucial that you contact your veterinarian as well as the Pet Poison Helpline @ 1-800-213-6680 immediately.

Below are some helpful charts from PetMD outlining the different types of chocolate and the amount of theobromine/caffeine per serving.
Common Household Items Serving Theobrominea Caffeinea
Ice Cream Rich Chocolate 1 cup ( 148g) 178mg 5.9mg
Peanut M&M's 1 cup (170g) 184mg 17mg
Ready to Eat Chocolate Pudding 4 oz (108g) 75.6mg 2.2mg
Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar 1.55 oz (43g) 64mg 9mg
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup 2 Tbsp (39g) 64mg 5mg
Hershey's KISSES (Milk Chocolate) 9 pieces (41g) 61mg 9mg
Hershey's Semi-Sweet Baking Bar 1 Tbsp (15g) 55mg 7mg
Cookies, brownies, commercially prepared 1 Square (2 –3/4” sq x 7/8") (56g) 43.7mg 1.1mg
KIT KAT Wafer Bar 1 bar (42g) 48.7mg 5.9mg
REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups (2pk) 2 cups (45g) 32.4mg 3.2mg
Doughnut, cake-type, chocolate, sugared or glazed 1 Doughnut (3' dia) (43g) 12.6mg 0.6mg
Chocolate Chip Cookies , made with margarine 1 Cookie Med (2 1/4" dia) (16g) 20.3mg 2.6mg
Milky Way 1 bar (58g) 37.1 mg 3.5mg
Generic Hot Fudge Sundae Topping 1 Sundae (158g) 77.4mg 1.6mg
REESE'S PIECES Candy 1 package (46g) 0mg 0mg


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


Source: PetMD
Source (Image): Pets4Homes

Posted in Helpful Tips