Many of us have heard that chocolate is a no-no for our dogs and can be toxic. If you’re wondering what that means for our furry friends when they indulge while we’re not watching and when to be alarmed, then here’s the scoop…

What makes chocolate toxic to dogs?
While fat and sugar in chocolate can cause upset stomach, it is the compound Theobromine which can cause more serious and even life threatening side effects. Theobromine is most concentrated in baking chocolate, making this type of chocolate the worst for pets, followed by semisweet and dark chocolate. Milk chocolate has a lower concentration of Theobromine, followed by chocolate flavored treats being the least likely to cause chocolate toxicity.

Clinical signs of Chocolate Toxicity include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Racing heart rhythm progressing to abnormal rhythms
  • Death in severe cases
  • Treatment

There is no specific antidote for Theobromine. If chocolate toxicity is suspected, call your veterinarian immediately for treatment recommendations. If the chocolate was just eaten within 2 hours, your veterinarian may suggest inducing vomiting. If more time has passed, hospitalization and supportive treatment is likely needed until the chocolate has worked its way out of the system, which can take several days.

(From Here is a helpful chart to guide you

Number of OUNCES of CHOCOLATE a Pet Would Need to Ingest for TOXICITY
Weight of Pet
in Pounds
5 10 15 20 25 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Milk Chocolate
2 4 6 8.2 10.2 12.3 16.4 20.5 24.5 28.6 32.7 36.8 41
Dark Chocolate
0.7 1.4 2.1 2.8 3.5 4.2 5.5 6.9 8.3 9.7 11 12.5 13.8
Baking Chocolate
0.23 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.2 1.4 1.9 2.3 2.8 3.2 3.7 4.1 4.6

A safe and happy holiday season from All Creatures Veterinary Care Center!