Chocolate contains substances known as methylxanthines (specifically caffeine and theobromine), which dogs are far more sensitive to than people. Different types of chocolate contain varying amounts of methylxanthines. In general, though, the darker and more bitter the chocolate the greater the danger.
For instance, 8 ounces (a ½ pound) of milk chocolate may sicken a 50-pound dog, whereas a dog of the same size can be poisoned by as little as 1 ounce of Baker's chocolate!
Why Isn't Chocolate Toxic to Humans?
Humans can break down and excrete methylxanthines such as theobromine much more efficiently than dogs.
What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Chocolate?
If you know your dog has ingested chocolate , or has any of the symptoms below, contact the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680 or your veterinarian right away.
Remember, with any poisoning, it’s always cheaper, less invasive, and has a better prognosis/outcome if you treat early. Once your dog has already developed clinical signs and is affected by the poison, it makes for a much more expensive veterinary visit!
- Increased body temperature
- Increased reflex responses
- Muscle rigidity
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma)