Chocolate is an exceptionally delicious treat to humans that comes in many types and forms. If you are thinking of sharing some of that sweet delight with your furry pal, you might have to ask yourself first, “can dogs eat chocolate?”. Many pet parents already know that the answer is no, and they are right. But why is chocolate toxic to dogs? What makes it so harmful to them? Find out more about dogs eating chocolate by reading this article.
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?
Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. These two chemicals are usually heart stimulants, blood vessel dilators and smooth muscle relaxants. However, unlike humans, dogs cannot metabolize theobromine and caffeine. For this reason, they are more sensitive to their effects.
Both of the main ingredients in chocolate are toxic to dogs. Therefore, dogs absolutely shouldn’t eat chocolate.
Risks of Dogs Eating Chocolate
Chocolate is toxic for dogs and it can lead to chocolate poisoning. Chocolate poisoning is a significant, potentially fatal condition.
Beware as clinical signs of chocolate poisoning do not show up immediately. They can take hours to develop, and they can last for days.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:
How Much Chocolate Can My Dog Eat?
It is best that your dog doesn’t eat any chocolate at all. Based on the type of chocolate, its toxicity varies. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the higher in theobromine it is, and thus, the more toxic it becomes to your furry pal. Note that apart from theobromine, chocolate also contains fat and sugar which are best to keep away from a canine’s diet.
We have a handy calculator which is intended to give a rough estimate of the toxicity level of accidental chocolate ingestion:
If your dog eats a small bite of chocolate once, it won’t do any harm to them. However, it is best that you seek advice right away. Consult Cooper Pet Care’s pet symptom checker to check for symptoms and talk to a vet. Keep your furry pal safe.
Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?
White chocolate is not as harmful as milk or dark chocolate. It contains less (basically zero) theobromine which is less likely for them to get chocolate poisoning if they eat small amounts. However, this doesn’t mean that dogs can eat white chocolate or that they should. Remember that white chocolate is still rich in fat and sugar. Fat increases the risk for pancreatitis, whereas sugar can lead to health problems such as weight gain, diabetes, urinary tract infections, and more.
Even without the large amounts of theobromine and the little risk for chocolate poisoning, white chocolate is still toxic for dogs for its high concentration in fat and sugar.
In sum, do not give chocolate to your furry pal. It is neither a healthy snack for dogs nor a safe-to-eat treat. It is extremely toxic due to theobromine which can lead to poisoning.
If you are looking for better alternatives to chocolate that make sweet and delicious snacks for your furry baby, check out the top healthy dog treats that you can find in your kitchen!
Still looking for answers? Schedule an instant video consultation with our qualified veterinarians and get tailored advice from the comfort of your home – today.