My Dog Ate Chocolate!

My Dog ate chocolate and lived. Here is what to expect, what you can do and when to rush to the vet.

An old snapshot one of the kids took of me with my Lily when she was a pup

I've always heard chocolate was poisonous for dogs so I was very careful to keep it away from them.

Then one my dog Lily found my chocolate stash. She actually opened the drawer herself and chowed down.

(That's my little cutie pie in the picture with me.)

She ate 2 or 3 candy bars and nothing happened at all.

In the meantime my sister gave her Sheltie dog an Oreo chocolate cookie every day for the 15 years her dog lived, so go figure.

Of course you should watch what your dog eats and certainly any type of chocolate or sugary candy treat is still a no-no. But dogs do get into things occasionally so the point is to know how much is too much and avoid pointless panic. Here we go.


How Much Chocolate for Dogs
is Too Much?

After brushing up on the subject of chocolate for dogs, I've broken it down to three categories with the approximate dosage you may worry about. Of course your dog is an individual so after the dosages, I have signs and symptoms of chocolate overdose.

Keep in mind, the more you worry, the more your dog will act odd. After all, he's attuned to your feelings.

Okay first we have:


Milk Chocolate

  • 0.7 ounce per pound of dog body weight = mild toxicity

Example: 7 ounces for a 10 pound dog - that's almost a 1/2 pound!


  • 2 ounces per pound of body weight = severe toxicity

Example: 20 ounces for a 10 pound dog - that's 1 1/4 pounds!


Now I did read from one veterinarian that as little as 1 pound could cause severe toxicity for a 20 pound dog.

I just have to comment here. If I ate a pound of chocolate at one time, I'd be sicker than a dog! (Sorry, I just had to use that phrase.)


Semi-Sweet Chocolate

This is usually the chocolate chips for baking.

  • 0.3 ounce per pound of dog body weight = mild toxicity(Example: 3 ounces for a 10 pound dog)That's less than 1/4 pound because this form of chocolate is stronger.

  • 1 ounce per pound of dog body weight = severe toxicityExample: 13 ounces for a 10 pound dog, although six ounces could pose a problem.


The My Dog Ate Chocolate Scary One: Baking Chocolate

Now we have a concern. This type of chocolate has the highest concentration of caffeine and theobromine. Therefore, as little as two small one-ounce squares of baking chocolate can be toxic to a 20-pound dog.

If you don't bake your own home made confections, you won't have this around the house anyway.


Signs and Symptoms of
Canine Chocolate Overdose

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased reflex responses
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures

After nearly 30 years of concern and actively remembering to keep chocolate off coffee tables, end tables and the kitchen table (I've always had big or huge dogs) while raising three kids and half the neighborhood; I was wasting my time!

I worried myself silly for nothing. When my dog ate chocolate she weighed 70 pounds and the candy bars were under 3 ounces each of milk chocolate. Those 8 or 9 oz. didn't even cause loose stools.

I guess what it all comes down to is believing what you hear without checking the facts... it's kind of like gossip.

* * *

If you would like to be prepared for emergencies like poisoning and many other dog health problems, you can see what I keep on hand all the time at Home Remedies for Dogs.

If you are in my NSP family, the next time you order consider getting activated charcoal in case of an emergency from any kind of poisoning.


My Dog Ate Chocolate to Common Health Problems

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