While there are many human foods that can be safely fed to our four legged friends in small doses, chocolate unfortunately is not one of them. If your dog has eaten chocolate you are strongly advised to contact your local vet immediately for medical advice.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Chocolate ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhoea or even seizures. In severe cases chocolate toxicity can be fatal.
How much chocolate is toxic for my dog?
The effect of your dog eating chocolate is determined by a few main factors:
- How much your dog weighs
- How much chocolate your dog ate
- What type of chocolate your dog ate (dark, white or milk)
There is a chemical in chocolate called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine, and is highly poisonous to dogs.
Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine, however the general rule is that the more bitter the chocolate, the higher the toxicity to your dog.
As a rough guide:
- White chocolate has the least at around 0.25 mg per 28 grams of chocolate
- Milk chocolate contains 44–58 mg per 28 grams of chocolate
- Dark chocolate contains between 130–450 mg per 28 grams of chocolate
What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning?
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity can take several hours to show, and even longer to disappear. Some signs that your dog may have eaten chocolate are:
- Increased thirst
- Excessive urination
- Faster than normal heartbeat
- Muscle spasms
High doses of chocolate ingested can result in cardiac arrest. The heart fails to pump blood effectively and can lead to sudden death or permanent internal damage if not provided with immediate emergency medical attention.
How is chocolate poisoning treated?
Treatments can vary depending on the amount of chocolate that your dog has eaten however the first step if treated early is to induce vomiting, and try to block absorption of the theobromine before it is absorbed into your dogs body.
Depending on the severity of the poisoning, it may be necessary to administer IV fluids to help flush out your pets system. If your dog has ingested chocolate please contact your nearest Sydney Animal Hospitals on;
Newtown (02) 9519 4111
69-73 Erskineville Road Erskineville Open Monday to Friday 7am-9pm Saturday & Sunday 7am-6pm
Inner West (02) 9516 1466
1A Northumberland Ave Stanmore Open Monday to Friday 7am-8pm Saturday & Sunday 8am-6pm
Norwest (02) 8883 0411
Unit 8, 1-3 Celebration Dr Bella Vista Open Monday to Friday 7am-9pm Saturday & Sunday 7am-6pm
Kellyville (02) 8883 0533
106 Windsor Rd Kellyville Open Monday to Friday 7.30am-7.30pm Saturday & Sunday 9am-6pm
Newport (02) 9997 4609
1 Palm Rd Newport Open Monday to Friday 8am-7pm Saturday & Sunday 8am-1pm
Avalon (02) 9918 0833
710 Barrenjoey Rd Avalon Beach Open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm Saturday 9am-1pm closed Sundays