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Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

Ok – there might be a few of us who for some odd reason don’t like the taste, but a majority of us love chocolate in all forms! Whether it’s a chocolate candy bar, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, cocoa powder, most of us have at least some form of chocolate at home.

New research suggests that dark chocolate in its pure form not only tastes great, but has some extra health benefits. Dark chocolate is supposed to help with cholesterol, has natural antioxidant properties and can potentially reduce heart disease.

So, when you are eating a piece of that yummy chocolate or even throwing some chocolate chips into your brownies or cookie dough, can you share some with your dog?

The answer is NO!

While a morsel of chocolate probably won’t have any effect on your dog, the best thing you can do is keep your dog away from chocolate.  At all times!

Chocolate is Not Safe For Dogs

pug holding chocolate bar can dogs eat chocolateMost dog owners know that chocolate is not safe for dogs and can actually be quite toxic.

While eating a little chocolate won’t hurt your dog, it’s hard for our dogs to eat a little of anything.

Your dog can become very ill if he eats too much chocolate which is why it’s best to not only avoid sharing it but keep it locked up and away from your dog’s reach.

Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains a chemical called theobromine. The theobromine in chocolate is like caffeine which is really hard for dogs to digest and metabolize. Humans can digest theobromine quickly and efficiently but dogs and other animals metabolize chocolate really slowly making it more dangerous.

Of course, most dogs are much smaller than we are and if they consume a lot of chocolate, you can see how the effect is much more profound.  In the worst way.

In fact, a dog that eats a large amount of chocolate can become very sick and sometimes chocolate toxicity is fatal.

If your dog needs veterinary care, pet insurance will help pay for all the treatment your dog needs for eating chocolate!

We recommend Healthy Paws as the #1 pet health insurance provider!

Symptoms of Chocolate Toxicity

If you know or suspect your dog has eaten any chocolate, watch for these symptoms if any appear, go to your vet immediately:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased urination

There are even more severe symptoms that can occur if your dog has theobromine poisoning:

  • Seizures
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Heart attack

The Most Toxic Forms of Chocolate For Dogs:

  • Dry Cocoa powder
  • Unsweetened baker’s chocolate
  • Semi-sweet chocolate
  • Milk chocolate
  • White chocolate only has a minor amount of theobromine and isn’t considered toxic.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate

If you think your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately.

If your dog ate a large amount of chocolate within the last couple hours, your veterinarian will try to induce vomiting and give your pup a few doses of charcoal which helps to get the toxins out.

In more severe cases, you bet will usually give your dog medication or even IV fluids and will need to monitor your dog overnight.

How to Keep Dogs Away From Chocolate

If you have chocolate or cocoa powder at home, make sure to watch your dog when you are either cooking or merely eating it.

If you just made brownies, leave them somewhere out of your dog’s reach.  Or any chocolate.

Put any leftover chocolate in the trash can and make sure your dog can’t get anywhere near it.

Other Foods That Are Unsafe For Dogs

Some other food items that are best to keep away from your dogs are:

Safe Human Food Choices For Dogs

Some safe food choices that you can share with your pup:

Pet Insurance Helps With Chocolate Toxicity

If your dog does eat chocolate, particularly, a lot of it you will need to see your vet immediately.

Or you might even have to go to the emergency room if your dog consumes a lot of chocolate.

Pet insurance will pay for the chocolate incident vet bill as well as any medication your dog might need.

The top insurance providers such as Healthy Paws, Figo and Embrace will pay your bill and up to 90% (depending on the plan you choose).

If your dog needs continued treatment or an overnight hospital visit (hopefully not) then your pet insurance will pay that too.  And that bill is going to be a big one.

Of course, pet insurance pays for any other medical condition too that might occur with your pup.

Dogs Should Never Eat Chocolate

We all have chocolate at home so just be very careful when you are eating it or cooking with it.  Particularly cocoa powder.

If you have a big dog and he grabs a couple semi-sweet chocolate morsels, your dog should be OK but it’s always best to keep an eye on your pup.

Awareness is always the best knowledge to keep your dog safe and healthy.

If you want to know more about the food that is safe and not so safe for your pup, our ultimate safe good guide will give you some pointers.

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