Is Chocolate Safe for Dogs?

Is Chocolate Safe for Dogs?

It's no secret that chocolate is a delicious treat for people, but what about dogs? Can they eat chocolate too, or is it dangerous for them? And while we have heard for years that chocolate is killing dogs, there might be more to it that will surprise you.

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A chocolate lab laying on a bed.

Alt-Text: A chocolate lab laying on a bed.

Why is Chocolate Toxic to Dogs?

Dogs are not able to digest some chemical compounds found in cocoa, which can be fatal. While humans can easily digest these delicious compounds, they can make your pup sick.

When dogs eat chocolate, their body tries to break down the theobromine. Because they can't process it very well, it can cause serious health problems, including complications with the heart, central nervous system, and kidneys. Furthermore, in large amounts, it can even lead to death.

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How Toxic is Chocolate for Dogs?

Many factors go into deciding how toxic chocolate can be for your dog. The size of the dog, the type of chocolate, and how much chocolate a dog eats are all things that need to be considered.

The more intense the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your dog. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa toxins, which makes it dangerous. There have been reported cases of dogs getting very sick from eating as little as one ounce of dark chocolate.

White chocolate has a high milk content and is not toxic to dogs. Milk chocolate is less harmful than dark or semi-sweet, but it can still cause problems if your dog eats too much of it.

Chocolate bits

Alt-Text: Chocolate bits.

My Dog Ate Chocolate, What to Do

While death is a possibility, it's a rare occurrence. First, you'll need to figure out how much chocolate they ate.

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For example, a large dog may eat a chocolate chip cookie and be just fine. Whereas if a small dog eats a bar of dark baking chocolate, you would need to go to the vet.

If you think your dog has gotten into your chocolate, look out for the following symptoms:

  •  Vomiting
  •  Diarrhea
  •  Increased thirst
  •  Increased urination
  •  Lethargy
  •  Seizures

Contact your vet if you notice any of these signals in your dog.

Safe Chocolate Alternatives for Dogs

Many dog owners are looking for a safe alternative to chocolate for their pets, and carob is a great option. Carob is a sweet, chocolate-like powder that comes from the carob tree. It is non-toxic to dogs and is a good source of protein, calcium, and other minerals.

Carob is often used as a pet-safe substitute for chocolate in many recipes. You can also give your dog carob chips or carob bars as a treat. Carob is not as sweet as chocolate, so you may need to adjust the amount you give your dog depending on their taste preference.

Cacao pods before they are turned into chocolate.

Alt-Text: Cacao pods before they are turned into chocolate.

Overall, carob is a safe and healthy alternative to chocolate for dogs. Furthermore, it's also a great addition to your own treats—that way, you and your pup can share.

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Dogs should never have chocolate because it is dangerous and toxic to them. Dark chocolate is the most dangerous type of chocolate to dogs. Overall chocolate contains compounds that dogs cannot digest, leading to health problems, including death. While there are alternatives to chocolate for dogs, carob is a safe choice.

However, if your dog does eat a little bit, don't worry quite yet. Watch for signs of them being sick, and call your vet if you have any concerns.

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