All dog owners want to give their pet a treat once in a while. However, chocolate is bad for dogs and can do them serious harm. Chocolate contains compounds that are toxic to dogs and can result in serious health problems.

So, what are the reasons why chocolate is bad for your pet pooch? Here are essential facts on the toxicity of chocolate for dogs.

Chocolate is Poisonous to Dogs

The reason that chocolate poisonous to dogs is due to a component called theobromine. Theobromine is an alkaloid which is perfectly harmless to humans. In fact, some studies into theobromine have shown that it has many health benefits to humans.[1] However, dogs can’t metabolize theobromine and toxic levels build up in their system.

Effects of Giving Dogs Chocolate

Some of the side effects of a buildup of theobromine in dogs can cause muscle seizures, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and even a heart attack. Usually, if a dog has consumed too much chocolate, they will become overly active.

Different Types of Chocolate Affects Some Dogs Differently

If a large dog consumes a little amount of chocolate you probably won’t notice any side effects. However, if a small dog eats a box of chocolates, you should call your vet immediately.

Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains the highest amount of theobromine and should never be given to a dog in any amount. Even just a small amount of dark chocolate can be toxic enough to poison a dog.

Milk chocolate contains doesn’t contain as much theobromine as dark chocolate and white chocolate has the lowest theobromine levels. However, there is no need to feed to your dog chocolate as there are plenty of healthy treats that dogs love and enjoy.

Article sources:

  1. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption by Frontiers in Pharmacology.