Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

As you may know, dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate. Yes, it’s very tasty and I can say it’s one of the most loved sweet snacks for humans but the situation is different for dogs.

Chocolate poisoning in dogs can lead to very serious health issues and even death.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

Dogs SHOULDN’T eat chocolate!!!


Dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate because it contains two very toxic ingredients for our pets. The first ingredient is theobromine. And the second is caffeine.

Consuming chocolate can lead to poisoning which can result in severe diseases. Be sure that chocolate stays away from dogs.

Many types of chocolate - chocolate bars (dark, milk, and with nuts), different types of chocolate candies, and 3 chocolate cones. There are also 2 kinds of chocolate chips and some nuts.

Dark chocolate is very toxic to dogs as it contains around 130-450 mg of theobromine per ounce. Milk chocolate is a bit better but still, the theobromine level is high – around 44-58 mg per ounce. The best option of chocolate that contains the least theobromine is white chocolate, my favorite – but only for me. In the white one, the contained toxin is around 0.25 mg per ounce. But this doesn’t make white chocolate safe because there are other things that make it a bad option like fats and sugar.

If you want to read more about white chocolate and dogs you can check our article.

What is Theobromine?

Theobromine is a bitter-tasting alkaloid that is found in cocoa and chocolate. It’s completely safe for us, humans, but the situation with dogs is a bit different. Dogs can’t metabolize it as fast as us and that’s the reason why even small amounts are very dangerous to our furry friends.

Theobromine can be found also in the leaves of the tea plant and the kola nut.

How Much Chocolate is Toxic to Dogs?

Dogs shouldn’t eat any type of chocolate but dark chocolate, baking chocolate, and cocoa contain theobromine at the highest levels. Even a small amount of these types of chocolate can lead to severe chocolate poisoning in your dog. That is because dogs metabolize them as we humans can.

A table comparing the levels of theobromine in dark, milk, and white chocolate
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As we want to be more relevant and share more dog parents’ viewpoints, today we will include a Reddit post where was a discussion about why chocolate is bad for dogs.

But there are other more things that make chocolate dangerous. The levels of fats and sugar can lead to pancreatitis or gastrointestinal issues for dogs.

Signs of Chocolate Poisoning

The first signs of chocolate poisoning caused by theobromine usually take up to 6 to 12 hours. But the caffeine is more fastly metabolized and the first symptoms can show 60 minutes after consuming chocolate. The following signs were noticed in some of the dogs that were hospitalized after chocolate poisoning.

“In dogs with potential chocolate intoxication, the type and amount of chocolate and the time of ingestion are important factors. Cardiovascular, neurological and gastrointestinal signs are the most common clinical signs. In this case series, the prognosis after decontamination and symptomatic therapy was good, with a mortality rate of less than 3%.”

C. Weingart, A. Hartmann and B. Kohn
Clinic for Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Mild signs

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Racing heart rate
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive thirst

Severe symptoms

  • Heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors

If you notice any of these signs, you should immediately bring your dog to the nearest vet clinic. These signs can take hours to show up but last for days that’s why it’s more important for you to react as soon as possible after you get to know about chocolate consumption.

Theobromine & Pregnant Dogs

Theobromine is very risky for pregnant dogs as it can be transferred to the placenta and then to the puppy. This can put both mother and unborn baby at great risk and even it may be a life-threatening case.

An important thing to note is that nursing dogs can also get theobromine from their mothers’ milk.

What to Do If My Dog Ate Chocolate?

If your dog had eaten chocolate, then you should bring it to the nearest vet clinic.


Well, caffeine reaches its maximum serum levels between 30 and 60 minutes after intake, while theobromine takes more time – around 2 hours. It will be very good if you can react in the first minutes to a maximum of an hour – ideally before any signs occur.

Three dogs in a vet clinic

It’s very important for vets to know what type of is chocolate – dark, milk, or white. And it’s even better if you can give them the package of the chocolate or tell brand and flavor so they can understand better the amounts of theobromine, caffeine, and, if included in the chocolate, xylitol that was consumed.


If vets suspect that your dog had consumed 20 mg of theobromine per kg or more, then it would be treated symptomatically. The symptomatic treatment includes fluid therapy, esmolol, midazolam, and antiemetics. Esmolol is given to dogs that experience tachycardia and midazolam to dogs with seizures, tremors, and agitation.

For dogs that aren’t treated symptomatically the treatment usually is administered apomorphine.

If you react really fast and the theobromine is still not absorbed then the first thing that vets will do is induce vomiting or give activated charcoal to your dog.

Chocolate Substitute

There is a healthy and safe substitute for chocolate and that is not the very popular carob. It doesn’t contain theobromine or caffeine which makes it a toxic-free substitute. It’s even better for dogs with diabetes as it contains a low glycemic index which doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes.

Illustration about the health benefits of carob - rich source of calcium, high in fiber, protein source, low in sugar and fats, and can be an antioxidant booster
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Carob contains vitamin A which is very important for good vision and reproductive health.

It’s good carob to be given to dogs in small amounts and as carob chips or powder.

If you want to know more about why carob is good for dogs you can check it here as we have included a lot of information about it.

How to Protect My Dog From Chocolate Dangers?

The easiest way to do that is to make sure that all chocolates and chocolate candies are stored in places where your dog can’t reach them.

Talk with all your family members about how badly your dog can be affected if eaten chocolate – this will make them think twice before trying to share their sweet chocolate treat with your pets.


Chocolate isn’t good for dogs and they shouldn’t eat it even in small amounts. The most dangerous ingredient in the chocolate is theobromine which can lead to chocolate toxicity – for some dogs especially small breeds it can be very dangerous.

You should make sure that your family knows the risk and to not share any chocolate treat with your dog.

Video Answer

Here is a video answer of the questions can dogs eat chocolate, why is it so dangerous, and what to do if your dog ate some amount of chocolate.

Interesting Facts About Chocolate

  1. It takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate.
  2. Benjamin Franklin sold chocolate in his print shop in Philadelphia.
  3. Spanish royalty gave cakes of cacao in their dowries.
  4. Until 1847, chocolate was a delicacy enjoyed in bitter liquid form.
  5. White chocolate isn’t considered to be chocolate because it doesn’t contain any cacao solids or cacao liquor. This sweet treat is made from a blend of cocoa butter, vanilla, and sugar.
  6. M&Ms were first supplied to the U.S. military.


Can dogs eat chocolate chips?

No, dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate chips as it can cause chocolate poisoning.

Can dogs eat chocolate cake?

No, cakes aren’t a healthy choice for dogs. Chocolate cake can be very dangerous because of the theobromine or because it’s very high in carbs. Another thing that is concerning is the sugar amount and even if the sugar is missing then it contains xylitol which again can be toxic.

Can dogs eat chocolate cheesecake?

No, cheesecake is full of bad ingredients for dogs. First of all, sugar levels are so high. Then, xylitol is a bad ingredient that can poison your dog. Cream cheese – so much fat that it can be challenging for the metabolism of dogs. And on top of that chocolate. NO!

Can dogs eat chocolate ice cream?

No, both chocolate and ice cream are bad options and it’s the same for their combination.

Can dogs eat chocolate cookies?

Dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate cookies as they are high in theobromine, fats, and sugar, or some may contain xylitol which is poisonous to dogs.

Can dogs have chocolate milk?

Although chocolate milk is low in theobromine there are other things making it unhealthy – fats, sugar – and it can cause pancreatitis if taken in big amounts.

Did you like the article “Can dogs eat chocolate”? You can also check out our other articles to know which food is safe for your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? A Safe Nut?

Can Dogs Eat Human Food?

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Desislava Asenova
Desislava Asenova

Desi is a dog-lover and proud parent to Daisy, her sweet and sassy Chihuahua. She's always been fascinated by the different diets and eating habits of different animals, and she's especially interested in how food affects a dog's overall health and happiness.

When she's not busy writing about dog food, Desi enjoys pampering Daisy with long walks and playtime in the park. She's also an avid home cook and loves coming up with new recipes for her and Daisy to try out together. She's excited to share her passion for dog food and help other pet owners find the best food for their fur babies.

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