Are all dogs allergic to chocolate?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer “are all dogs allergic to chocolate?” and discuss what makes chocolate toxic to dogs, what types of chocolate are toxic, how much chocolate can your dog eat, how to tell and what to do if your dog is poisoned,  

Are all dogs allergic to chocolate? 

No, dogs might not be “allergic” to chocolate but chocolate is toxic for your dog’s health so do not give a bar of human chocolate to your canine friend. Also, try not to give a chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream to your dog, it can be dangerous too. 

What makes chocolate toxic to dogs? 

There is an ingredient in chocolate called theobromine which makes it toxic to dogs because a dog’s system cannot metabolize it as compared to our bodies.

Theobromine and caffeine both are toxic to dog’s health as they impart a serious threat to heart and muscle activity. These chemicals belong to a class of chemicals known as methylxanthines. 

Theobromine can affect your dog’s gut, heart, kidneys, and central nervous system.

What types of chocolate are toxic for your dog?

Generally, all types of chocolate are toxic for your dog but the type of chocolate and its amount is very important to consider because different chocolate types have different amounts of toxins in them. 

The more bitter and darker the chocolate, the most dangerous it is. Here’s a list of different types of chocolate containing different amounts of theobromine.

  • White chocolate = 0.25 mg/oz
  • Milk chocolate = 44-60 mg/oz
  • Dark chocolate = 135 mg/oz
  • Unsweetened baking chocolate = 390-450 mg/oz
  • Cocoa beans = 300-1500 mg/oz 
  • Cocoa powder = 400-737 mg/oz

How much chocolate can your dog eat?

Even a small quantity of chocolate can be toxic so try not to give it to your dog. Smaller dogs are more likely to get affected by eating a small amount of chocolate while larger dogs can usually handle it pretty easily. 

As a rule, 20mg per kg dose of theobromine causes toxic effects. Severe signs develop at 40-50 mg/kg and seizures can happen at 60 mg/kg. 

If your dog weighs 10kg, even a few grams of cocoa powder can cause seizures.

How to tell if your dog is poisoned by chocolate?

Chocolate poisoning effects and signs depend on the amount of chocolate eaten and the size of the dog’s breed.

For example, if you have a labrador who has eaten 200g of milk chocolate, it will only upset his stomach. As we increase the dose to 500g, the symptoms will likely be increased heartbeat or cardiovascular problems. Seizures can happen if the dose is as high as 750g.  

If you see one of the following symptoms within 6 to 12 hours when your dog accidentally eats a bar of chocolate, then it’s time to contact the nearest vet doctor. 

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Diarrhea 
  • Increased breath rate or panting
  • Lethargy
  • Anxious or restless behavior
  • Increased thrust and urination
  • Increased heartbeat or racing
  • Dysfunctional heartbeat rhythm
  • Higher body temperature
  • Muscle tremors
  • Extreme conditions such as seizure, collapse, coma, or even death

Other FAQs about Chocolate which you may be interested in.

What happens If you eat expired Kit-Kat?

What to do if your dog eats chocolate?

Immediately contact a nearest pet doctor if your dog starts showing the above mentioned symptoms, or you can dial Pet Poison Helpline. But if he doesn’t, then sit back and relax because your dog must be one of the luckiest who is not allergic to chocolate. 

How much toxic chocolate can be for your dog?

It depends upon a few factors to tell how much chocolate is intoxicating your dog. There is a tool called PetMD Chocolate Toxicity Meter for dogs that can help you determine your dog’s risk to get affected. But you must know or at least have an estimate about your dog’s weight, type of chocolate, and the amount of chocolate ingested by your dog. 

Can a dog recover from chocolate poisoning?

Yes, after getting proper medical attention, he can recover. The medical treatment for chocolate poisoning usually includes gastric decontamination and administration of activated charcoal. 

Are there any chocolates that are safe for dogs?

Yes, there are. There are some chocolates that are specifically made for dogs in which there is no theobromine or caffeine.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we answered the question “are all dogs allergic to chocolate?” and discussed what makes chocolate toxic to dogs, what are different types of toxic chocolates, how much chocolate can your dog eat, what are the symptoms and treatments if your dog eats chocolate accidentally.

References

  1. Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Can Dogs Die From Eating Chocolate? | PetMD
  2. What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate | Dog Ate Chocolate Advice Article (vets-now.com)
  3. My Dog Ate Chocolate and He Was Fine, so What’s the Big Deal? | Office for Science and Society – McGill University 

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.