Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

Aug 12 ·

Can dogs eat chocolate? It’s a common question dog owners have. Many are used to slipping their dog a piece of the food they’re eating for them to enjoy, because we want our dog to be happy. However, dogs don’t always know what’s good for them, and this is more than true when it comes to human food.

So, can dogs eat chocolate, or should it be avoided?

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

can dogs eat chocolate

The short answer to this is no — dogs cannot eat chocolate. It’s very dangerous for them to do so, and can even kill them.

What About White Chocolate?

It’s true that white chocolate isn’t as bad for dogs as milk or dark chocolate. It would take pretty high amounts of white chocolate to kill a dog, so it’s very rare for it to be fatal.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s good for the dog! It’s still unhealthy, and should still be avoided, just in case.

What About Vegan Chocolate?

Vegan chocolate may not include milk, but it still contains the things that are poisonous. Avoid chocolate altogether when it comes to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate – Why Not?

Chocolate contains theobromine. This increases blood flow to the brain in people, but dogs find it very hard to metabolize. This means it’s easy for a dog to eat enough for it to poison them. This is particularly true of dark chocolate, which is extremely toxic to dogs.

Chocolate also contains caffeine, to a lesser extent, which is also not good for dogs.

Signs Your Dog Ate Chocolate

If you’re not sure if your dog ate chocolate, or you accidentally let them have a piece and are now panicking they might be poisoned, look out for the following signs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Extreme thirst
  • Loss of appetite
  • Clear pain or discomfort
  • Excessive drooling

If your dog suffers from any of these signs, it may be that they’ve been poisoned by chocolate.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Some

can dogs eat chocolate

If your dog ate some chocolate, and it was only a little bit, you can monitor them and make sure they don’t show any symptoms. Although dogs can die from eating chocolate, it usually would take quite a bit for a fatal dose, so a little chocolate — especially if your dog is large — likely means your dog is going to be fine.

It doesn’t mean you should give them any deliberately! Just that the accident won’t affect them too much.

However, if they ate a considerable amount, are a small dog, or are showing those signs of sickness, you should contact your veterinarian. If your vet clinic is closed, contact the nearest emergency clinic. It’s vital you get them seen to as soon as possible so don’t delay.

If they ate the chocolate very recently, your vet might have you induce vomiting. This might seem harsh, but will help the dog in the long run, so follow any instructions given. Usually, for chocolate poisoning though, they will have you bring the dog in.

This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to have pet insurance, which can help with emergencies such as this.

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Alternative Snacks

It’s understandable to feel bad when you’re eating a good snack and you can’t share with your pup. As the owner, though, it’s important to recognize what would actually be very bad for them. Don’t give in and feed them something unhealthy.

Fortunately, there are a bunch of great human foods you can safely feed to your dog, including:

These are all very tasty to your dog and can be used as the occasional treat. Just as good as chocolate to them, and without any of the health risks!

So, can dogs eat chocolate? Absolutely not. Many people think it won’t harm their dog to give them a small piece of chocolate, but it actually really could. There’s no reason to give your dog chocolate — not even white chocolate — when there are so many other good alternatives. Pick a safe, plain cooked meat or some vegetables instead, and your dog will love you just as much for it!

Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
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