Can dogs eat chocolate?

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Ever wondered if you can give your dog a chocolate treat? Chocolate is extremely dangerous for dogs to consume, as it is toxic.

Why is chocolate bad for dogs?

Chocolate is made using the fruit beans of the cocoa tree which contains an ingredient called theobromine. This can have a fatal effect when consumed by certain animals including dogs.

Another ingredient found in chocolate, caffeine, is a member of the drug class Methylxanines. Although humans are able to break these components down, dogs cannot.

Are some chocolate types more toxic than others?

All chocolate is toxic to pets but darker chocolates are more harmful than other options.

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms include:

  • Restlessness.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Over excited/hyperactive.
  • Nervousness.

Regardless of whether your dog is showing any of these symptoms, you should contact your vet immediately if you suspect they've eaten chocolate. If you have dog insurance then you can often reclaim the costs.

How is chocolate poisoning in dogs treated?

Vets will usually treat dogs with supportive therapy and induced vomiting. They may need to be monitored for a short time to ensure no further problems arise.

How can you stop your dog eating chocolate?

The easiest ways to stop your dog eating chocolate is to not give it to them in the first place and to keep all chocolate treats out of reach. To stop your cunning canine getting their paws on hidden treats, follow these tips to keep your chocolate stash – and your pooch – safe and sound:

  • Hide all chocolate (cocoa powder, bars of chocolate and chocolate sweets) out of reach and sight of your dog. Keep them in sealed containers or locked cupboards wherever possible.
     
  • Buy special dog-friendly chocolate from pet food stores to give your pet a tasty treat that won't hurt them. (Dog-safe chocolate is a treat and should only be fed to your dog in small amounts at a time).
     
  • Dispose of all chocolate wrappers or chocolate food waste in a secure bin. This should be one with a closed lid, preferably with a pet safety lock, or in an external wheelie bin as opposed to an open top waste paper basket.

Disclaimer

Don't get caught out by nasty vet bills when things crop up with your dog's health, do the responsible thing and take out pet insurance. As a responsible dog owner it's crucial that you find something that works for you, shopping around can be the best way to do this, so ensure you do your research.