candy_barsWe’ve all heard it, “Don’t give your dog chocolate it will kill him”. We’ll how true is it you’re probably wondering. Do I have to rush him to an emergency vet if he ate one of my M&M’s?

Well, it depends…


Toxic Levels
The bad news is chocolate contains theobromine that is toxic to dogs in sufficient quantities. This is a xanthine compound in the same family of caffeine, and theophylline.

The good news is that it takes, on average, a fairly large amount of theobromine 100-150 mg/kg to cause a toxic reaction. Although there are variables to consider like the individual sensitivity, animal size and the TYPE of chocolate the dog consumed.

* White chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of body weight. It takes 250 pounds of white chocolate to cause signs of poisoning in a 20-pound dog, 125 pounds for a 10-pound dog.

* Milk chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of body weight. Approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous to a 20-pound dog; one-half pound for a 10-pound dog. The average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of milk chocolate. It would take 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog. Semi-sweet chocolate has a similar toxic level.

* Sweet cocoa: 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight. One-third of a pound of sweet cocoa is toxic to a 20-pound dog; 1/6 pound for a 10-pound dog.

* Baking chocolate: 0.1 ounce per pound body weight. Two one-ounce squares of bakers’ chocolate is toxic to a 20-pound dog; one ounce for a 10-pound dog.

Clinical Signs
Hyper excitability
Hyper irritability
Increased heart rate
Increased urination
Muscle tremors

Put Activated Charcoal in Your Emergency Kit  
Toxiban Activated Charcoal.
The substance is a fine powder form of processed charcoal that binds to many types of poisons and can keep them from being absorbed into the bloodstream. This product isn’t easy to find online, but you can click on the photo to find a good source.

Toxiban might be wise to have in your pet emergency kit because it also is effective in adsorbing other poisonous substances eaten or drunk by dogs or cats. These toxins include, but are not limited to, strychnine, organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, depressants and analgesics.

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate contact your Vet immediately!  They can help you determine the the proper treatment for your pet.

In the event your dog has eaten chocolate, always gather as much information as possible. Note the type of chocolate the dog ate, how much chocolate was eaten and approximately when your dog ate it. Write this information down. Should you need medical help, your veterinarian will appreciate any facts you can provide. If you can’t get this information quickly, don’t belabor it. Write down what you can.

If your dog doesn’t eat enough chocolate to induce toxicity, but is vomiting (without your prodding) or has diarrhea, it’s likely that it’s the chocolate’s high fat content that is the culprit. Watch your dog carefully. You don’t want him or her to dehydrate. Provide plenty of fluids.

A good outcome is likely if treatment is provided within 4 to 6 hours of ingestion. The effects of chocolate can linger for 12-36 hours, though, so your dog may require hospitalization.

Even more troubling is the increasing widespread of the use of xylitol in human foods. More toxic than chocolate, it can kill your dog in a very small dose.