Dogs and Chocolate – Will Your Dog Really Get Sick If It Eats Chocolate?

By Alex Page

Dogs and chocolate. I’ve been told since I was a little kid that if my dog ate chocolate, it would kill him. Is it really true? Or is it along the same lines as, “If you eat a watermelon seed, you’ll grow a watermelon in your stomach.” I’ve done some research on dog’s eating chocolate, and here’s what I’ve found out in layman’s terms.

Apparently, chocolate has something in it called theobromine. Theobromine is toxic to dogs. So yes, ingredients in chocolate can be harmful to dogs. But before you go rushing off to the veterinarian because Fido ate a Hershey’s Kiss, here’s what you should know…

It takes a fairly large amount of theobromine to be toxic to your dog. Of course, the amount will vary based on the type of chocolate, the size of your dog, and your dog’s sensitivity to theobromine.

On average,
Milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz.
Semisweet chocolate contains 150 mg/oz.
Baker’s chocolate contains 390 mg/oz.

Generally speaking, it takes approximately 100mg to 150mg of theobromine per kg of dog weight to impact your dog negatively.

Using a dose of 100 mg/kg as the toxic dose it comes out roughly as:
Milk Chocolate can be toxic if your dog eats 1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight.
Semisweet chocolate can be toxic if your dog 1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight.
Bakers chocolate can be toxic if your dog eats 1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight.

Based on that, 3 oz. of Bakers chocolate can be harmful to a 25 lb. dog, while 3 oz of of milk chocolate could just give him diarrhea.

So here’s the bottom line… if you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate at a high enough level to be toxic, take him to the vet immediately.

If your dog is showing any signs of hyper excitability, hyper irritability, increased heart rate, restlessness, increased urination, muscle tremors, vomiting, or diarrhea, take him to the vet immediately.

If you don’t know how much chocolate your dog ate, take him to the vet immediately.

If your dog has eaten an M&M or a Hershey’s Kiss, you probably don’t have anything to worry about (unless you have a REALLY small dog).

And from now on, keep your chocolate out of your dog’s reach!

Alex Page has been a happy pet owner for nearly 30 years. He enjoys helping pets and pet owners have the best relationship possible. He is currently a key article contributer to a site dedicated to discussing all things about pets.

View more of Alex Page’s articles at

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