View Full Version : chocolate

1st February 2007, 02:28 AM
so while i was cooking dinner tonight i looked in and max had gotten into a wedding favor and eaten 6 hershey kisses... foil and all. he's about 18 pounds, and it wasnt that much, but i have been following him around all evening looking for signs of anything... he seems fine and he ate them about 4 hours ago... are we in the clear??? i know i won't sleep well tonight anyway, but i'm thinking he is alright...

1st February 2007, 02:34 AM
Do you have an emergency vet you can call? I understand milk chocolate is better than dark or baker's chocolate, but I unfortunatley cannot provide you any assurances and would hate to do so if I might be wrong.

Oftentimes the emergency vets will tell you if you are in the clear. I've called before and have gotten advice on things to check before brining them in. If not, the ASPCA has a poison control line ... it is not free ($55) but it might help you feel better if no one replies who knows or you dont have an emergency vet who will advise you.

PM me if you want the phone number for Animal Poison Control.

1st February 2007, 02:44 AM
My nieces little beagle once ate a whole bag of Hershey Kisses, foil and all. She was fine, but to be safe, I think I would call. I have also heard it's the dark or baking chocolate that is the bad one.

1st February 2007, 03:18 AM

Knowing which chocolate is the most toxic is important, but leaves one wondering how much must be eaten to poison a dog. The list in this box should be helpful. Maybe you can clip it and post it on your refrigerator?

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.

1st February 2007, 03:55 AM
The amount of chocolate is probably fine but I'd be concerned about the foil too. :)

Joanne M
1st February 2007, 04:02 AM
Duncan's Ma - Excellent Information, thank you.

1st February 2007, 07:34 AM
My friend's shiba inu ate a whole bar of lindt choco,BIG one, and after that she was lying on the ground, not moving. My friend panicked and brought her to the vet right away ! Vet said.. she is just TOO full :lol: she burped while the vet examined her, and wag her tail away.. :oops:

1st February 2007, 09:06 AM
I would call the 24 hr vet to be on the safe side. A friends's boxer ate a whole bag of whoppers and it made him go to the bathroom right away. I would look for the foil to pass too!

1st February 2007, 09:32 AM
that list is fantastic definetly need to print that off well done on finding that.

1st February 2007, 11:09 AM
NB: NO amount of chocolate is OK or puts your dog in the clear.

Always get immediate medical advice if the dog has eaten chocolate! While the dog may not seem to be seriously affected, it cannot process the chemicals in chocolate and a vet needs to be consulted. It may take hours before the serious signs show from poisoning so be sure to call a vet or poison centre immediately if your dog eats chocolate or get the dog to an emergency vet if it is out of hours for your own practice.

Also, the dosages notes are only guidelines and individual dogs can vary hugely. It is a good idea to have a first aid kit for dogs that includes something to make the dog vomit. A vet can advise on this and the dosage.


The naturally occurring theobromine found in chocolate, cocoa beans, cocoa bean hulls, cola, and tea, is responsible for the poisoning effect in dogs. Dogs are unable to metabolize this element quickly enough to prevent poisoning. The lethal dose of this agent is determined by weight and falls roughly into the category of 250-500 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This equates to approximately 2/3 to 1 1/3 oz bakers chocolate for every 2.2 pounds though signs of poisoning begin to appear at a much lower ingestion levels. Please see chart below for breakdown of theobromine levels by chocolate type.

The first signs of poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea, increased urination, lethargy and depression, and muscle tremors. This can progress to cardiac arrhythmias and seizures leading to death. Though most symptoms will begin to appear within two hours it can take as long as twenty four hours for symptoms to appear and up to three days for recovery. As theobromine metabolizes slowly in dogs symptoms may be slow in appearing- do NOT be fooled into thinking everything is ok. Early attention and treatment can make the difference in saving your companion’s life.

If you discover your pet has ingested chocolate DO NOT wait for symptoms to appear but phone your veterinarian- poisoning is an EMERGENCY.

If discovered within two hours of ingestion vomiting can be induced to eliminate the poison. If it has been longer than two hours your pet may need more intensive treatment including a activated charcoal treatment, iv fluids, and careful monitoring. In addition to contacting your own veterinarian you can phone the National Animal Poison Information Center at 1-888-252-7387. Though there is a fee for this consultation, they will provide you with a case number which your doctor can use to access information on how to help your pet. (It can be helpful to phone this center while on your way to your veterinarian as a resource for your doctor).

From http://www.gsrne.org/Chocolate.htm

This vet's info page below also gives a sense of how very serious eating chocolate can be -- it is the *single most common form of poisoning* and can kill your dog. If you have a dog, you need to view chocolate as you would arsenic or dangerous medications in a household with a toddler. Keep it in a sealable container well out of reach and never leave it on a table or anywhere a dog might be able to access (this is not the situation in which to find that your dog is able to jump onto tables or counters!).

Based on the number of calls received by The National Animal Poison Control Center and the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, one of the most commonly encountered poisonings in pet dogs is theobromine, or chocolate, poisoning.

Theobromine comes from the plant Theobroma cocoa and is present in chocolate, cocoa beans, cocoa bean hulls, cola and tea.

Milk chocolate is obtained from seeds of theobroma cacao after fermentation and roasting. Milk chocolate has about 44 mg/ounce of theobromine; a 4.5 oz. milk chocolate bar has about 240 mgs. of theobromine. Unsweetened baking chocolate has even more -- about 390 to 450 mgs of theobromine per ounce.

Relative theobromine content per ounce for various products is:
Milk chocolate: 44 - 60 mgs/ounce
Unsweetened baking chocolate: 450 mg/oz
Cacao meal: 300 - 900 mg/oz
Cacao beans: 300 - 1200 mg/oz
Hot chocolate: 13 mg/oz

The lethal dosage of theobromine in dogs is between 250 and 500 mgs/kg, or about 2/3 to 1 1/3 of baking chocolate for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. However, serious non-fatal poisonings have been reported in dogs after eating smaller amounts.

At our practice, a 20-pound dachshund showed serious signs of poisoning after eating 3/4 of a pound of milk chocolate and another 22-pound dog died after eating two pounds of baking chocolate.

Deaths due to theobromine have been documented in horses who ate cocoa bean hulls used in bedding and in other livestock fed cocoa waste products. No chocolate poisonings have been reported in cats, which is probably a reflection of their eating habits.

The the first signs of chocolate poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea, increased urination and nausea. These can progress to cardiac arrhythmias and seizures.

Dogs definitely have a sweet tooth. Dog-proof for home to keep your dog safe. Milk chocolate should never be given to your pet and it should be kept well out of reach. Unsweetened baking chocolate should be kept in closed containers in upper, latched cupboards.

If your dog eats potentially dangerous amounts of chocolate and you can get the pet to your vet within two hours, vomiting can be induced to remove the poison. If longer than two hours has passed, the animal may need to be seen and treated.

Direct any questions you may have to your veterinarian, regional poison control center, or the National Animal Poison Information Center at The University of Illinois in Urbana which provides computer-supported telephone consultation for potential poisonings.http://www.napcc.aspca.org/ or call the toll free number(888) 252-7387.

It is our responsibility to keep our animals safe. Protect your dogs from their own sweet tooth. Occasional treats are okay, but keep your dog away from candy bars.

From http://www.apogeecomgrp.com/drkevin/chocolate.html

1st February 2007, 12:56 PM
I have to admit I'm paranoid about any kind of chocolate, and after hours of lecturing my family has finally realised that chocolate in any form is not to be given to my dogs. Apart from doggy choc. My dad still very rarely slips Holly a bit of digestive biscuit with choc on it, but since my mum no longer buys choccie biccies anyway, not a major problem.

Holly will ignore me eating chocolate so long as she can lick the wrapper. Keeps her happy,keeps me happy, and I make sure she doesn't actually eat the wrapper. The aroma of chocolate must stay on the paper, because both dogs really like licking it even though there's no trace of actual choc on it.

Scouty girl
1st February 2007, 01:10 PM
Even though today, I would never give my dogs any chocolate at all, years ago before it was established that chocolate was bad for dogs we had a mixed breed. This was in the 70's. At Christmas time he would stand by the candy dish that was filled with little chocolate balls wrapped in foil. He didn't eat the foil, but he would wait for us to unwrap them. He ate 7-8 a day!!!! :yikes We didn't know at the time that it was bad for him. Thankfully he never got sick. As far as we knew he was just enjoying them. Although I would probably still call the vet, I think it takes a lot of chocolate to do harm.

1st February 2007, 04:46 PM
thanks for all of your responses... max is fine. he didnt have any symptoms other than a little extra energy last night :roll:

i didnt call my vet, because i called them about 3 months ago to inquire about chocolate eating... i had max at a friends house, and he came running down their steps with a big piece of chocolate cake in his mouth!! i was more concerned that time because i had no idea how much he had eaten. i called the vet and they told me to watch him and if he seemed to show any signs of distress to bring him in immediately... he was fine that time too.

i sound like a bad mommy letting max get into chocoltae twice... it's like i turn my back for a second and thats all he needs to get into mischief.

1st February 2007, 06:12 PM
Excellent info. Thanks Karlin. Perhaps you could put your post with all the info in the health section as the subject of chocolate seems to come up periodically.