Chocolate is a delicious treat for people, but can be harmful to your dog.
Chocolate is made from the seed pods that grow on the cacao tree. These cacao pods contain caffeine and a chemical called theobromine. It is the theobromine that can be toxic to dogs depending on the amount ingested. Baking chocolate contains the most cacao, followed by semisweet chocolate and dark chocolate. Milk chocolate and chocolate cakes and cookies contain the least amount of cacao, but can still be harmful if eaten. The sugar and fat in all of these sweets can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The high fat content can also cause pancreatitis in some cases. This could occur, for example, if your dog were to eat a bag of chocolate Easter eggs.
Some symptoms of theobromine ingestion include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Tremors or even seizures
- Rapid heart rhythm or sometimes abnormal heart rhythm
- In severe cases, death
If your pet consumes chocolate, please contact your veterinarian right away! You can refer to the Chocolate Toxicity Table that lists the toxic doses of chocolate by weight and by type of chocolate.