UA-60701407-50 Golden Daily Scoop: 3 Things to Know if Your Dog Eats Chocolate

October 26, 2015

3 Things to Know if Your Dog Eats Chocolate

It's Halloween time again and while we all get caught up in the decorations, costumes and hauntings, lets not forget about the dangers that candy (especially chocolate) can have on our pets.
halloween pet safety three things to know if your dog eats chocolate
Halloween 2014
Chocolate poisoning is always high this time of year. According to PetPlan® pet insurance, pets are 32% more likely to suffer food poisoning during Halloween week versus any time of the year.

Chocolate is poisonous to pets because it contains toxic theobromine, and different types of chocolate affect pets differently because they have varying levels of the theobromine. 

Did you know that baking chocolate has the highest concentration, and is therefore the most toxic - followed by dark, milk and then white chocolate.

Help! My Dog Raided the Halloween Candy!

If you dogs eats chocolate, there are three things you, as a pet parent needs to know:
  1. How much theobromine the chocolate contains.
  2. How much your dog ate.
  3. How much your dog weighs.

If your dog ingests close to 20mg of theobromine per pound of body weight, he's in the danger zone for food poisoning. 

Mg of theobromine per ounce:
Baking Chocolate - 450mg/oz
Dark Chocolate - 160mg/oz
Milk Chocolate - 64mg/oz
White Chocolate - 1mg/oz

Here's how to do the math: Multiply the oz of chocolate ingested by the mg of theobromine per oz and divide that by the weight of your dog in pounds. The closer the number is to 20, the worse the toxic effects.

For example:

A 25lb. dog who eats 3 ounces of milk chocolate:
3oz x 64mg/oz = 192/25lbs = 7.7 mg/lb (Non-Toxic level of theobromine)

A 25lb. dog who eats 3 ounces of dark chocolate:
3oz x 160mg/oz = 480/25lbs - 19.2mg/lb (Dangerous levels of theobromine)

What to Do Next:
A number close to 20 indicates a toxic level of theobromine that can terrorize a pet's health. Get to the vet and or emergency clinic immediately. If the number is well below 20, your pet's tummy may turn on him, but you don't need to panic. Call the vet for tips on how to treats signs of trouble.

Veterinarians at PetPlan put together a step-by-step plan and the following cheat sheet graphic to help pet owners if they find themselves in this situation on Halloween.
Has your dog ever eaten chocolate?

21 comments:

  1. Good advice. Chocolate is a real no no for our pets!

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  2. Great and important information! My kids are always leaving little bags of candy all over house this time of the year! Just last night I picked them all up and put them safely away in a drawer!

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    1. Luckily with your guys the kids would have to leave lots of candy around to cause a major problem. Although I guess every dog has different sensitivities regardless of their weight.

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  3. Great post - esp with the numbers and math! Tut got into some Hershey's milk chocolate last year... and fortunately with his size and the fact it was milk, he was in no danger.

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  4. Bailey raided the Christmas chocolate in his early years and had to be rushed to the vets for what he considered to be a very painful bum shot. Interestingly he has never approached the chocolate again. At the time we thought it was out of his reach, but dogs can be more clever than we give them credit for so you have to watch.

    The other challenge since we have new little ones visiting our home is dropped candy or enticing candy (holding it out as if you might be interested in giving it to the dog) Any time we have chocolate with kids we have to supervise the kids and dogs.

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  5. Mom guards chocolate with her life. She loves it and always has it locked up somewhere so we can't get it or anyone else for that matter.

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  6. Great reminder! Keep chocolate out of reach to stay safe.

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  7. This is a terrific and very helpful post. Thanks for spelling it all out.

    I know it takes quite a bit of chocolate to cause a reaction in a dog the size of a golden retriever. When I usually hear about chocolate poisoning, it's a greedy dog who just can't stop eating.

    Luckily, that's not Honey. :)

    My husband does occasionally give Honey a peanut M&M. I know it won't hurt her. But I hate the thought of getting her interested in chocolate in any amount.

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  8. It is that time of year again. Luckily, we don't buy Halloween candy, but it's still important for walks (kids dropping candy) and the rare occasion when someone brings chocolate by as a treat.

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  9. excellent information and Cole loves chocolate. We just never have it anymore as he is so avid. LeeAnna

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  10. Great post with lots of helpful info! Luckily Rita is so picky, she doesn't even show any interest in chocolate. Sometimes at night I have a square of dark chocolate with almonds in and she's only interested in the almonds! My friend's dog though once pulled a hot pan of brownies down off the back (!) of the stove top where they were cooling. The pan broke (it was glass) and he wolfed down about 1/2 the brownies before they could get to him. He had to have a visit to the vet as they were worried he might have eaten some glass as well, but luckily he hadn't and he was fine! It can be worrisome when you have a dog that tries to eat everything!

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  11. Nope! I think he doesn't like chocolate. He's walked past candy bars without even looking before.

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  12. A good safety reminder at this time of the year.

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  13. Very scary. We have pretty big dogs, so I don't worry too much about them stealing a stray chocolate chip cookie... and fortunately, they've never gotten into a larger supply. Stay safe, doggies!

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  14. I am sharing this incredibly helpful post, thank you!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  15. I am sharing this incredibly helpful post, thank you!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  16. Thanks for the important reminder, I think mom will be sharing this soon too. Mom remembers with her dog growing up eating chocolate chip cookies made with semi-sweet chocolate chips. They didn't know better than but Lucy never got sick so go figure. Love Dolly

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  17. This is very valuable and timely information!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  18. Thanks for the good advice. We like to post this reminder before the "chocolate" holidays too.

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  19. We usually eat our chocolate like the true chocoholics that we are. A friend called me in a panic because her dog ate their bag of Snickers. She threw it up immediately so no ER visit.

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