Cocoa For Canines: How Much Chocolate Can Kill A Dog? | Kidadl


Cocoa For Canines: How Much Chocolate Can Kill A Dog?

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Did you know that some delicious blocks of sweet or dark chocolate can be harmful to your furry pet?

Yes, you read it right! A chocolate bar is dangerous and can perhaps kill your dog!

The majority of dog owners, especially responsible ones, know that chocolate is not suitable to be fed to dogs. If eaten in significant quantity, chocolate can be lethal for a dog. It is vital for every dog owner to know how much chocolate is not safe for his or her dog. Chocolate toxicity is variable for different types of dogs and depends upon the type of chocolate, the amount of chocolate, the weight of the dog, and the size of the dog. If your dog consumes chocolate, it is important to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Read on to learn more about chocolate poisoning and its symptoms.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about if roses are toxic to dogs and if peace lilies are toxic to dogs here on Kidadl?

How does chocolate kill a dog?

Chocolate is loved by the majority of humans and can be commonly found in any home. However, this delicious treat is like poison for dogs. Chocolate possesses methylxanthines such as theobromine which can be lethal for a dog if consumed. Even a small amount can sicken the dog, and worse, possibly to kill it.

Dogs have the well-known habit to try to eat almost everything. Thus, even a small quantity of chocolate consumed can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If a dog consumed large amounts accidentally, then symptoms like a rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, tremors, cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, seizures, and hyperactivity could occur. If you think of your pet as a family member, you might be tempted to share with it the food you eat. This is a common mistake that dog owners make as observed by veterinarians. Many owners think that chocolate is a delicious treat for dogs. Chocolate, however, is made from cocoa beans and cocoa comprises theobromine and caffeine which cannot be ingested by dogs. Theobromine is metabolized very slowly in dogs as compared to humans. The effect chocolate has on humans lasts between 20-40 minutes, but can last for hours in dogs. Even after 17 hours after eating chocolate, half the quantity of theobromine ingested can be found in the system of the dog. Humans absorb theobromine by producing caffeine, but dogs cannot absorb theobromine this way. Their kidneys and nervous system feels a great amount of pressure. Chocolate poisoning can also occur by overeating. If a dog comes across a box of chocolate, it will only leave it alone after eating all the chocolate in the box. In case of chocolate poisoning, a dog must be rushed to a veterinarian.

How much dark chocolate can kill a dog?

The amount of chocolate that can kill a dog is variable. Chocolate toxicity is dependent upon the dog's weight, the quantity of chocolate ingested, and the type of chocolate. No type or amount of chocolate is safe for a dog to eat; however, only a large amount can be poisonous and can kill a dog. Milk and white chocolate are less harmful to a dog, whereas dark and baker's chocolate are very harmful. Even 1 oz (28.3 g) of dark chocolate contains enough amount of theobromine to kill a dog.

High-quality chocolate contains a high cocoa percentage causing toxic levels to be high. Poor quality chocolate that is cheaper contains less cocoa powder, thus causing less risk. Dark chocolate is more dangerous to a dog than milk chocolate. It contains a high cocoa percentage, causing it to be more lethal for a dog's health if it eats it.

Little white maltese dog and food ingredients toxic to him including chocolate

How much chocolate will kill a large dog?

As mentioned in the above section, the amount varies depending on the type of chocolate as white or milk chocolate is less deadly to a dog as compared to dark chocolate. An average chocolate bar consists of 0.6 oz (18.8 g) of milk chocolate. Two to three bars of candy are sufficient to poison a dog that weighs 10 lb (4,535.9 g).

White chocolate consists of less cocoa powder and is less deadly, but is still dangerous. White chocolate, thus, consists of a very small amount of theobromine. About 1-2 oz (28.3-56.6 g) of chocolate per 1 lb (453.3 g) of a dog's body weight can cause problems. So if a dog weighs 250 lb (113.3 kg), then poisoning will happen after it eats 250-500 oz (14,174.8 g) of chocolate.

Milk chocolate is more lethal than white as it contains more theobromine. One oz (28.3 g) of milk chocolate per 1 lb (453.3 g) of a dog's body weight will have dangerous consequences. 1 lb (453.3 g) of milk chocolate is sufficient to cause poisoning in a 20 lb (9,071.8 g) dog whereas 0.5 lb (226.7) is lethal enough for a 10 lb (4,535.9 g) dog.

Cocoa powder is the most dangerous of all. A mere 0.3 oz (8.5 g) per 1 lb (453.3 g) of a dog's body weight can have deadly consequences. 0.3 lb (151.1 g) is poisonous for a 20 lb dog (9,071.8 g) and 0.16 lb (75.5 g) is poisonous for a 10 lb (4,535.9 g) dog.

1 oz (28.3 g) of baking chocolate can also be deadly per 1 lb (453.5 g) of a dog's body weight. Eating 2 oz (56.6 g) of baking chocolate is sufficient to poison a 20 lb (9,071.8 g) dog and 1 oz (28.3 g) will poison a 10 lb (4,535.9 g) dog. It is much more poisonous than semi-sweet chocolate and milk chocolate.

How long does it take for chocolate to kill a dog?

If your dog ate chocolate in significant quantity, it is an emergency situation and it is important to rush your dog to the veterinarian. If you are unaware that your dog has consumed chocolate, you must be aware of the signs chocolate consumption causes. These signs usually appear within 6-12 hours. If your dog has eaten chocolate, then chocolate poisoning signs may include vomiting, restlessness, increased urination, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, unusual heart rate, and collapsing. These symptoms will persist for 36 hours even after treatment has been given.

If you recognize any of these symptoms, provide first aid treatment to your dog by removing the toxic agent from its body. This can be done by inducing vomiting in the dog. You must remember that there is no antidote if a dog gets chocolate poisoning so vomiting the chocolate out is the most effective solution. You can use one to two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide (3%) until the dog vomits every 15 minutes. You can also use two to three teaspoons of ipecac syrup, but it can be given only once. After the dog has successfully vomited, it can be given water mixed with activated charcoal: one teaspoon of activated charcoal for dogs weighing below 25 lb (11.3 kg) and two teaspoons for dogs weighing above 25 lb (11.3 kg). Activated charcoal is useful in this emergency situation as it prohibits the chocolate from mixing with the blood. This treatment should be given before four to six hours have passed from the time of eating.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how much chocolate can kill a dog then why not take a look at where do chihuahuas come from, or belgian sheepdog facts!

Written By
Rhea Nischal

<p>A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.</p>

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