My Pet Ate Chocolate…What Now?

Most pet parents are aware that chocolate is toxic, but did you know that it’s the amount and type of chocolate that determine the toxicity? While one small chocolate chip from one cookie is not a problem for your pet, certain types of chocolate are very toxic – this includes everything from a pure chocolate bar to chocolate-flavored sweets.
Why is chocolate toxic to my pet?
Chocolate is a mixture of cocoa beans and cocoa butter. In its various forms, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are both classified as methylxanthines. While humans have the ability to metabolize methylxanthines quickly, our pets ability to metabolize methylxanthines can be 20 times slower – which can result in a toxic overdose.
The amount of methylxanthines present in chocolate varies with the type of chocolate. One key fact to remember is the darker and/or more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it could be
What types of chocolate are toxic?
The simple answer is all types of chocolate can be toxic to a pet. However, certain types of chocolate carry a higher toxicity



than others. 

Baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and gourmet dark chocolates are more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has very little theobromine and is least likely to cause chocolate poisoning in pets.
Signs of Chocolate Poisoning
When small amounts of chocolate are ingested, common symptoms may include mild vomiting and diarrhea in pets. However, when larger amounts of chocolate are ingested, common symptoms may include:
  • hyperactivity
  • restlessness
  • lethargy
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • tachycardia (elevated heart rate)
  • tremors
  • seizures
  • collapse
What should I do if I suspect my dog ate chocolate?
If you know your pet has ingested chocolate, or if your pet is showing any of the listed symptoms of chocolate poisoning, contact a veterinarian, or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 right away!