Banjo once stole a chocolate chip cookie from my plate and I was terrified that he would suffer serious consequences. Luckily, our vet said a single milk chocolate chip cookie for a dog his size wouldn’t kill him, but I was curious to learn more about the effects of theobromine on dogs.
Disclaimer: If your dog has eaten chocolate or any other poisonous substance, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 1 (888) 426-4435.
Simply put, the smaller the dog and the darker the chocolate, the more likely the effects of theobromine poisoning. Here are a few symptoms to watch out for:
- Excitement / nervousness / trembling
- Vomiting / diarrhea
- Excessive thirst
- Muscle spasms
Chocolate comes from the cocoa tree, Latin name theobroma cacao, and it is the chemical theobromine in chocolate which is so toxic – and potentially lethal – to dogs. We humans can process theobromine more efficiently than our four-legged friends, which is we we can eat and enjoy it, but dogs can’t.
Here’s a list from the ASPCA of other people foods that are toxic for your pet – don’t forget that some plants can be toxic to dogs too.