Help! My Dog Ate Some Chocolate!

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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
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

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.

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