The most common cases we see in our emergency hospitals are chocolate toxicities. While it's a delicious treat for us humans, for our dogs it is poisonous. But what should you do if your pooch manages to sneak a bit of chocolate? And how much chocolate can a dog eat before you should start to worry? Use our dog chocolate toxicity calculator to work out whether your dog has eaten a potentially toxic amount.
How much chocolate can a dog eat safely?
While dogs and chocolate shouldn't mix, some chocolate is more toxic than others. Chocolate contains two drugs toxic to dogs (theobromine and caffeine), but it is the theobromine that determines its toxicity level. An easy way to tell how poisonous a piece of chocolate is is by how dark it is - the darker the chocolate the higher the concentration level of theobromine.
There are a number of factors, such as type of chocolate ingested, amount ingested, and weight of your dog which will determine whether they experience an adverse reaction to the toxin. But as little as 5-10 grams can cause a potentially severe reaction, including vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, heart failure, or even death in a small dog.
What should you do if your dog eats chocolate?
If your dog has eaten chocolate or you suspect they have, urgent treatment may be needed. As well as removing any chocolate from your pooch's mouth (if safe to do so) and any other chocolate within their reach, contact your vet or emergency vet for advice.
Our dog chocolate toxicity calculator is also a useful guide to help you find out if your dog has eaten a potentially toxic amount and the possible symptoms they may experience.
Dog chocolate toxicity calculator
To use our dog chocolate toxicity calculator you will need to know your dog's weight, the type of chocolate they have ingested, and how much they have ingested.
From this information, the calculator will work out approximately how much theobromine and caffeine they have ingested, what symptoms you can expect to see your pooch exhibit, and if a visit to the vet is needed.
Please be aware this calculator should not be used as a substitute for veterinary advice. We always advise contacting your vet in any instance your dog has eaten chocolate.
For more information on the dangers of chocolate and symptoms of poisoning, visit our Chocolate Toxicity blog.