Dog owners want to give their fur pups the world. They want to take them on all types of adventures around Tampa, FL and beyond as well as give them all the best-tasting treats and fun toys they can get their paws on. They share their lives with their dogs – but they draw the line when it comes to sharing their chocolate.   

For decades, vet professionals have warned that chocolate is toxic to dogs. But just how harmful is it? And what can you do to keep your dog away from it?  

Dangers of Chocolate for Dogs 

 Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which can be dangerous to your pup. As humans, we can gobble up a Hershey bar and be just fine because our bodies metabolize the theobromine without issue. However, it becomes a problem for dogs because their bodies are not designed to process it in the same way. This slow process gives time for more and more of the toxins to pile up rather than make their way through the dog’s system. This leads to increasing levels of toxicity.  

Is all chocolate created equal? No, it isn’t. Chocolate with a deep, dark color such as baker’s chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and dark chocolate have the greatest levels of theobromine and, thus, the highest levels of toxicity. Next up is milk chocolate, with white chocolate being the least toxic to pups.  

 It is important to know that the level of danger depends on the type of chocolate consumed, the amount of chocolate consumed, and the size of your fur pup.  

 What Happens if Your Dog Eats Chocolate? 

 It doesn’t matter how careful you are, sometimes dogs just find their way to the chocolate. After all, it’s chocolate! Whether you witness the indulgence or you find your pup acting a little strange, you should know the signs of chocolate toxicity.  

Again, depending on what they ate, how much, and their own size, your pup may first have a burst of energy and then begin showing signs of:   

  • Increased thirst 
  • Vomiting  
  • Diarrhea 
  • Panting 
  • Increased respiratory rate 
  • Muscle tremors 
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Seizures 
  • Heart arrhythmia 
  • Internal bleeding 

These symptoms typically begin within 6 to 12 hours of ingesting. If you saw your dog get into some chocolate or you believe they may have, then don’t sit around waiting for the above signs. Contact your vet right away. There are treatments that can save your pup from many of the symptoms – and potentially be life-saving, too.  

Keeping Dogs Away From Chocolate 

If you are a dog owner, it is so important to keep chocolate out of reach. And always let everyone in your home – including kids and visitors – know the dangers that chocolate can pose to dogs so that they don’t end up with any toxic sweet treats.  

If you are having a party or many guests are over, then you need to take steps – especially if there is going to be chocolate involved. Consider placing your dog in a safe space away from guests until the area is clear and everything is picked up.  

Training is another tool you can use, such as practicing the cue to leave it or drop it. That way if you see your dog getting close to chocolate or if they have it in their mouth, you can simply give a command and keep your dog safe.  

Remember, you can share your life with your dog, but you can’t share chocolate. The more precautions you take the safer your pup will be.  

Scoop Soldiers is a pet waste removal service in Tampa, FL. That’s right – we make your dog poop our business. With services like pet waste removal, sanitizing, and deodorizing, we always leave behind a clean and healthy turf for your pup. 


By Swati