Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-19-2007, 08:36 PM
Lillith Fair is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 804

How bad is chocolate for dogs?


I left an open bag of Hershey's Kisses in a box on the floor and the dog got into it. I'm pretty sure she only ate two. How bad is that?
  #2  
Old 12-19-2007, 08:50 PM
Savannah is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Greater Victoria, BC
Posts: 4,699
How much does the dog weigh?
  #3  
Old 12-19-2007, 08:54 PM
Jayrot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ess Eff
Posts: 2,129
What color is the dog?
  #4  
Old 12-19-2007, 08:55 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 58,850
I'd be more concerned about the dog choking on the plastic and tinfoil wrapping than the chocolate.
  #5  
Old 12-19-2007, 08:57 PM
Dangerosa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 22,431
http://www.talktothevet.com/ARTICLES...olatetoxic.HTM

So years ago my sister lived with me and had a dog. I baked (from scratch) a chocolate cake and left it on the stove to cool. Then left the house.

My sister had gotten distracted, her dog had eaten Sudafed and she was on the phone with the emergency vet trying to figure out if the Sudafed was toxic. Sudafed, no problem. She goes downstairs to discover the empty cake pain, calls the vet back. Chocolate problem. Take the dog, induce vomiting by dumping half a cup of hydrogen peroxide down into its stomach, wait, take dog outside, dog should throw up in X minutes. If not, repeat.

She pours hydrogen peroxide down the dog and takes the dog outside. Minnesota on a cold, cold January night. Dog stands there. Dog is not going to throw up. Takes dog back into house to get hydrogen peroxide. Dog is in house 30 seconds and throws up two perfect halves of chocolate cake - not even chewed.

Last edited by Dangerosa; 12-19-2007 at 09:02 PM.
  #6  
Old 12-19-2007, 08:58 PM
Miller's Avatar
Miller is offline
Sith Mod
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bear Flag Republic
Posts: 43,878
Do Hershey's Kisses contain any actual chocolate?
  #7  
Old 12-19-2007, 09:27 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 17,418
They're pure milk chocolate, as far as I know, except the specialty ones that have stuff in them.

Last edited by CarnalK; 12-19-2007 at 09:27 PM.
  #8  
Old 12-19-2007, 09:43 PM
jshore is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 6,958
What's the debate here? Are there people who think that chocolate isn't really bad for dogs and it is all really the sun's fault?

More seriously though, here is a site that seems to have the necessary info:

Quote:
Quick Guide for Theobromine levels in different types of chocolate:
From The Merck Veterinary Manual, 8th ed
# Unsweetened (Baker's) chocolate = 390-450 mg Theobromine per oz chocolate
# Milk chocolate = 44-60 mg Theobromine per oz chocolate

Semi-sweet is a bit less than half of the Theobromine content as Baker's chocolate.

How much is too much?
The toxic dose of Theobromine (and caffeine) for pets is 100-200mg/kg. (1 kiliogram = 2.2 pounds). However, various reports by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) have noted problems at doses much lower than this - i.e. 20mg/kg.

Translated to a "typical" scenario, and using the 20mg/kg as a measure of "problems can be seen at this level of ingestion", a 50 pound dog would have to consume 9 ounces (+/-) of milk chocolate to consume the 20mg/kg amount of Theobromine. Some dogs won't see problems at this rate. Some may.

This is a much more conservative toxic level calculation than the "standard" of 100-200mg/kg, but better safe than sorry. A dog sneaking a couple M&M's shouldn't have a problem, but it isn't a good habit to get into!
Sum total: Because it was milk chocolate and your dog didn't have that much, it is lnot a problem perhaps unless you have one of those really tiny yappy dogs (which I will refrain from editorializing further about lest I start a real Great Debate), and even then it seems like it is likely not enough to be a problem.
  #9  
Old 12-19-2007, 10:02 PM
Lillith Fair is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 804
She is @ 16-18 pounds. I think she will be okay. Oddly she did not eat the foil. Well, not odd that she didn't eat it, but odd that she got the Kiss out of the foil.

You guys are so funny! I loved that cake story!
  #10  
Old 12-19-2007, 10:05 PM
Lillith Fair is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayrot
What color is the dog?
Mainly white with two black spots and a brown head. With a white stripe up her nose, off-center. The cutest Jack Russell Terrier in the world.

Admit it; you're jealous.
  #11  
Old 12-19-2007, 10:41 PM
flickster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Where Zydeco/Tejano meet
Posts: 3,492
Make sure she has a good supply of water to drink overnight.

Our lab/beagle mix pulled a plastic storage container with 6 dozen freshly baked chocolate chip cookies off the counter and ate every one of them in the middle of the night. He didn't have much of an appetite for a couple of days and drank a lot of water, but survived. He's a little larger at 50 Lbs and he's got a nose for chocolate. He has managed to get into it a couple of times, but the above was by far the largest amount.
  #12  
Old 12-19-2007, 11:06 PM
tomndebb is offline
Mod Rocker
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 40,812
This question would seem to have an objective, factual answer.

Off to GQ.

[ /Modding ]
  #13  
Old 12-19-2007, 11:21 PM
InternetLegend is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 3,584
Our 65-lb. dog is something of a gourmet (or, really, a gourmand) when it comes to chocolate. He'll eat your run-of-the mill Halloween or Easter candy if that's all you've left within reach, and he'll take a brownie off a plate if no one's looking, but he really goes nuts for premium dark chocolate. He ate the better portion of a 3.5 oz. bar of Lindt Intense Orange dark chocolate one night, and he spent most of the next day and night having horrible diarrhea (some of it outside; some on the carpet). Recently, he ate about something less than one ounce of dark chocolate (with hazelnuts this time!) and had very little reaction to it.
  #14  
Old 12-20-2007, 05:03 AM
BobLibDem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Home 07 NCAA HockeyChamps
Posts: 21,227
All I can give is anecdotal evidence. I have had two yellow labs and both got tossed a piece of candy whenever we had it. If I grab a dozen M&Ms, she might get 3. If we eat a chocolate bar, she gets a hunk. Never any ill effects for either dog. And they aren't even chocolate labs.
  #15  
Old 12-20-2007, 07:31 AM
friedo's Avatar
friedo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 24,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem
All I can give is anecdotal evidence. I have had two yellow labs and both got tossed a piece of candy whenever we had it. If I grab a dozen M&Ms, she might get 3. If we eat a chocolate bar, she gets a hunk. Never any ill effects for either dog. And they aren't even chocolate labs.
That amount of chocolate certainly will pass through unnoticed for a big dog like a lab, but it could easily make a much smaller dog pretty sick.
  #16  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:07 AM
El Zagna is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,936
The Master speaks.
  #17  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:15 AM
Uncommon Sense is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wisconsin, Untied States
Posts: 7,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller
Do Hershey's Kisses contain any actual chocolate?
Not as far as my taste buds are concerned. Damn, I hate those things. But I love chocolate!
  #18  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:27 AM
Bearflag70 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 7,201
When we first got our pup, we came home one day to find he had gotten into a box of See's candy. He ate about 7 pieces. We freaked out and ran to the internet. I don't have the cites now, but the consensus is that a dog will be OK with no more than 1 ounce of milk chocolate per pound of dog and about half that for dark chocolate. The real killer is baker's chocolate, which can be toxic at very small doses, according to "the internet." I AM NOT A VET!

Our dog is now 31 pounds. So, his milk chocolate limit is 31 ounces. Each box of See's candy is a pound (16 oz.). So, he could get away with about two full boxes of See's candy!

However, if you really think about it, See's candy is usually just a chocolate shell surrounding some other kind of filling. So is a Snickers bar, a Twix bar, a Butterfinger bar, etc. There isn't always 16 ounces of CHOCOLATE in 16 ounces of candy. A Twix bar is usually about 3 ounces, but maybe only 1 ounce of that is chocolate. So, he could really eat A WHOLE LOT of See's and other candy bars before getting chocolate poisoning, depending on the type of candy involved.

Last edited by Bearflag70; 12-20-2007 at 08:30 AM.
  #19  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:29 AM
neorxnawange is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Where bluebonnets grow
Posts: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem
All I can give is anecdotal evidence. I have had two yellow labs and both got tossed a piece of candy whenever we had it. If I grab a dozen M&Ms, she might get 3. If we eat a chocolate bar, she gets a hunk. Never any ill effects for either dog. And they aren't even chocolate labs.
I had the same experience for years with all of my dogs, I fed them chocolate as a treat when I was having it, and I disbelieved the chocolate = poison for dogs warning, as I discard so much other silly dog care advice. That is until my youngest dog suffered a bad case of chocolate poisoning after eating just two of those mini chocolate squares. It made her considerably sick, cost me a fortune in vet bills, and made a variety of disgusting messes on the floor. Poor girl. She is a smallish dog (21 lbs), and is somewhat prone to digestive problems anyway, though. Now I just avoid chocolate for dogs all together. I think it is obvious that many, if not most, domestic dogs can eat chocolate without ill effects, but I'm unwilling to play the "this-dog-is different" lottery after that ordeal.
  #20  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:36 AM
MTRG is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: the 'burgh
Posts: 324
Didn't it kill Brian on the Family Guy?.

That's evidence enough for me.
  #21  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:58 AM
ZipperJJ's Avatar
ZipperJJ is online now
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 25,242
The rule for my dog (85lb golden retriever) is "never give the dog chocolate." I am well aware that it all depends on the chocolate and the dog, but if everyone is giving the dog "just a little bit" and no one is keeping a strict food journal as to how many ounces of how pure of a chocolate the dog is getting in a 24-hour period, things could get out of hand.

"No chocolate, ever" is much easier than keeping track of "just a little bit."

Conversely, with her weight, I do not freak out when she accidentally gets a dropped M&M or whatnot. Especially because I know she hasn't been given any other chocolate.
  #22  
Old 12-20-2007, 09:19 AM
VunderBob is offline
Guest
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: The VunderLair
Posts: 15,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillith Fair
I left an open bag of Hershey's Kisses in a box on the floor and the dog got into it. I'm pretty sure she only ate two. How bad is that?
Without reading the other posts, it takes a *LOT* of milk chocolate to bother even a Chihuahua; 2 Hershey's Kisses aren't enough.

The same amount of Baker's chocolate would be fatal to a Boxer or German Shepard.

Shoud your dog get into chocolate and you catch it right away, administer hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Do it outside or in a tiled mudroom, 'cuz you'll think they're auditioning for the remake of The Exorcist when you get it right...
  #23  
Old 12-20-2007, 09:25 AM
vetbridge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,581
I've seen a few "very sick" dogs that ate chocolate. Usually bakers chocolate is the one that really gets them. Yesterday afternoon I saw my first fatality (DOA) due to chocolate. Owner called in the early am describing a 15 pound dog that ate "a ton of" chocolate. The dog was acting hyper and had vomited. The receptionist suggested the dog be seen immediately, and there were appointments open. The woman said she had shopping to do and asked for an evening appointment. When she returned from shopping, the dog was seizuring. It was DOA later.
  #24  
Old 12-20-2007, 10:08 AM
SpectBrain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The Midlands
Posts: 645
Just coincidentally this article, Death by Chocolate is up on "New Scientist" today.
  #25  
Old 12-20-2007, 10:16 AM
Wile E is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 11,853
Quote:
Originally Posted by vetbridge
I've seen a few "very sick" dogs that ate chocolate. Usually bakers chocolate is the one that really gets them. Yesterday afternoon I saw my first fatality (DOA) due to chocolate. Owner called in the early am describing a 15 pound dog that ate "a ton of" chocolate. The dog was acting hyper and had vomited. The receptionist suggested the dog be seen immediately, and there were appointments open. The woman said she had shopping to do and asked for an evening appointment. When she returned from shopping, the dog was seizuring. It was DOA later.
Well, now she doesn't have to buy anything for the dog.

We see many chocolate toxicities. I've seen one fatality, an old dog with a heart problem ate a box of fine chocolates. The dog was pooping out foil wrappers and chocolate scented diarrhea by the time we saw him. The cardiac effects were too much for his heart. I haven't counted the fatalities that we didn't see because they died before they got to us. I've seen many really sick dogs that probably would have died without treatment.


Yes, there are safe doses of chocolate but it's really not even a good idea to give dogs chocolate because you can't be sure of the amount of theobromine in all types of chocolate and it's just a bad habit to get into with your dog, or cat even but cats aren't as into chocolate as dogs are. I've only ever heard of one cat eating chocolate.
  #26  
Old 12-20-2007, 10:57 AM
vetbridge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,581
A few years back a client returned home to find her bakers chocolate gone from the counter. She rusher her "bad dog" in. I induced vomiting, but only dog food came up. She rushed home to get the "good dog". His vomitus contained chocolate. Poor "bad dog" paid for his reputation!
  #27  
Old 12-20-2007, 11:13 AM
Gangster Octopus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: US of O
Posts: 13,171
vetbridge what would you have done for the dog in the first story? I see induce vomiting but it seems that dog was past that point. Just curious about what the next line of treatment is.
  #28  
Old 12-20-2007, 11:30 AM
Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 31,602
My own anecdote:

Not once, but twice an evil cocker spaniel we had many years ago got up on the table and ate a large batch of chocolate brownies. On both occasions there was a profusion of revolting chocolate diarrhea but she did not seem sick otherwise. The second time I ran her around the apartment complex to help her "get it out of her system" and ensure that a little bit of her GI distress made it to the outdoors, but I fear there was a smidge of punishment motive involved as well.

The choco-diarrhea is hell to get out of a carpet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerosa
Dog is in house 30 seconds and throws up two perfect halves of chocolate cake - not even chewed.
So...did you recycle the cake to unsuspecting visitors?

Last edited by Jackmannii; 12-20-2007 at 11:32 AM.
  #29  
Old 12-20-2007, 11:41 AM
Dangerosa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 22,431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii
My own anecdote:

Not once, but twice an evil cocker spaniel we had many years ago got up on the table and ate a large batch of chocolate brownies. On both occasions there was a profusion of revolting chocolate diarrhea but she did not seem sick otherwise. The second time I ran her around the apartment complex to help her "get it out of her system" and ensure that a little bit of her GI distress made it to the outdoors, but I fear there was a smidge of punishment motive involved as well.

The choco-diarrhea is hell to get out of a carpet.So...did you recycle the cake to unsuspecting visitors?
I wasn't home, my sister said she was quite tempted to put it back and frost it rather than face me when I discovered her dog ate a from scratch chocolate cake. But, of course, she didn't.

The dog also ate ever pair of nice panties I owned. But didn't go for the cotton briefs.
  #30  
Old 12-20-2007, 12:24 PM
StinkyBurrito is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NEO
Posts: 560
You don't even want to know what my lab used to eat. I used to find all sorts of crazy stuff in the back yard when I would clean up his poop. And since I didn't know how bad Baker's chocolate really was until more recently, I didn't freak out like I probably should have when he ate a whole unopened box of it. It didn't seem to bother him one bit. Of course he WAS a Chocolate Lab.

Of course he really did have nine lives. He was virtually indestructable. He fell 15 feet onto a concrete driveway and it didn't even phase him. He got hit by a car one night, and I didn't even know it for a while until I noticed the blood. So I took him to the vet to get checked out which is when we discovered that he had been shot sometime in the past and had a bullet lodged in his torso. He was fine. Even when I had to finally put him down he didn't go very easily.
  #31  
Old 12-20-2007, 01:37 PM
vetbridge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gangster Octopus
vetbridge what would you have done for the dog in the first story? I see induce vomiting but it seems that dog was past that point. Just curious about what the next line of treatment is.
Each case is treated according to specifics of the situation. Passing a stomach tube and administering a slurry of activated charcoal to reduce further absorption, an IV catheter and fluids/electrolytes, anticonvulsant therapy, monitor for and treat cardiac arrhythmias as they arise.
  #32  
Old 12-20-2007, 02:22 PM
MacGyverInSeattle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 131
My wife's yellow Lab (about 70 lbs) ate most of a 5 lb tin of baking chocolate powder and didn't seem any sicker than usual after eating 5 lbs of anything. This was about 6 months ago and the dog is still going strong.

Let's say that 1 lb actually got in the dog and the other 4 painted on the floor with dog slobber.
400mg * 16 = 6.4 grams Theobromine
32 kg dog = 200 mg/kg

We now have nice brown grout between the white tile in that part of the kitchen,
Mac
  #33  
Old 12-20-2007, 03:31 PM
Pullet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Left of spleen
Posts: 2,662
For the record, giving your dog small doses of chocolate over his lifetime will not immunize him.

It's fun when people have just enough information to be dangerous.

[ /my unasked for and useless comment]
  #34  
Old 12-20-2007, 03:36 PM
vetbridge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pullet
For the record, giving your dog small doses of chocolate over his lifetime will not immunize him.
That is actually a real life type thing that a client would suppose. I have seen HBC (hit by car. across the pond they are RTAs) dogs where the owner is perplexed. The dog has been hit 3 times prior to today, why hasn't it learned?
  #35  
Old 12-20-2007, 10:05 PM
tonedef is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 256
My sister used to have a dog, And i remember being voer there and giving teh dog chocolate and nothing happened! I remember my mum telling me off and telling me they hvae dog chocolate for a reason. (she was a baker) She also told me that compound chocolate (cooking chocolate) is nothing more than dog chocolate.


Also a good friend of mine has had a few dogs over the years. And he used to feed them everything from chocolates to onions and all of them lived a long life.
  #36  
Old 12-20-2007, 10:23 PM
yabob is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,942
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedef
My sister used to have a dog, And i remember being voer there and giving teh dog chocolate and nothing happened! I remember my mum telling me off and telling me they hvae dog chocolate for a reason. (she was a baker) She also told me that compound chocolate (cooking chocolate) is nothing more than dog chocolate.


Also a good friend of mine has had a few dogs over the years. And he used to feed them everything from chocolates to onions and all of them lived a long life.
If by "dog chocolate", you mean the "chocolate treats" they make specifically for dogs, they're actually carob. Carob doesn't contain a significant level of theobromine. Still seems like a dumb idea to me. Why encourage the dog to eat treats that simulate something that's poisonous for them? Still, when I was a kid, I remember buying the dog some of the things. He didn't like them. I tried one of them myself. I didn't blame him.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:05 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017