How bad is chocolate for dogs?

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.

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…

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.

Just coincidentally this article, Death by Chocolate is up on “New Scientist” today.

Well, now she doesn’t have to buy anything for the dog. :mad:

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.

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!

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.

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? :dubious:

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.

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. :cool:

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.

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.

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 :eek:

We now have nice brown grout between the white tile in that part of the kitchen,
Mac

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]

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?

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.