What animals can die from chocolate?

I know dogs can die from eating too much chocolate, but what about other species/pets?

My GF’s ferret managed to get it’s way into a bag of chocolate chip cookies, and managed to eat a little bit of it. We got the cookie away before it could eat much other than the cookie part, but it got me to thinking whether it could have gotten ill/died if it had managed to eat a whole cookie.

So what animals can get ill/die from chocolate overdose?

Lots, mammals, birds, even cattle. Your ferret is no exception.

To be fair, it’s toxic to humans too, we just don’t usually eat enough of it in one sitting. Most of us, anyhow.


Ferrets appear to be on the list, too.

Dogs are sensitive to theobromine which is in the same family as caffeine. There is a similar risk for cats but all cats don’t have the ability to taste sweet things so they are less likely to eat it.

Here’s an article to get the discussion started

Wikipedia - Theobromine Poisoning

Quick tangent.

What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in humans?
I know someone who eats about two big bars (230g each) a day, and (weirdly) he has a lot of the symptoms described in Pullet’s ferret link.

IIRC, if you eat 7 pounds of chocolate in one sitting, you can reach a euphoric, marajuana-like high. If that’s true, then Laudenum’s buddy isn’t getting enough chocolate to hit the acute toxicity dose.

My google-fu is saying that the exact toxic level of chocolate for humans is poorly understood, which my read-between-the-lines brain interprits as “it happens, but not often.”

What we need now is study on chronic chocolate toxicity, to see what happens to folks who only eat 4 pounds of chocolate a day. Volunteers?

Send me your chocolate, I’ll be your guinea pig. Or greedy pig, whatever.

We just need 10 more people to have a study that is statistically valid.
Someone, ignite the “Free Chocolate” beacon.

Thanks for the replies, didn’t realize it was a danger to practically any animal.

Someone needs to get to work on refining chocolate. :wink:

If we could get cocaine from the fairly innocuous coca leaf, we should be able to do something similar w/ chocolate, plus it’s not illegal!

Raises hand to join the experimental group to see if humans can die from chocolate.

I’d prefer to die from dark chocolate, please.

Anyone know if chocolate is poisonous to bears or raccoons? I have something chocolate flavored (chocolate and cocoa are both ingredients for these awful rice cakes) I’d like to put in the compost bin, but there’s at least a 50% chance that it will be raided by bears or raccoons, which we normally don’t worry about other than setting the bin back in place once its been knocked over. One of the local raccoons who is a frequent visitor has babies in tow, and I’d hate to hurt them.

mmm! Bacon.

It’s funny that the google ads are posting diet programs to this thread. I wonder if 7 lbs of chocolate is on the diet?

I wouldn’t mind dying from chocolate comsumption. Given other options, it sounds like a good way to go. A melty, delicious way to go.

I had a dog that committed suicide (no other explanation) by eating 8 oz of unsweetened baker’s chocolate along with the wrappers. He was horrifically ‘stoned’ the first twelve hours, seemed to sober up, and then just keeled over with a heart attack in the midst of barking at someone who came to the door.

Poor old Hodge…

They love that stuff, and it’s more concentrated and thus more dangerous.

I’ve eaten chocolate flavored rice cakes before, when trying to maintain weight for HS wrestling. If they’re anything like the ones I ate I’m betting any chocolate flavoring is like the #4 ingredient, and it’s probably some diluted chocolaty substance.

If you’re still concerned, you could toss them out like 2-3 at a time over a period of time.

Dunno about raccoons, but I wouldn’t worry about bears unless you have a truly massive amount of this stuff to get rid of. Part of the problem of chocolate toxicity, AIUI, is that some pets are much smaller than humans, so it doesn’t take much chocolate to give them trouble. Bears aren’t going to have that problem unless they’re cubs. (If you have bear cubs visiting your yard, I demand that you post pics)

Humans definitely.

I believe there was a store, “Death by Chocolate” in Sedona, AZ.
No non-human animals were lined up at the door.

I did eat a two pound box of chocolates and drink an entire bottle of wine at one sitting.

It gave me the best high and the worst hangover in my life.