When to Panic Over Your Dog Eating Chocolate

Posted by donna@pethangout 05/31/2018 0 Comment(s)

When to panic over your dog eating chocolate.



What did Drake do... ? ! ?  

This was my first thought when I saw this…  

the empty protein bar wrapper

Then, I had a flashback on taking one bite of my protein bar, then sitting it on my garden table to run inside the house to do something.  

When I returned, Drake had this “oh so guilty” look on his face.     Whenever I see this look, I know Drake, our office Keltie, has been a “bad boy”!  

The thoughts rushed from, “Drake - what bad thing have you done” to “Oh my gosh, you got into my protein bar” to “Wait, there’s chocolate in my protein bar” to “Is my poor Drake in danger?”.  


Drake getting into trouble.    

It’s not a secret that chocolate can be toxic to a dog but it made me beg the question, “How much chocolate does it take to make my dog sick?”  


After doing some prompt research, I did conclude that Drake was indeed safe because he had not consumed too much chocolate for his body weight.  

NOTE:   Larger dogs will be able to safely tolerate larger amounts of chocolate than smaller dogs.

On the other hand, if he had taken in too much chocolate, it would be time to move quickly and get him to his vet or an emergency vet for immediate treatment.

NOTE:  ASPCA’s 24-hour poison hotline:  1-888-426-4435


Are you wondering why would chocolate, one of the yummiest treats on the planet, be so bad for your dog?


Chocolate and cocoa contain an ingredient called theobromine.  We can easily process and digest it but dogs have a harder time.   Their system metabolizes theobromine very slow which could allow toxic levels to build up in their system.   When this happens, your dog may become very ill or die from the toxic levels.    

You may see symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, extreme thirst, pacing, panting, or seizures. 

NOTE:  DO NOT WAIT for symptoms to show up before trying to help your dog.    It can take up to 72 hours.   



You should do the following right away to figure out if your dog is in trouble:

1 - Determine your dog’s weight - round up to 10, 20, 30, etc. depending on their weight.   This makes your calculation much easier.   Don’t worry - it’s easy to do.

2 - Determine the type and quantity of chocolate your dog consumed.

Bakers chocolate is the most lethal, then dark chocolate, then milk chocolate, and lastly white chocolate.


Toxic Level based on the Type of Chocolate

  • Baker's - 393 mg/oz   This is used for cooking
  • Dark - 130 mg/oz   Dark chocolate is darker in color and bitter
  • Milk - 58 mg/oz   Milk is what most of your candy bars are made with
  • White - .25 mg/oz   White is creamy colored and used in some candy bars.


You can do a simple calculation now.   

You are hoping the answer will be a lot less than 20 mg!  

Petful.com states: “If your dog ingests an amount CLOSE to 20 mg or more of toxic ingredient per pound of dog, you need to call the vet right away.”


To calculate:

Toxic Level = Ounces Consumed x Chocolate mg / Your Dog’s Weight

(Multiply the Ounces Eaten by the Chocolate MG...then Divide that number by your dog’s weight)

Calculate how much chocolate is toxic to your dog.


For Example:

  • Drake Weighs 50 pounds
  • He consumed 2 ounces of milk chocolate
  • So I pulled the Milk Chocolate mg from above (Milk - 58 mg/oz)
  • Then I did my calculation:
  • 2  times 58 mg = 116 mg
  • Then I divided by his weight:   116 mg / 50 lbs. = 2.32 mg
  • 2.32 mg is nowhere near 20 mg so I felt assured Drake was safe

Drake never even showed signs of sickness either so his system definitely handled the chocolate just fine.

My “little scare”  ended okay.  

I guess my lesson learned is to be very careful where I leave chocolate lying around.   Your dog is watching your every move and is always looking for an opportunity for a “treat”.


If I had learned that Drake was in danger, I could have tried to make him vomit by giving him hydrogen peroxide  (1 tablespoon / 20 pounds).  

In most cases, your dog will naturally vomit on his own - which is a great thing.

If you decide you need to get your dog to the vet, they will most likely give them medicine to induce vomiting and possibly put them on fluids. They may also give a medicine containing activated charcoal which will prevent the toxin from entering their bloodstream and making them even sicker.



Never intentionally feed your dog chocolate.  It can become toxic to them and cause them to become ill or even die.    If you suspect your dog has gotten into some chocolate, you can calculate their toxic level by using a formula based on their weight and type of chocolate they ate.

If their toxic level is way below 20 mg, you can breathe a sigh of relief.  Your pup is just fine.    

However, if its close to 20 mg or over, you should get your dog to the vet immediately.   They can flush the toxin from their system so that your dog will be back to normal in no time.


Has your dog had a close call with chocolate?

Please share with us below...

...and would you kindly click Pet Hangout's LIKE box to help us grow?

For more pet health tips, check out Why is my poor dog breathing as fast as everHow to Know if my Dog has Painful Hip Dysplasia, and 17 Powerful New Puppy Hacks You Have to Know.

Leave a Comment