Many of us enjoy the delectable delights of chocolate. The way it melts in our mouth, its taste, and the feeling of joy it leaves after we consume it. Chocolate is a great treat for us but it is actually dangerous for animals. We cannot share this food that we love with our pets that we also love. It would be a bad idea. East Valley Animal Clinic is the veterinarian near you in Gilbert, where we provide pet health care, but also education on what is best or not best for your pet.


How can it be that a treat like chocolate is such a delight for us but so dangerous for our pets? Not only can it cause illness for your pup, it can also lead to death for them. It is that dangerous! Chocolate itself contains caffeine and a chemical called theobromine. These two chemicals separately are not good for dogs and, when put together, they are a very dangerous combination. Humans are able to digest and quickly process these two chemicals when eaten but a dog’s system is unable to quickly process them. With the slow processing, the chemicals become toxic in a dog’s body. The darker the chocolate the higher the amount of toxins it contains and thus the more dangerous it is for canines.

Chocolate Poison Symptoms

Humans have very different symptoms following eating chocolate and they usually includes happiness. Canines however have specific negative symptoms that are good to be aware of such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Respiratory Failure
  • Cardiac Arrest

While the amount of chocolate ingested affects the symptoms, it can take hours for the symptoms to show. By the time symptoms show, the ingredients could reach highly toxic levels in your dog’s body. It is imperative to get your pet to the clinic as soon as you realize they are being affected by these toxins.


If the ingestion of chocolate is caught quickly, treatment will be better applied for your pup. Vomiting is induced as soon as possible to get the chocolate out of the body and limit it from going fully into the dog’s system. Depending on the amount of chocolate ingested and timeframe of it being in their stomach, “activated charcoal”, which soak up the toxins, may be needed.

Providing knowledgeable emergency care to your pet after chocolate ingestion is very important. We here at East Valley Animal Clinic understand the anxiety caused by your beloved pet being ill and we want to help provide the best care possible!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/30/2017) Joe Green (Flickr)