Hi. My dog has eaten some chocolate. He is 13 years old, about 37-38 kg (80 lb), and he ate a piece of milk chocolate about 2-3 oz (60-90 grams) . He seems fine, there are no symptoms after about 4.5 hours. Should I be concerned or just keep an eye on him?
One of the toxic foods for dogs is, among others, chocolate.
Nevertheless, the key is in the dosage.
The risk of ingesting chocolate depends on:
- the type of chocolate,
- the size of the dog and
- the amount ingested.
Toxic component of chocolate for dogs is called theobromine. While humans digest theobromine easily, dogs do it very slowly, allowing it to accumulate in the body until it reaches toxic levels in high doses.
Size of the dog matters too, accordingly a large dog can ingest bigger amount of chocolate than a small dog. It should also be mentioned that different types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine. Cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate contain the highest levels, while milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest levels.
If your dog consumes a small amount of chocolate (e.g. one ounce) with low levels of theobromine nothing will happen to him as the amount of theobromine is not high enough to hurt him. However, high amounts may have adverse effects.
If you have a small dog that has eaten a box of chocolates by mistake, you should take him to a vet.
A dog is carnivorous and this should be the fundamental basis of the diet, accompanied by variety of fruit and vegetables.
Chocolate should never be an ingredient to include in his diet.
Keep a close eye on your dog and if you notice any alteration, take him to your vet.