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Chocolate Toxicity

What makes chocolate toxic to pets and how much is too much


Chocolate toxicity is one of the number one concerns of pet lovers. Chocolate is loved by many and found in many of our homes. Here are the top chocolate questions and answers relating to pets eating chocolate.

It is important to note that there are several other foods and household items that are toxic to pets, some more toxic than chocolate.

1. What Makes Chocolate Toxic To Pets?

Chunks of chocolate
© Getty Images / Mark Weiss

Just like their human counterparts, pets, especially dogs, can crave the delicious goodness of chocolate. 

Dogs are most commonly affected because of to their ability to find it, chew through containers and the 'sweet tooth' they seem to have. It is important to remember that cats and other species are susceptible to the toxic effects of chocolate, too.

2. How Much Chocolate is Toxic?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup - pinkpucca/Flickr

The answer to "how much chocolate is toxic" varies widely on the type of chocolate, size of dog or cat, and how much they have consumed.

Here are some guidelines and chocolate toxicity calculators to see how much is too much for each situation.

3. What Are The Signs Seen With Chocolate Toxicity?

Chocolate Demise by foooooey on Flickr
by foooooey on Flickr

Excitement, tremors, vomiting and diarrhea are the most common signs, but depending on the type of chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more toxic) and the amount consumed, more serious signs are seen with chocolate poisoning in pets.

4. How Is Chocolate Toxicity Treated?

The toxicity of chocolate is dose dependent. This means that the size of your pet, the type of chocolate, and quantity of chocolate determine if or how toxic it is for your pet. Learn more about the types of chocolate, toxicity levels, and how much is too much in this FAQ.

5. Icky Things Pets Eat

This range of this topic is almost endless, as pets have (and will) eat almost anything. Sometimes it is the food we unknowingly give them - either recalled pet food, human foods that are toxic to pets, or medications intended for humans. Other times, they find rat bait, stray strings and socks or other household items that leave us scratching our heads and asking why.

6. Easter and Springtime Chocolate and Food Hazards

Easter Basket and Puppy - Getty Images
J&L Images/Getty Images

Easter and springtime decorations (and edibles) liven the scenery, but also pose a potential hazard to pets. Who knew that plastic Easter grass could be dangerous?

7. Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Dog - Dogwitch by daveynin on Flickr
by daveynin on Flickr

There are many Halloween pet safety hazards related to this October holiday -- some are well-known (the dangers of chocolate toxicity), and some aren't (xylitol toxicity). Learn what to be aware of to protect your pet and stay safe.

8. Chocolate-covered Raisins are A Double Threat

Raisins by babbagecabbage on Flickr
by babbagecabbage on Flickr

Originally thought to be an urban legend, it is now known that raisins and grapes are indeed toxic to dogs. The type of grape and the type of dog doesn't seem to matter, and the toxic amount may be a small serving to several ounces.

If raisins are chocolate covered, there is a potential for two types of toxicity.

Related: Case report of raisin toxicity in a dog

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