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Chocolate… WHY do dogs eat it?

By Dr. Andrew Jones

Hello all… it’s Monday.

I spent a pretty busy weekend On Call – I somehow had 3 different calls about dogs eating Chocolate.


It’s like things come in threes.

But not to harp on that.

Here is a SPECIFIC QUESTION that I answered about chocolate toxicity on my Membership Site.

Chocolate Toxicity in dogs

My Chihuahua weighs about 6-7 lbs. and she ate 3 chocolate chip cookies and a brownie yesterday. she couldn’t keep water down at first but now she can. she is still vomiting though. should i take her to a vet or do a at home remedy?


The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine.

The half life in the dog is 17.5 hours.

The Toxic dose in the dog is 100-150 mg/kg (kilogram (kg) = 2.2 lbs, milligram(mg) = 1/1000 of a gram).

So for a 50 pound dog, a toxic dose would be roughly 2.2 grams (2200 mg) of pure chocolate. For your 10 lb dog, the toxic dose is 500mg.

However the concentration of theobromine varies with the formulation of the chocolate so:

Milk chocolate has 44mg/oz (154mg/100gm): toxic dose for 50 lb dog – 50 oz of milk chocolate. Semisweet chocolate has 150 mg/oz (528mg/100gm): toxic dose for 50 lb dog – 15 oz of semisweet chocolate.

Baking chocolate 390mg/oz (1365 mg/100gm): toxic dose for 50 lb dog – 5 oz of baking chocolate.

Thus a dog eating one oz of baking chocolate would have to eat almost 3 oz of semisweet or 10 oz of milk chocolate to get the same dose of theobromine.

The theobromine in candies consisting of chocolate that is coated over some other substance – as in filled candies and chocolate coated dried fruits, etc. will be more dilute than that in pure chocolate bars and solid chocolate candies.

Obviously the chocolate in milk chocolate is quite dilute and this is why many dogs can eat a piece here and there and seem not to show toxic effects, how many dogs would get ahold of 50 oz at a time? This is not true of the more concentrated forms however.

In one case, I had seen two dogs, a 95 pound one and a 60 pound one. They got hold of 2 one pound bags of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate pieces (a bag each). The 95 pound dog survived but the 60 pound dog ingested a toxic dose.

The 3 chocolate chips won’t do ANYTHING.

Most chocolate bars won’t do much of ANYTHING.

This means that your dog likely has the ill effects of a sore belly.

In my experience, MOST dogs are eating chocolate bars..which contain very little chocolate. There is however a trend to people eating more ‘real’ chocolate, and I did have to treat a small dog for easter bunny dark chocolate toxicity.

This doesn’t apply to cats as in their wisdom they appear to AVOID chocolate…

Perhaps we can learn something from our cats?


P.S. REMEMBER… I am getting ready to send out this months CD Interview for members of my Inner Circle.

I did a GREAT in depth interview with Dog and Cat Massage Therapist, Christine Sutherland. She even walked me through a Complete Massage with Lewis… including what do do first, the RIGHT way to massage, PLUS Massage for those ACHING joints…

You can get it NOW by going to:


Also – many have asked about my At-Home Exam DVD Video, if they could pick up a copy separately from my home study course. It’s now available, here:


It’s Your Pet. Heal Them At Home!

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM


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Topics: Dog Health, Pet health | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Chocolate… WHY do dogs eat it?”

  1. Avatar Shannon Says:
    May 12th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I agree with you all the way the man is a piece of s… He should get the max for what he did and maybe put him through a little of his owm medicine. forget to feed him or water or just a pat on the head. this kind of thing makes me so mad.

  2. Avatar Angel Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I just found this blog and post because I’m in a panic and researching this topic on the web.

    I have a 55-60 pound Golden Retriever who is 1 and 3/4 years old. My two boys spilled about half of a container of Nestle Baking Chocolate POWDER all over my kitchen this morning and I don’t know if the dog licked any of it up. However, today he has pooped twice and his second bowl movement was starting to get very soft. He has also vomitted a small amount of water. He was at the groomers all day and so he hadn’t eated since 6am. He just ate his dinner at 4pm and so far hasn’t thrown up and his spirits are still fine. He is generally a bit hyper as it is so I’m not sure how I’m going to determine whether he is hyperactive or not. I am in a panic over this and we do not have the money to take him to the vet for fluids right now. We have no way to do that (normally we have no problem spending gobs amount of money on our dogs if they need it… but that was before this economy hit). Is there anything I can do for him here. Making him throw up seems futile now because he would have, if he did, ingested the baking powder at 8am. At that time there was no sign he had ingested any so I put it out of my mind. Denial maybe.

    Do you think that if he licked any of that powder up it would be toxic to a dog of his size? I’m not good at the conversions and don’t know exactly how much theobromine is in Nestle Chocolate baking powder. In general it seems that there is 111mg of it per 1 tbsp.

    Please help.

  3. Avatar Sarah Says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    This was a very helpful blog. It really explained the dangers of chocolate without just telling me to call the vet!

    Thank you!

  4. Avatar nikki Says:
    November 14th, 2010 at 3:49 am

    Thank you! This blog helped me the most of many. I have a 6 lbs chihuahua and he stole 1 milk dud and i freaked. so thanks for finally not saying right off the bat, CALL THE VET! i was tired of reading that


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM