My Dog Ate Chocolate – How Long Before Symptoms Start?

Learn how long it takes for symptoms of chocolate poisoning to show in dogs, what to do if your dog ate chocolate, and how to prevent it in the future.
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If your dog ate chocolate, you may be wondering what to do. This blog will look at the world’s most common household pet – the dog – and the world’s most common household sweet – chocolate. We’ll discuss how long until the first symptoms starts to appear. And then we’ll discuss what happens next.

Chocolate is not healthy for dogs and can cause chocolate poisoning which may lead your dog to suffer from serious medical conditions. The signs of chocolate poisoning appear within 6 to 12 hours after eating chocolate. If your dog is in this situation then immediately call a Veterinarian.

It’s going to be an interesting blog.

Let’s get started.

Why Is Chocolate Toxic to Dogs?

Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains a compound called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Theobromine is a stimulant that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in dogs.

Both of these are really dangerous for dogs’ health and cause serious medical conditions. Some side effects of theobromine and caffeine are as follows:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Restlessness
  3. Increased heart rate
  4. Increased blood pressure
  5. Nausea and vomiting
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Fatigue
  8. Rapid breathing
  9. Seizures

The risk of a dog becoming sick depends on the type and amount of chocolate consumed, as well as the weight of the dog.

What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Chocolate?

Why is chocolate toxic to dogs-min

If your dog has eaten chocolate, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. Do not try to treat your dog at home, as this could make their condition worse.

The Veterinarian might ask you several questions like:

  • How much chocolate has your dog eaten?
  • What type of chocolate has been eaten?
  • When did they eat it?
  • How much does your pet weigh?

So, be ready to answer these questions in the Veterinarian clinic. 

What Is The Treatment for Chocolate Poisoning?

If your dog ate chocolate, it’s important to act fast. Chocolate poisoning can be fatal for dogs. The first step is to call your veterinarian. They will likely want you to bring your dog in for an examination. 

The treatment for chocolate poisoning depends on a number of factors like:

  • Amount of chocolate your dog has eaten
  • Type of chocolate
  • Your dog’s weight

In most cases, your Vet might give your dog a dose of activated charcoal. It will induce vomiting to remove as much of the chocolate from the stomach as possible. The Veterinarian can admit your pet or he could also discharge them within a few hours of treatment. Again, it depends from condition to condition.

“ I am not a Veterinarian. All of the content found in this blog is just for informational purposes. Consult any Veterinarian if you have questions regarding the health of your dog. ”

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How Much Chocolate Is Toxic for a Dog?

Chocolate contains properties that are toxic to dog. The amount of chocolate that is poisonous to a dog depends on the size of the dog, the kind of chocolate, and the amount of chocolate consumed.

Many dog owners wonder how much chocolate it takes to kill their pet. While there is no definitive answer, we know that dogs begin to show symptoms of poisoning when they consume 20mg of theobromine (the toxic chemical found in chocolate) per kilogram of their weight. These symptoms become severe at 40 to 50mg per kg.

If your dog has eaten 3.5 g of dark chocolate or 14 g of milk chocolate per kilogram of their weight, they will need to be treated by a vet.

The toxicity level of chocolate depends on a lot of factors like how dark the chocolate is or how much milk there is in it.

Check this Chocolate Toxicity Calculator for Dogs for more details.

Which Type of Chocolate Is Most Dangerous for Dogs? Dark Chocolate or White Chocolate?

How much chocolate is toxic for a dog-min

The most dangerous type of chocolate for dogs is dark chocolate, which can contain high levels of theobromine, a compound that can be toxic to dogs.

The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to dogs. Baking chocolate and gourmet dark chocolate are highly concentrated and contain a high amount of theobromine.

If your dog has eaten chocolate, it’s important to watch for signs of toxicity, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive thirst, and to contact your veterinarian right away.

Which Type of Chocolate Is Least Dangerous for Dogs?

There are different types of chocolate, and each type has a different level of danger for dogs. The least dangerous type of chocolate is white chocolate, followed by milk chocolate. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are the most dangerous for dogs.

The least dangerous type of chocolate is white chocolate, followed by milk chocolate. Common milk chocolate only contains about 44-58 mg/ounce of theobromine, that’s why it’s less dangerous for dogs. But still, they can cause some serious medical issues in dogs. That’s why you should avoid giving any type of chocolate to your little canine companion.

Signs & Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning

As I discussed earlier, signs of chocolate poisoning usually appear within 6 to 12 hours. If you have seen your dog eating chocolate, then don’t wait for the symptoms to appear. Immediately contact the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 or your veterinarian or emergency vet right away.

Here are some of the main symptoms and signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Increased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Elevated or abnormal heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Collapsing
  • How to prevent your dog from eating chocolate

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Chocolate

Follow the following tips to prevent your paw from sneaking a chocolate treat:

1. Keep Your Chocolate Hidden Away Where Your Dog Cannot Reach It

If you want to keep your furry friend safe, be sure to keep your chocolate hidden away where they can’t reach it.

2. Buy for Yourself Chocolate With Low Theobromine Levels

You should buy chocolate with low theobromine levels for yourself. Theobromine is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems if they ingest it. Choose a quality chocolate that has a low theobromine content to keep your dog safe.

3. Don’t Leave Chocolate Lying Around and Store It in a Safe Place

If you have chocolate in your house, be sure to keep it out of reach of your pets. Dogs, in particular, are attracted to the sweet taste of chocolate and can easily eat too much of it, leading to potentially fatal health problems.

4. Separate Chocolate From Other Foods

Separate chocolate from other foods. Chocolate can be dangerous for dogs, so you’ll want to keep it away from anything else your dog might eat. 

5. Never Give Chocolate as a Reward

Chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and should never be given as a reward. So, instead of giving them chocolate as a reward, opt for a safe and healthy alternative.


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How Long Does It Take to Affect a Dog After Eating Chocolate?

Signs of chocolate poisoning usually appear within 6 to 12 hours. If you know that your dog has eaten chocolate then don’t wait for signs to appear, instead, immediately visit the nearest Vet.

Will My Dog Be Okay After Eating Chocolate?

If your dog had eaten a small amount of chocolate then they may be okay after a few hours. But if they have eaten a large amount of chocolate then it can take a few days to recover completely.

How Do You Treat Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs at Home?

Vomiting is the best step that you can take to treat chocolate poisoning in dogs at home. Giving your dog some activated charcoal can help them to vomit and to get rid of the chocolate before it gets digested by your dog’s body.

How Long Does It Take a Dog to Recover After Eating Chocolate? 

On average, it takes a dog around six to eight hours to process and metabolize chocolate and from 6 to 48 hours to recover after eating chocolate. However, the amount of time it takes for a dog to recover after eating chocolate can vary depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed, as well as the size and health of the dog. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more harmful it is to dogs and the longer it will take for them to recover.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article might help you greatly in the treatment and prevention of chocolate poisoning.

Now, you are aware of the severe effects of chocolate poisoning so keep your dog safe by not giving them chocolates and taking some preventive measures to avoid future issues.

Moreover, if your pet eats things that are dangerous for their health then you should immediately contact a pet insurance company. They will allow you to get the treatment of your pet without worrying about the actual cost of treatment.

If you find this information interesting then share it with your loved ones so that they can also get some benefits from it.

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Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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