Chocolate = Poison

This pictures shows three chocolate bars stacked on top of each other.

Yes ma’am, yes sir.. chocolate IS poison, I pinky promise it is… now, luckily it’s not poisonous for humans but it IS for dogs. 

This is a fact that I may have heard growing up once, but was really enforced in training. I’m not sure why but it came up multiple times when I was at guide dog training with Makiko that chocolate is poisonous.

Tonight I was making double chocolate chunk cookies. I have been having a bit of a rough time lately with the combinations of school stress, an issue awhile ago with Makiko, grieving over the loss of my father, etc., so I tend to find things to keep me busy when I’m at home. I made chocolate chip cookies and dropped a little tiny bit on the floor. I heard Makiko licking and I think she licked up a little bit of chocolate, but I can’t be certain. I freaked out because I did know chocolate was very poisonous, and described the amount she could have possibly gotten (one lick, don’t think any bites) to the vet and he told me not to worry about it. So far so good.. no abnormalities! 

So why is chocolate poisonous for dogs? Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which contain caffeine in them, in addition to something called theobromine. This is the part that is dangerous to dogs because they metabolize this much more slowly than us humans. 

Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical compound called theobromine, which is the real danger. “The buzz we get from eating chocolate may last 20 to 40 minutes, but for dogs it lasts many hours,” he says. “After 17 hours, half of the theobromine a dog has ingested is still in the system.” (Kevin Fitgerald, Denton Veterinarian). And this next part is why I got worried.. even the smallest amount of chocolate ingested can lead to vomitting, diarrhea, and if it is enough chocolate it can lead to hypertoxicity, seizures, high blood pressure, and many other scary symptoms. Now, do you see why I freaked out? Makiko NEVER licks things off the floor but apparently this chocolate was too good for her to resist, luckily it was a very tiny amount. 

Keep chocolate away from your dogs people.