Fact or Fiction? Chocolate Is Poisonous for Dogs

Chocolate is absolutely poisonous for dogs. It contains both theobromine and caffeine, chemicals which dogs aren’t able to digest as efficiently as people can. If any dog ingests enough, the effects can be fatal.
Some confusion about the toxicity of chocolate in dogs exists because the concentration of these chemicals varies between different types of chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the higher concentration of toxins. The effect also depends on the size of the dog. For example, a large dog that ingests a little milk chocolate might not experience noticeable symptoms.
Chocolate is probably the most frequently discussed human food that is dangerous for dogs, but there are many foods and household substances that are dangerous for pets.

More People Foods That Are Toxic for Dogs

1. Xylitol

This sweetener found in sugar-free gum rapidly changes a dog’s blood sugar level when ingested, leading to seizures, organ failure, and even death.

2. All Onions

All members of the onion family – including garlic – are harmful, destroying red blood cells when ingested.

3. Grapes and Raisins

These fruits can cause kidney failure if eaten by dogs.

4. Avocado

Different parts of the avocado plant have different levels of toxicity, but they should all be considered off-limits for dogs.

5. Caffeine and Alcohol

Both of these substances are highly toxic to pets. Keep your drinks covered or out of your pet’s reach.

Keep Your Dog Safe from Toxins

Not every instance of a dog ingesting toxic food results in a fatal outcome. The degree of damage depends on the size of the dog, the concentration of the toxin, the amount ingested, and how quickly they receive treatment.
However, dogs and cats alike will fair best when fed a diet formulated specifically for their species. It’s best to avoid giving food intended for humans to pets whenever possible. Store potentially toxic substances such as foods, household cleaners, and medications in a secure location that is out of your pet’s reach.
No matter how carefully you cultivate your pet’s environment, the accidental ingestion of poisonous substances can still occur. We recommend preparing for a potential emergency by having a pet emergency plan in place. Keep the phone number for Tanglewilde Animal Clinic’s emergency service and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control on hand at all times. If you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous substance, contact our office immediately.