Chocolate and dogs do not mix.

To most of us, chocolate is a delicious substance. To dogs, chocolate is also delicious, but potentially lethal. Chocolate contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean. It affects the central nervous system as well as heart muscle.

It’s the theobromine that is poisonous to dogs in sufficient quantities. But it takes, on average, a fairly large amount of theobromine to cause a toxic reaction…

For more specific figures, here are the approximate amounts of theobromine  per ounce of chocolate:

  • Cocoa powder: 800 mg/oz
  • Baker’s chocolate (unsweetened): 450 mg/oz
  • Dark chocolate: 150 mg/oz
  • Milk chocolate: 50 mg/oz

So, the general rules for the amount of chocolate that will be toxic for a dog:

  • Milk chocolate: one ounce per pound of body weight (so, without intervention, a 16 pound dog (7.2 kg) would likely die from eating one pound of milk chocolate)
  • Dark chocolate: 1/3 of an ounce per pound of body weight (around 5 ounces of dark chocolate for that same 16 pound dog)
  • Baker’s chocolate: 1/9 of an ounce per pound of body weight (around 1.8 ounces of baker’s chocolate for a 16 pound dog)
  • Cocoa powder: 1/16 of an ounce per pound of dog (around 1 ounce of cocoa powder to kill a 16 pound dog)

On the other extreme end, it would take about 200 pounds of white chocolate consumed within a 17 hour period to reach toxic levels of theobromine for a 16 pound dog.  The low quantity of theobromine here is because white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids.


via The Presurfer