Is It True If A Dog Eats Chocolate It Can Be Fatal?

True dog fact: yes, dogs can die from eating chocolate.

Interesting dog fact: no, your dog will most likely NOT die from eating a stolen mars bar.

Here’s an interesting case of chocolate poisoning in dogs…..

One emergency out of hours veterinary clinic provider, has admitted an unusually high number of dogs recently who have been sniffing out the leftover Christmas chocolates, with almost fatal consequences.


The Vets Now at the Sheffield clinic located in the United Kingdom in England alone has seen three cases in the past few weeks, highlighting the fact that many owners may be unaware of the dangers that chocolate poses if consumed by our four legged friends.  Our pets are just as partial to a sweet treat as we are; however, even a small amount of chocolate, if consumed by your pet, can be enough to cause death.  Dogs are most commonly affected by chocolate poisoning although cats, especially kittens, parrots and rodents are also susceptible.



Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine and although humans have no problem clearing their system of the substance, dogs in particular struggle to get rid of it.  The substance can stay in a dog’s system for three days and just 50g of chocolate can be enough to kill a small dog.


Talking about the recent increase in chocolate poisoning cases, Ian Lowe, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Vets Now Sheffield said; “We have treated an unusually high number of cases of chocolate poisoning over the past few weeks, which have probably been caused by dogs sniffing out the leftover Christmas chocolates.

In all cases, the owners had been quick to recognise the signs of chocolate poisoning and have sought urgent treatment.  In most cases, we have induced vomiting to empty the dogs’ stomachs and we were delighted that all three dogs who were brought to us made quick and full recoveries.  Not all dogs are so lucky and if more than two hours has passed, the symptoms from a dog ingesting chocolate can be more serious, often resulting in fitting, heart problems, a coma and even death.”


One of the dogs who was admitted, Henry, a five year old Shar Pei from Doncaster, had eaten a box of dark chocolates filled with Cointreau and was transferred to Vets Now on a drip by his local daytime practice.  His condition was extremely serious but after receiving intensive care overnight, including fluid replacement, Henry was soon able to drink and eat again and gave a healthy wag of the tail to show he was back on the road to recovery before being given the all clear!

If you suspect that your pet might have pinched a chocolate treat, please look out for the following symptoms and seek urgent veterinary treatment:

-Vomiting and diarrhea
-Muscle spasms
-Excessive thirst
-Excessive urination



The good news is that if caught early enough, chocolate poisoning can be treated successfully but when Valentine’s Day comes around, you can make sure that your pet is safe by placing chocolates within reach of your loved one only!

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