This chocolate toxicity calculator will show you how much chocolate is too much for your dog. You should avoid giving your dog chocolate, but they love the taste just like us, which means accidents can happen if chocolate is available around the home.
To use this chocolate toxicity calculator, you will need to know the weight of your dog as well as how much chocolate they consumed and what type of chocolate. Enter these values below and the calculator will tell you what symptoms to look out for and if the amount they consumed should be a cause for concern.
If you suspect your dog has consumed chocolate, particularly dark/raw chocolate contact your vet as acting quickly is extremely important in cases of poisoning. Click here to read more about chocolate toxicity.
About Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
Chocolate contains theobromine, a natural stimulant that acts upon the central nervous system. This compound is metabolised much slower in dogs than in humans, which means toxic levels can accumulate in the body even when ingesting relatively small amounts.
Chocolate poisoning can be a serious issue in dogs, and it is important to act quickly. The initial symptoms of chocolate poisoning will be vomiting and diarrhoea, but it can take up to 6-12 hours for the symptoms to become fully apparent . In cases where a large amount of chocolate has been consumed, theobromine can have severe cardiotoxic effects that put the heart under a lot of strain. In the most severe of cases, seizures, coma or even death can occur.
The amount of chocolate than is considered dangerous depends on the amount of theobromine consumed per kilogram of bodyweight. When the amount of theobromine in a dog’s system is higher than 20mg/kg BW symptoms of chocolate poisoning will develop. Symptoms will worsen up until about 100mg/kg BW, which is considered a lethal dose. (Theobromine has an LD50 defined as 100mg-200mg/kg BW, this is the amount that has been shown to be lethal in 50% of cases).
Symptoms of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:
- Excessive thirst
- Panting/ rapid breathing
- Rapid or slow heart rate
- Muscle spasms or tremors
Treating Chocolate Poisoning
Treatment for chocolate poisoning depends on the amount of time that has passed since the dog consumed the chocolate. If there was no delay in reaching a veterinarian, they will likely induce vomiting to expel as much chocolate as possible from the stomach, preventing further digestion.
If a dog is already vomiting as a result of theobromine, anti-vomiting medication will be given. This is to aid the next step, which involves the use of activated charcoal or similar substances.
To help prevent theobromine being absorbed by the digestive system, activated charcoal may be given. It is important that the dog isn’t vomiting at this point to ensure the activated charcoal reaches the intestines. Once in the small intestine, activated charcoal is able to adsorb theobromine and prevent any further absorption of this toxic substance.
After this, fluid therapy and potentially further medication to combat the cardiotoxic effects of theobromine will be given.
The key to treating chocolate poisoning is acting quickly, as with all cases of poisoning.