Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Dogs can’t eat the treat that makes so many human mouths water. But why is that? What happens to your dog when they eat chocolate?

Besides chocolate, what foods should dogs not eat? What do you do if your dog eats these foods?

Man’s best friend deserves to be happy and healthy for as long as possible, so it is important to take care of your dog’s dietary needs.


why chocolate is bad for dogs

In this article, we’ll provide all the answers you need to ensure your pup can enjoy some human food now and then – without being in danger.

Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Theobromine is a chemical found in chocolate that humans can metabolize without issue.

However, dogs struggle metabolizing this alkaloid, meaning the chemical stays in their bodies far longer than it will in your own.

Letting this compound break down in your dog’s system for too long is how they really get sick.

This is a different for every dog, but it is still unsafe to give even the biggest dog the smallest amount of chocolate.

What Happens if They Eat it Anyhow?

Dogs will have an upset stomach when they eat a small amount of chocolate. This will induce vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea, which are your first indications that a visit to the vet is necessary.

More severe symptoms will arrive if they remain untreated – or may arrive first if they consume a great deal of chocolate. These include seizures, irregular heartbeats, muscle tremors, internal bleeding, or potentially heart attacks.

Just because bigger dogs might be able to get away with eating a small amount of chocolate, it is incredibly important that you don’t give it to them anyways.

If they eat a couple of M&Ms that fell on the floor, that is out of your hands. But that much chocolate probably isn’t bad enough for your dog to get sick unless it’s a very small dog or puppy.

However, if your small Pomeranian or Yorkie gets ahold of your Hersey’s, it’s time to get in the car – the clock is ticking.

Here’s a video showing what to do if your dog eats chocolate.


What Other Foods Should Dogs Not Eat?

Here is a pretty good list of what dogs cannot consume because their bodies cannot break down the components:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Onion (includes onion powder)
  • Turkey (with seasoning)
  • Cheese (in large quantities)
  • Peanut butter (containing xylitol)
  • Popcorn (with butter and salt)
  • Ice cream (any flavor)
  • Corn (in large quantities)
  • Artificial sugars

Some of these foods are, of course, less dangerous than others. For example, a slice of turkey on Thanksgiving may be a nice treat for your dog, but should it have any special seasonings or preservatives in the meat – which we’re better equipped for processing than them – this can present a major health risk with symptoms manifesting right away.

But what about more harmless foods? For example, why can’t dogs eat grapes? Researchers are actually unable to pinpoint an exact answer to this question.

why cant dogs eat chocolate

However, ingestion of grapes or raisins in any way shape or form has caused dogs to experience a loss of appetite, fatigue, lethargy, anuria (your dog won’t pee anymore), seizures, and even comas.

With this in mind, sure, your massive Great Dane may be able to handle an accidental raisin or two, but considering the risk, why take that chance?

What Foods Are Great for Dogs?

Here is a list of foods that your dog will love and that can even counteract the poor effects of an accidental chocolate dose:

  • Cooked chicken – giving your dog cooked chicken along with their dry food will make them instantly happy and be a great source of protein.
  • Carrots – these are great for your dog’s teeth!
  • Yogurt – dogs love yogurt that doesn’t have any extra sugars. Try not to give your dog fat free yogurt because the calcium and protein found in fat is highly beneficial for them.
  • Pumpkin – fiber-rich pumpkins will make sure that your dog’s GI track is working properly.
  • Eggs – these easy snacks can be a great source of protein for your pooch!
  • Green beans – as long as you haven’t seasoned them, these veggies are great for a dog on a diet.
  • Apple slices – just like carrots, apples will help keep your dog’s teeth clean. You have to be careful not to give your dog any apple seeds because your dog could choke on them.
  • Oatmeal – this is great for senior dogs who need help with digestion. This is also a good substitute for dogs allergic to wheat; just make sure it’s cooked.

healthy foods for dogs

There are many foods that your dog shouldn’t eat because you run the risk of making them sick. But there are also several everyday treats in your kitchen which can help them feel loved and feel healthy.

Keep this in mind the next time you slip them something special off your plate, and they’ll be happy campers.


Have you tried giving any of these foods to your dog?

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