Chocolate is toxic to pets

For sweet lovers, chocolate is an indulgence that can result in a few extra inches on the hips. However, even a small amount of chocolate to some cats and dogs can be devastating. 

As well as a high fat content, chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. These two stimulants, affect the central nervous system and the heart muscle, as well as urination frequency.

How much chocolate is toxic?

It depends on the type of chocolate and the weight of your pet. White chocolate has the least amount of stimulants and dark chocolate has the highest, of which cooking or baking chocolate will cause the most severe symptoms.

A lethal dose of theobromine is 80-200mg/kg, cooking or baking chocolate has 14.1mg/gram of theobromine, dark chocolate has 5.3mg/gram, milk chocolate has 1.4mg/gram, and white chocolate has very little real chocolate in it. If in doubt, please contact us and we can calculate the relevant dose for your pet.

When will your pet show signs of chocolate poisoning?

Between 30 minutes to 3 hours.

What signs to look out for?

If your 20 kg dog gets his/her paws on a single chocolate-chip cookie, it probably won't cause him/her serious problems. However, if he/she gobbles up enough of your favourite chocolate treats he/she may develop symptoms such as:-

  • restlessness
  • excitement
  • hyperactivity
  • nervousness
  • trembling
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • increased drinking and urination
  • increased heart rate
  • muscle tremors
  • seizures

Chocolate toxicity calculator for dogs


The calculator provides a guide on how much theobromine and caffeine your dog ingested, what symptoms to expect and whether an emergency visit to the vet is required. If you have any concerns about your dog's chocolate ingestion, please contact us for advice as soon as possible.

What to do if you suspect poisoning?

The sooner you seek help the better off your pet will be. Seek veterinarian attention immediately.