Chocolate – For Humans, Not Dogs

Yummy, sweet, and absolutely delicious, chocolate stands as one of the best snacks in the world. It’s so versatile too in the different kinds of ways it can be incorporated into foods. You can dip strawberries into melted chocolate for a healthy, unhealthy combination, or perhaps bake yourself a moist chocolate cake, or maybe cook up a couple gooey chocolate chip cookies. Some of my favorite candy bars, Snickers and Twix, have something in common with one another; They are made with creamy chocolate!

Yes indeed, as amazing as this snack polka dot mushroom chocolate bars┬áis, it still has a critical fault. What might that be? It’s easy to spot, really. The fault is white chocolate. Ha, I’m kidding! But seriously, while white chocolate is still a problem, I’m referring to a particular ingredient found inside of chocolate. It’s called theobromine, and theobromine is toxic for certain animals, one of those animals being a dog.

What makes it so deadly for our four-legged friend? It’s how the dogs digest it; they kind of have a difficult time doing so. A dog’s digestive system is not able to process the theobromine found in chocolate in a very efficient manner like us humans can. The half-life of theobromine in a dog is somewhere around 17.5 hours. Yikes, that’s awful!

Unfortunately, I don’t think you can buy theobromine-free chocolate for the simple reason that chocolate is made from cacao beans, a fruit that contains theobromine in it. There is no escaping the theobromine ingredient, sorry dogs.

There are two key factors when determining the lethality of chocolate. One of them is size, and the other is the type of chocolate. Let’s look at the size first:

Size or Weight

Size matters. Bigger dog breeds like German Shepherds, Bulldogs, or Dalmatians, can eat a far more considerable amount of chocolate than smaller dog breeds like Maltipoo, Chihuahuas, or Yorkshire Terriers, before experiencing chocolate poisoning. The reasoning is behind the weight. Just how much more chocolate can they eat, approximately? That depends on the type.

Chocolate Type
Time to do some math!

Dark Chocolate: A 5 pound Maltipoo puppy can consume 1 oz. of Dark Chocolate before reaching a toxic level. A 70 pound German Shepherd can consume 14 oz. of Dark Chocolate before reaching a toxic level. As you can see by the numbers, the difference in size is a huge factor, it enables a bigger dog to eat a greater amount. However, look what happens when we change the type of chocolate used.

Milk Chocolate: Milk chocolate contains less theobromine than most chocolates. The 5 pound Maltipoo or 70 pound German Shepherd can eat double, or even triple the amount of Milk Chocolate than Dark Chocolate, before receiving theobromine poisoning.

Why does that happen? It’s the fact that different types of chocolate are made with varying amounts of theobromine. Some chocolates are simply more potent than others because they consist of more theobromine. The examples above are merely two types of chocolate available to consumers, there are still other, even stronger types of chocolate found in stores.