Q) Is chocolate toxic to pets?
A) This depends on the type of chocolate that is ingested – milk chocolate, dark chocolate or unsweetened chocolate. Unsweetened (baker’s) chocolate is 10 times more toxic than milk chocolate. It takes about 1 ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight to cause toxicity in a dog, whereas 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate can cause toxicity for a 10 lb dog. Dark chocolate falls somewhere in between. White chocolate is not harmful to dogs, because it does not contain cacao.
Signs of toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, restlessness, shaking, and poor coordination. This can lead to seizures, coma and death.
Treatment of a serious case of chocolate toxicity should be treated as an emergency. Measures must be taken to stop further absorption of the toxin, flush the toxin from the body and treat the signs.
Most important: if you’re not sure, call your veterinarian!