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Can dogs eat chocolate?

Chocolate contains a chemical called ‘theobromine’, which is toxic to dogs. The darker the chocolate the more poisonous it is.

Dogs should not eat chocolate. If your dog has accidently got hold of some, their risk will depend on their weight, the type of chocolate and the amount they have eaten.

Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs

If your dog has eaten chocolate, speak to your vet so they can assess your dog's risk of chocolate poisoning. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can develop even if your dog has only eaten small amounts, and include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • hyperactivity
  • tremors, seizures or fits
  • heart problems
  • death, in severe cases

How much chocolate can a dog eat?

The darker the chocolate, the higher the level of theobromine, and therefore the more toxic it is.

Is dark chocolate bad for dogs?

Seek urgent vet help if your dog has eaten dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is the most dangerous because it contains a higher percentage of cocoa and therefore theobromine, the chemical that’s toxic to dogs.


Cocoa powder is even more dangerous to your pet than dark chocolate. So, if your dog has consumed this, then you’ll need to speak to your vet straight away.

Can dogs eat milk chocolate?

Although milk chocolate contains a lower percentage of cocoa than dark chocolate, it's still worth contacting your vet as they will be able to calculate your dog's risk based on their weight, the amount they've eaten and the cocoa percentage.

Can dogs eat white chocolate?

This is not a risk to your dog because it contains a very low level of the chemical which causes the toxic effects, and therefore treatment is not required. But, it's still very fatty and full of sugar, so is not a good treat for your pet and may lead to other problems like pancreatitis.

Chocolate with fillings

It's not easy to work out how much chocolate has been eaten, especially when your dog has eaten a box of chocolates. Animal poison centres have a list of the percentage of chocolate in products which contain fillings, which helps with the decision as to whether treatment is required or not.

Chocolate may also contain other ingredients that are harmful to dogs, such as certain nuts, raisins and alcohol. Therefore, even if the levels of chocolate your dog has consumed are below those listed above, you should still contact your vet or Animal PoisonLine.


Call Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509 000 (charges apply) or visit the Animal PoisonLine website.

Chocolate toxicity calculator

If you know your dog's weight and what's been eaten, using a chocolate toxicity calculator, like the one from VetsNow, can help you assess the risk and monitor any symptoms. If you're unsure or do not know your dog's exact weight, always speak to your vet.

Use this chocolate toxicity calculator

This advice has been written in collaboration with Animal PoisonLine, a 24 hour triage advice line for pet owners run by the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) which is the UK’s only animal poison centre.

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• 3 March 2023

Next review

• 5 March 2026

Approved by
Katy Alexander

Veterinary Surgeon MRCVS