Chocolate is a delectable sweet treat for the average human, but it is deadly to animals. Anasazi Animal Clinic, located in Gilbert Arizona, is dedicated to excellent health care for your pets. We are especially passionate about preventative care. Understanding which foods are hazardous for your pet can save its life, as well as your time, money and emotions.   

Chocolate’s Toxic Properties

How can it be that chocolate is such a delight for us, but so dangerous for our pets? Not only can it cause illness for your pup, it can lead to death. It is that dangerous! Chocolate itself contains caffeine and a chemical called theobromine. These two chemicals separately are not good for dogs and other pets, but when put together, they are a very dangerous combination. Humans are able to digest and quickly process these two chemicals when eaten, but your pet’s system is unable to quickly process them. With the slow processing of their system, the chemicals become toxic in your pet’s body. The darker the chocolate, the higher the amount of toxins it contains and thus the more dangerous it is for animals.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning

Humans have symptoms following eating chocolate and they usually include bouts of happiness. Animals, however, have very unpleasant symptoms such as:

  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Diarhea
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Respiratory Failure
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

While the amount of chocolate ingested affects the symptoms, it can take hours for the symptoms to show. By the time symptoms show, the ingredients could reach highly toxic levels in your dog’s body. It is imperative to get your pet to the clinic as soon as you realize they are being affected by these toxins.


The sooner you realize that your pet has consumed chocolate, the more effective treatment can be. When you arrive at the clinic, vomiting will be induced right away to expel the chocolate from the body and prevent as much as we can from entering the animal’s system. Depending on circumstances of amount and time since ingestion, activated charcoal may be needed to soak up the toxins.

Providing knowledgeable emergency care to your pet after chocolate ingestion is very important. Anasazi Animal Clinic understands the frustrations and fears that occur when your beloved pet is unwell, but we are here to provide the best pet care possible. Contact us today for a specified emergency plan for your pet.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/3/2017) Mel (Flickr)