My Dog Ate a Chocolate Chip Cookie! What Should I Do?
Dear Dog Bakery,
My dog ate a chocolate chip cookie recently. What should I do?
-Anxious Dog Owner
Dear Anxious Dog Owner,
While you might need to get your pup treated as soon as possible, there’s no need to worry! Treatment is readily available, and chances are, your vet has dealt with countless similar cases. Of course, the first and most important step is simply to not panic! As long as you keep a level head, your dog will be just fine!
What Should I Watch For?
Naturally, you’ll need to take stock of the situation and its severity. If possible, try to figure out just how many cookies your dog got their paws on. Though you should probably call up your vet either way, it’s less of a crisis if your pup snuck one cookie than if they raided the entire batch.
Are Some Cookies Worse Than Others?
Yes, depending on the type of chocolate used in the cookies. Dogs aren’t allergic to chocolate itself, per se, but two chemical compounds that are present in cocoa beans: caffeine and theobromine.
As such, milk chocolate, which is more cream and sugar than actual chocolate, will have much less of an impact than dark chocolate, which features a much higher cocoa content. Essentially, the darker the chocolate, the stronger the toxic effects on your dog.
When Should I Call the Vet?
It depends on the first two points, the type and quantity of chocolate consumed. If it’s a small amount of low-cocoa chocolate, you may not have anything to worry about. Give your vet a call and describe the situation in as much detail as possible. From there, they can give you your next step, whether that’s paying them a visit or just monitoring Fido for the next couple of days.
On the other hand, larger amounts and higher concentrations of cocoa may warrant some more immediate action. If you feel you have the time, asking your vet for the best course of action is always a good idea.
If your dog already seems to be in bad shape, you should be getting to an emergency vet as soon as you can. From there, your pup can get their stomach pumped, which should help mitigate some of the worst effects of the chocolate. Your furry friend will probably feel a bit out of it for a while, but don’t worry– they’ll bounce back soon!
To ensure you can treat your dog as needed, it’s important to know all the basic facts. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick list of questions that come up often about what to do when dogs eat dangerous foods.
Why Is Chocolate So Dangerous To Dogs?
As you probably know, chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. As a defense mechanism, the cocoa plant naturally produces the chemical compounds caffeine and theobromine. While humans aren’t harmed by these compounds, and even stand to benefit from them in some cases, they’re extremely toxic to just about every pet you can think of.
How Much Chocolate Is Dangerous?
There are a number of factors that go into answering this question. Larger dogs will naturally have a higher tolerance for chocolate than their smaller counterparts. With types of chocolate that use less cocoa, you probably don’t have to worry unless your pup has consumed a large amount. However, if we’re talking about cocoa powder, it’s a much different story, with an extremely high concentration of caffeine and theobromine.
In more concrete terms, most veterinarians agree that the most dangerous effects of chocolate consumption occur at around 50-60 milligrams of harmful compounds per kilogram of your dog’s weight. Essentially, your dog won’t suffer any ill effects from snagging a chocolate chip on the floor, but things can go downhill quickly if left unchecked. Learn more about how much chocolate can kill a dog.
What Are Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning?
That depends on the amount ingested. In smaller amounts, your dog may suffer from an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. Unpleasant as that is, it likely won’t cause any lasting damage, so just keep an eye on your pup to keep things from going pear-shaped.
However, in higher quantities, the effects can be severe, even lethal. Dogs typically begin to suffer from cardiac issues, soon followed by seizures in extreme cases. If you notice any of these symptoms, get emergency treatment, and get it quickly.
How Can I Prevent Chocolate Poisoning?
First of all, ensure cocoa products are in areas your dog can’t get into. This may seem obvious, but it’s always worth double-checking where everything is kept. Second, teach your dog new words to keep them from eating spilled cocoa products. A simple word or phrase such as “stay” or “not food” will help keep your pup put long enough for you to clean up the spill.
What about Carob?
Chocolate isn't good for dogs but carob is! And dogs love our famous carob chip cookies. We bake them fresh daily and they are 100% dog safe!
Rocky Kanaka is an entrepreneur, pet rescue advocate and dog dad to a rescue boxer named Flip, a blind Cane Corso called Kobe, and a terrier mix named Zoey. He's also a pet chef and owner of The Dog Bakery, which specializes in dog birthday cakes
and fresh baked dog treats. His three dogs can't get enough of the dog cakes and treats!
Lorna Paxton Ladd is a passionate dog lover and enthusiast of The Dog Bakery. She loves spoiling her 3 rescue dogs with dog cakes
and jerky. A 15 year veteran in the pet industry, her aim is to educate pet parents on the best recipes, products, tips and tricks to optimize the human/canine bond. Her favorite product at The Dog Bakery are the customizable dog birthday cakes.