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I-20 Animal Medical Center

What are The Toxic Doses of Chocolate?

Dogs are usually the pets that get into trouble because their nature is to eat A LOT of whatever tastes good to them. All chocolate is not created equal. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.

Dark Baking Chocolate

Potentially fatal dose of dark baking chocolate is ½ ounce per pound body weight.

For a 10 lb dog – a toxic dose would be if he ate 5 ounces or 1/2 a box of baking chocolate, which is typically 8 ounce.

Semi-sweet baking chocolate, chocolate chips, etc

Potentially fatal dose is ¾ ounce per pound

For a 10 lb dog – he would have to eat 7.5 ounces to ingest a toxic dose. This is nearly an entire box of semi-sweet baking chocolate, or ½ of a 16 ounce bag of semi-sweet chips

Milk Chocolate

Potentially fatal dose is 3 oz per pound For a 10 lb dog – he would have to eat 30 oz. This would equate to two entire 16 oz bags of milk chocolate candy (like M&Ms, Hershey’s kisses, etc), or 20 1.55 oz Hershey’s bars

We recommend that your dog should be examined:

  • If your dog ate half of a potentially toxic dose

  • If you are unsure how much your dog ingested

  • If your dog is showing clinical signs (vomiting, diarrhea, tremors,

  • weakness or abnormal excitation, seizures, etc)

  • If you are concerned and just want your dog checked out

  • If your dog is old, young, small, has other health problems – anything that might cause your dog to be more sensitive to the toxin

Small bar of Hershey’s chocolate = 1.55 oz Typical bag of Hershey’s kisses, M&Ms, chocolate chips, etc = 16 oz Typical box of baking chocolate = 8 oz

Other types of chocolate, like hot chocolate or white chocolate, have minimal amounts of toxic substance, and should not cause a problem unless a very large amount is ingested.