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The side effects of a dog eating chocolate

Updated April 17, 2017

Chocolate is an extremely poisonous substance for dogs. Dogs should not ingest chocolate in any amount or form. The ingredients in chocolate can lead to deadly side effects like heart attack and seizures. The effect chocolate has on a dog depends on its size. Small dogs need less chocolate to overdose, and larger dogs require more chocolate to become severely ill. If your dog ingests chocolate, see a veterinarian immediately to avoid these fatal side effects.

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Increased Heart Rate

Chocolate contains caffeine and an ingredient called theobromine. Both of these ingredients are stimulants that can be lethal for dogs. Caffeine and theobromine cause the dog’s heart rate to increase to dangerous levels. An increased heart rate can lead to a heart attack or even death.


After the heart rate escalates from theobromine poisoning, the dog experiences further side effects. The body goes into panic, causing violent muscle twitching and seizures. Violent seizures can cause the dog to fall into a coma, followed by death.


Vomiting is a side of effect of dogs eating chocolate. Toxins in chocolate quickly upset the dog’s stomach. The body’s natural reaction is to get rid of the toxin by vomiting. However, severe vomiting can cause the dog to become dehydrated and lead to death.


Diarrhoea is also a natural reaction from the dog’s body to the toxins in chocolate. Diarrhoea can quickly lead to dehydration and death if it is not treated.

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About the Author

Althea Thompson began writing professionally in 2002, and her work has appeared on CBN News and in the award-winning "Focus Magazine." She holds a Master of Arts in journalism from Regent University and a Bachelor of Arts in communication and writing from Houghton College.

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