Can Milk Chocolate Kill Dogs?

Did you know that Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish man, invented milk chocolate?

Interestingly, he discovered it while in Jamaica and brought the idea to England, and it’s from there that it picked and spread around the world.

Milk chocolate has a global fanbase; while it’s perfect for humans, it’s a different story for our canine friends, but can it kill them?

Let’s find out.

Can milk chocolate kill dogs?

Yes, it can kill dogs if they take too much of it.

This is because chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine compounds which are toxic to dogs.

Theobromine, in particular, takes time to metabolize in dogs resulting in health complications that can kill the dog.

Dogs are called man’s best friends, and people like to share human food with them.

Unfortunately, human treats such as milk chocolate can cost the dog its life since our systems are different.

Read on and learn how milk chocolate kills dogs and how much of it, when shared, should get you worried.

Can Milk Chocolate Kill Dogs

Is Milk Chocolate Toxic to Dogs?

Yes, milk chocolate is toxic to dogs since it contains both caffeine and theobromine, which, when ingested, causes a heart rate increase in the dogs.

A raised heart rate affects the functioning of the dog’s nervous system, which could get the dog to the ER.

If the dog had too much milk chocolate, you need to consult the vet immediately for guidance and to prevent further absorption of the compound in the dog’s system.

The level of toxicity caused by milk chocolate is influenced by the dog’s weight and the amount consumed.

For instance, the dog will have mild toxicity if it consumes 20mg of milk chocolate per Kg of its weight.

Higher levels of 50mg/kg will lead to cardiac signs of toxicity.

Above 50mg/kg, the dog will have seizures and show more complex poisoning symptoms.

Signs of Milk Chocolate Poisoning

The signs of milk chocolate poisoning in dogs may vary for different dogs, depending on age, weight, amount consumed and health predisposition.

A sick or old dog will have a more complex situation, and the signs may appear sooner.

After the dog has had its fill of milk chocolate, the signs may begin to showcase six hours later.

The delay in the projected signs is caused by the slow absorption of the milk chocolate into the dog’s system.

Common signs of milk chocolate poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Constant diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures and convulsions
  • Heightened urinating
  • Abdominal pains
  • Twitching
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Increased heart rate

The signs start showing gradually; the dog may begin by becoming hyperactive, restless, and barking uncontrollably before progressing to more complex symptoms. 

What Should I do After My Dog Eats Milk Chocolate?

Immediately you discover your pup has had some milk chocolate; you need to get proactive and contact the vet immediately.

The first sign of milk chocolate poisoning is hyperactivity, escalating to vomiting and diarrhea.

The rate of progression between the signs happens fast, and it’s for this reason you need to have a vet on call for guidance.

Knowing how much milk chocolate the dog had will be handy as it will help you to know whether the impact will be mild or life-threatening.

You can calculate the level of toxicity online, but you need to have the dog’s weight and the amount of chocolate ingested.

A vet will guide you on the steps to take before the situation escalates or before getting to the clinic.

The vet may advise you to induce vomiting to reduce further chocolate absorption by using activated charcoal or hydrogen peroxide.

How Much Milk Chocolate Can Kill My Dog?

If your dog consumes milk chocolate above 20 ounces, there will be some toxicity.

The toxicity level is, however, influenced by other factors such as age and the dog’s weight.

Milk chocolate is highly toxic since as little as 115 mg/kg of the dog’s weight can kill your dog.

Simply put, theobromine levels of between 100 – 170 mg have the potential to kill your dog.

Your dog’s weight is crucial in evaluating the level of toxicity.

The heavier the dog, the less impact milk chocolate will have.

For instance, if your dog weighs  60 pounds and consumes 9 ounces of milk chocolate, the impact will be mild, probably vomiting and diarrhea is as far as it will get.

It would be toxic or even fatal, however, if the dog weighs 9 pounds and consumes 9 ounces of chocolate.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Eating Milk Chocolate?

Prevention is always better than cure, especially now that you know milk chocolate can kill your pooch.

To avoid losing the dog to milk chocolate poisoning, you could implement the following:

Train the Dog

Take your time and train the dog to reject milk chocolate and other chocolates that could be fatal, such as dark chocolate and cocoa powder.

Dogs are loyal and will obey your instructions even in your absence.

Train the Kids

Kids love to have their milk chocolate treat as they play around.

Unfortunately, they could share the chocolate when playing with the dog, not knowing the repercussions.

It’s therefore imperative to train all your household on the dangers of sharing their milk chocolate with the dog.

Keep it Away

To protect your dog, you could go the extra mile and only allow your household to have the milk chocolate when you are around.

It will save the situation and your constant worry when they have the chocolate under your supervision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a dog to recover after milk chocolate poisoning?

Three days at most.

The duration may vary depending on the level of toxicity that the chocolate had on the dog.

Will a dog suffer long-term effects after recovery from milk chocolate poisoning?

No.

In most cases, the dog recovers fully after treatment and doesn’t suffer from any long-term effects.

How long does it take before the dog dies from milk chocolate toxicity?

It depends on the amount the dog has ingested and the duration since it ate the chocolate.

Some dogs start showing signs after two hours while others begin at six hours and, if left unattended, would die in twenty-four hours.

 If you attend to your dog swiftly and get to the vet on time, you can save the dog’s life.

Conclusion

To save your dog from milk chocolate poisoning, avoid any temptation to share.

Pet owners detest it when the dog is unwell, especially if the bond is strong.

It’s even worse when the dog ends up in the emergency and could potentially die. It hurts.

Megan Turner
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