Chocolate fills pantries and trick-or-treat bowls as Halloween approaches, but the government warns that chocolate is toxic to dogs and can be fatal.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that "Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound in the same family as caffeine, and theophylline (an asthma drug). In certain quantities, theobromine is toxic to dogs."
Half the dogs that consume 114 to 228 mg/lb or greater of theobromine will die, though toxicity can set in at 46mg/lb. However, different types of chocolate have different levels of threat.
According to the FDA:
Milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz.
Semisweet chocolate chips contains 150mg/oz.
Baking chocolate contains 390mg/oz.
As a rough guideline a dog would have to eat one ounce of semisweet per three pounds of body weight to become ill.
Theobromine toxicity can cause a variety of signs ranging from mild to severe. Signs include: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Rapid heart rate, Hyperactivity, Urinating more, Muscle spasms and Seizures.
If you think your dog has eaten chocolate call your Veterinarian immediately. Only your vet can determine the proper treatment for your pet.