Chocolate is one of the most delicious creations ever made by humanity. But dogs are not people, and it’s not always true that what’s good for us is also good for them. Can golden retrievers eat chocolate? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another.
In this post, we’ll look at why chocolate is so dangerous to your beloved dog, as well as how to make sure they don’t get their paws on any cocoa treats. We’ll also go over some tips for what to do if your dog gets into chocolate, because sometimes accidents happen.
Why is chocolate toxic to golden retrievers?
Chocolate is toxic for your golden retriever because of its theobromine and caffeine content. These substances can speed up the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system of your Goldie. While humans can metabolize these substances quickly, your dog can become very sick if they eat chocolate.
It’s important to note that all chocolates aren’t created equal—some have more toxic substances than others. Here’s a list of some of the most dangerous types of chocolate for your golden retriever:
Here are some examples:
Cocoa powder is the most toxic. If a dog eats a small amount, they could get sick or die. It’s even more dangerous if they eat a lot.
Unsweetened baker’s chocolate isn’t much better. It has 10 times as much theobromine as milk chocolate, and it only takes 40g to make your dog sick.
Semisweet chocolate has 1/3 as much theobromine as unsweetened chocolate, but that doesn’t really make it much healthier for dogs.
Dark chocolate contains 135mg of theobromine per ounce, which is slightly less than semisweet chocolate but still very dangerous to your golden retriever.
Milk chocolate doesn’t contain as much theobromine as dark or semisweet chocolate, but its dairy content is powerful enough to be harmful to dogs if consumed in large amounts.
Amount of theobromine in different types of chocolate
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is an alkaloid that can be toxic to dogs. The amount of theobromine in different chocolate varies widely, and it’s important to remember that if you have a dog, keep all forms of chocolate out of their reach.
Theobromine content in chocolate goes up with the percentage of cacao in the product and with the amount of processing required to produce it. For instance:
Cacao beans: 300-1500 mg/oz.
Cocoa powder: 400-737 mg/oz.
Unsweetened baking chocolate: 390-450 mg/oz.
Dark chocolate: 135 mg/oz.
Milk chocolate: 44-60 mg/oz.
White chocolate: 0.25 mg/oz.
How much chocolate can a golden retriever eat?
The answer is: none.
A golden retriever’s person might love to eat a lot of chocolate, but their dog should have no. This is because even a trace amount of chocolate can cause toxicity, depending on the weight of your golden retriever and the type of chocolate they ingested. Theobromine doses near 100-150 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight are toxic to most dogs.
What does chocolate do to golden retrievers?
Chocolate affects dogs in several ways.
It mainly affects the heart, central nervous system and kidneys. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which is toxic to dogs.
The effect and signs of chocolate poisoning in golden retrievers depends on the amount eaten and the size of your dog. Symptoms occur between four and 24 hours after your golden retriever has eaten chocolate.
As a general rule, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger it poses to your golden retriever. Cocoa powder is especially dangerous because it contains very high levels of toxic compounds called methylxanthines.
Signs of chocolate poisoning in golden retriever?
Vomiting: Vomiting is a sign that your dog ate something it shouldn’t have, and can be a sign of chocolate poisoning. If you see your dog vomiting, try to figure out what they ate. It’s best to let the veterinarian know what made your dog sick.
Diarrhea: Diarrhea is also a sign your dog shouldn’t be eating what it ate. Try to figure out what items are missing from the pantry or garbage and contact your vet to find out if you can treat them at home or if you need to bring them in for treatment.
Lethargy: Lethargy is most often caused by an underlying illness like diabetes or kidney disease, but something as simple as eating chocolate can also cause it. If you notice your dog licking food wrappers or sniffing around the garbage, it may have gotten into some chocolate! Call your vet right away.
Restlessness: Restlessness can be a sign that something is wrong with your pet. They may experience pain from an injury or illness, so monitor their behavior and call the vet if they seem restless more often than usual.
Increased thirst: It’s important to know what is normal for your dog. Look for a noticeable change in how much water your dog drinks compared to usual. For example, if your golden retriever usually drinks one bowl of water a day and suddenly starts drinking three bowls a day, that’s probably a bad sign.
Increased urination: This would manifest as the same thing—a noticeable change from how often you normally have to let your dog outside to pee. If you’re used to letting them out every six hours and suddenly you’re letting them out every hour, you might have a problem.
Tremors: If you’re looking down at your pooch and notice their body shaking, or their paws seem to tremble inside of themselves, they could have chocolate poisoning.
Elevated or abnormal heart rate: You might not see this one on the outside (although some dogs are pretty expressive), but it may be possible to tell by feeling their pulse in their neck or wrist. You can also listen at their chest with a stethoscope. A veterinarian can help you determine what is going on here.
Seizures: Seizures can be one of the first signs of chocolate poisoning in a golden retriever. These seizures will often start out small, but will gradually grow more severe. If you notice any signs at all that suggest your dog is having a seizure such as vomiting, drooling excessively from their mouth or nose (you might see foam), trembling limbs with no control over them like kicking legs while lying down), then call emergency services immediately.
What to do if your golden retriever ate chocolate?
If your dog ate chocolate, the first thing to do is call your vet right away.
It’s also a good idea to take a picture of the chocolate packaging and make a note of how much your dog may have consumed. If you can’t figure out how much he ate, estimate his weight, and let the veterinarian know.
The vet may ask you to bring your dog into the clinic immediately, especially if he’s showing symptoms of chocolate poisoning.
If your golden retriever consumed the chocolate less than two hours ago, your vet may induce vomiting and give him several doses of activated charcoal, which helps absorb the toxins in his stomach.
For more severe cases, symptomatic treatment will be needed—your vet may prescribe medications or IV fluids depending on what symptoms your golden retriever is experiencing. Golden retrievers suffering from seizures may need to be monitored at the clinic overnight.
How to prevent your golden retriever from eating chocolate?
Chocolate is toxic for golden retrievers and even a small quantity of chocolate can be quite dangerous for your golden retriever. Here are 5 ways to prevent your golden retriever from eating chocolate:
1) Educate your family about the danger of chocolate in golden retrievers. If everyone knows that it’s harmful, they’ll be extra careful and won’t leave any chocolate out.
2) Store it where your golden retriever can’t reach. Make sure you store the chocolate somewhere high up or in a drawer where your golden retriever doesn’t know how to open.
3) Use a baby-gate to keep your golden retriever out of the kitchen and eating areas. This will allow you to have control over what your golden retriever eats and you can prevent any untoward incidents from happening.
4) Teach them the ‘’leave it’’ command. This command will help you teach your dog to not touch anything when you tell them to leave it alone!
5) Crate train them to ensure your golden retriever doesn’t eat any harmful items when you are not supervising your golden retriever. Make the crate comfortable and safe place for your golden retriever by offering toys, treats, or a bed for them to sleep in when you are not around.
What about doggy chocolate for golden retrievers?
Special doggy chocolate is fine for golden retrievers.
They made these from carob, a plant that looks like cacao (the plant used to make regular chocolate) and has a similar flavor.
Carob products are safe for golden retrievers as they will not contain any harmful ingredients that can lead to toxicity in dogs. You can give these products as a treat to your dog as part of a healthy balanced diet, alongside other food items.
You can find carob-based chocolates in many pet stores, but it’s always good to check the ingredient list before making a purchase.
Find out if your golden retrievers can eat other treats
- Can golden retrievers eat bananas
- Can golden retrievers eat oranges
- Can golden retrievers eat cheese
- Can golden retrievers eat eggs
- Can golden retrievers eat pineapple
- Can golden retrievers eat raw meat
- Can golden retrievers eat strawberries
- Can golden retrievers eat apples
- Can golden retrievers eat blueberries
- Can golden retrievers eat watermelon
- Can golden retrievers eat grapes
- Can golden retrievers eat carrots
- Can golden retrievers eat tomatoes
- Can golden retrievers eat rice
- Can golden retrievers eat corn
So, can golden retrievers eat chocolate?
No, your golden retriever can’t eat chocolate. This is because chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic for your golden retriever.
Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine. This means that the chemical stays in their system for a longer time before it can be broken down and excreted. Because of this, dogs that eat chocolate can suffer from heart problems, seizures, or even death sometimes (especially if they ate a large amount of chocolate).
Symptoms of poisoning in dogs include: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, restlessness, increased thirst and urination, muscle tremors or seizures – all of which occur within hours after ingestion. If you think your dog has eaten any amount of chocolate, contact your vet immediately.