Chocolate, Cocoa and Your Pet

If I can eat my favorite chocolate candy bar, why shouldn't I share it with my pets? Your pet and you are different in many ways. Pets that eat the chemical called therobromine could be causing their own deaths. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and it is in one of America's favorite foods, chocolate (cocoa). According to some studies therobromine is toxic to a dog when it ingests between 100 and 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Different types of chocolate have different effects on our pets, Studies show that 20 ounces of milk chocolate could kill a 20 pound dog. Only 2 ounces of baker's chocolate or 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate could kill a 20 pound! dog. This would probably be called "chocolate poisoning" by your veterinarian. He/she would most likely tell you that this is not as uncommon as one would think. In humans 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight is toxic. That's the same for your pet! Humans for the most part outweigh their dogs, but smaller children and pets can get into trouble with caffeine or chocolate if they consume too much. Infants especially are at risk because they don't eliminate caffeine from their bloodstreams as quickly as adults.

It's not as hard as some might think for a pet to get into an Easter Basket of chocolates, or a Christmas dish full of Hershey's kisses and gobble them all down. If this does happen it could kill a smaller dog.

You can recognize if your dog has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate from the symptoms he's showing you. Within the first few hours, your dog will begin to vomit, have diarrhea and in some cases show hyperactivity. As time passes and the dog continues eating the toxic substance, you'll see an increase in the dog's heart rate, which can cause arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination or excessive panting.

According to some, therobromine is toxic to a dog when it ingests Cocoa Mulch. It looks and smells just like chocolate to your pets. Cocoa Mulch actually deters pests and insects from gardens and it is screened and free of weed seeds. . However


Here is a short list of other website's that provide information about chocolate/cocoa mulch and the effects it has on our pets.

  1. Howstuffworks "Is chocolate poisonous to dogs?"
  2. Hershey's Cocoa Mulch

HERSHEY's quoted on their website "It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it. On the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA) web site, several common household products are listed that have proven harmful to dogs. Common lawn insecticides and insect killers are mentioned as being potentially life-threatening when ingested, specifically snail or slug bait. A 2-inch application of cocoa mulch in your plant beds will actually prevent germination of weeds, resulting in less weeds, acting as a deterrent for insects, snails and slugs. Following is a link to the Animal Poison Control Center on the ASPCA web site." To visit HERSHEY's Cocoa Mulch website click", while it is weed free and deters pests, it's luring your precious pets. Cocoa shells are the clean husks that are removed from roasted caca beans that's used in making HERSHEY'S chocolate and cocoa products.