Theobromine, chocolate and dogs

Chocolate is a delicacy which is enjoyed by most people and also other animal species. Chocolate is not healthy for dogs who love this treat.
The reason is their slow metabolism of the methyl xanthnine alkaloid Theobromine. The amount of theobromine in a product depends on whether it is bakers chocolate
(390-450 mg / oz chocolate ) or dark chocolate or milk chocolate ( 44-60 mg / oz chocolate ) in decreasing order. Dogs take some 20 hours to eliminate a dose of theobromine.
The toxicity of theobromine is dose dependent. The toxic dose is of the order of 100-200 mg / kg though lower doses have been shown to be toxic. If a 40 lb weighing dog was to eat say an 8 oz ( 240 g ) bar of dark chocolate it would within a few hours develop severe abdominal symptoms. Eating more may lead to death. The theobromine is a cardiovascular and central nervous system stimulant. While theobromine and caffeine are similar in that they are related alkaloids, theobromine is weaker in both its inhibition of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases and of adenosine receptors.
The advise and care of a Vet is essential in these cases. Intravenous fluids, activated charcoal to diminish absorption and anti seizure drugs may be required.

Martin Eastwood


  1. Jerry Gillies

    I got your posting on dogs and dark chocolate as part of my Google search on healthy dark choc.
    and was interested because I had to tell a good friend who is babysitting a gorgeous toy yorky not
    to give it any taste of the XOCAI dark chocolate I am marketing and writing about. I am doing my 7th nonfiction book on health benefits of dark chocolate and will hope to quote you.
    My blog is at
    and I wonder if you are familiar with XOCAI, the only cold-pressed, unfermented, unprocessed,
    non-alkalized dark chocolate out there? If not, I
    would be happy to send you a few pieces to try.
    You can also find out more by checking the blog
    of one of my team members at
    Anyway, I like the way you write about what could be over-jargonized subjects, and will keep
    reading your blog. (you can also check out my
    books, like MONEYLOVE, at
    warm regards from a fellow blogger, Jerry.

  2. Martin Eastwood

    How fascinating. It is so tempting to give our loved ones chocolate, provided that they are human Horses and some other creatures are sensitive to chocolate.
    I will cetianly buy your book

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