- The primary issue with chocolate brownies is the chocolate content
- Chocolate is toxic to dogs with theobromine being the toxic ingredient
- Chocolate can affect the heart, nervous and gastrointestinal systems
- With rapid treatment, chocolate poisoning is rarely fatal
You’ve just come home and are looking forward to a warm chocolate brownie with ice cream only to discover that your pooch has snuck it off the countertop. Frustrating as this situation may be, it can also be dangerous to your pooch.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs, the main chemical is theobromine while there’s a smaller amount of caffeine in there too.
Dark chocolate brownies are the most dangerous for our canine companions due to the higher levels of theobromine compared to milk or white chocolate brownies or blondies.
Read on for more information about chocolate brownies and your dog..
How much chocolate brownie is toxic to dogs?
Chocolate brownies contain sugar, flour, eggs, and chocolate. Dark chocolate is commonly used to increase the richness of the brownie. Dark chocolate contains the most theobromine of all the chocolate types and can contain up to 450mg of theobromine per oz of chocolate. Milk chocolate brownies, on the other hand contain about 50mg of theobromine/oz.
Chocolate brownies are massively high in sugar and fat. These ingredients pose the additional threat of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and tummy upsets for our canine companions.
While just 1oz of dark chocolate can be toxic to the average 20lb dog, there’s such a small amount of chocolate in the average brownie that they’re not toxic to most dogs unless they eat a large amount.
Chocolate brownies are massively high in sugar and fat alongside chocolate. While chocolate is toxic to dogs, there’s generally such a small amount of chocolate in brownies that toxicity isn’t a large issue for most dogs.
What to do if my dog ate Chocolate Brownie?
If your dog ate a chocolate brownie then you should determine how much they’ve eaten and what your pet weighs. If they’re homemade, it’s a good idea to double-check how much chocolate was in the recipe.
You can then contact your veterinarian to help calculate whether your dog has eaten a toxic amount for their body size. The risk of pancreatitis could be significant to your dog, and your veterinarian will be best placed to advise you.
Puppies or dogs with underlying health conditions are at increased risk of chocolate poisoning and possibly pancreatitis.
Your veterinarian may advise inducing vomiting if your dog has eaten a large quantity of brownies. Antacids and sometimes activated charcoal can help prevent tummy upsets too.
Dogs with health issues are at increased risk of chocolate poisoning from eating brownies, and your veterinarian will be able to determine if this is a risk.
When to see a vet?
If your dog has eaten a large amount of brownies relative to their size then you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to assess the risk of theobromine toxicity to your dog.
If your dog has had pancreatitis in the past or is a diabetic then you should also treat them eating brownies as an emergency, and your veterinarian will be best placed to advise whether inducing emesis (vomiting) is necessary.
If your dog has a history of pancreatitis, is diabetic, or has eaten a large amount of brownies relative to their size, then you should contact your DVM immediately to assess their risks.
What if my dog ate plenty of chocolate brownie but seems fine?
Most dogs, after eating chocolate brownies (even large quantities), will appear normal for a few hours as it takes some time for the brownies to be digested and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Once the brownie has started this process, then your dog may begin to exhibit clinical signs of nausea, a painful tummy, or even signs of chocolate toxicity in rare cases. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include restlessness, panting, and vomiting, and diarrhea.
Your dog will likely seem fine for several hours after eating a chocolate brownie, and some pets won’t have any ill effects particularly if they only ate a small amount relative to their size.
Signs that my dog ate a chocolate brownie
The most common clinical signs we see in dogs that have eaten chocolate brownies are a tummy upset with vomiting and diarrhea.
If your dog ate a large amount relative to their size they may show signs of chocolate poisoning after several hours, however, this is rare.
If your dog is showing any of the following signs, you should contact your DVM immediately, as they may have chocolate toxicity, pancreatitis, or a nasty tummy upset.
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Racing heart rate
- Abdominal pain
While chocolate poisoning is a true emergency in dogs, luckily it’s very rare in dogs that have eaten chocolate brownies.
If your dog has eaten a large quantity of brownie or is showing any clinical signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, panting, restlessness, or abdominal pain, then it’s a good idea to have them checked over.
Other problems that your dog may experience having eaten chocolate brownies include pancreatitis, hyperglycemia (particularly problematic in diabetic pets), or a tummy upset. If in any doubt, then contact your DVM for advice and an examination for your precious dog.