My Dog Ate Chocolate Chip Cookies and Seems Fine – What Should I Do?

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Key Takeaways:

  • If your dog eats chocolate chip cookies, you should contact your veterinarian and follow his instructions.
  • Dogs that weigh 10 pounds or less can experience chocolate toxicity if they eat as few as 2-3 small chocolate chip cookies.
  • Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are heart and nervous system stimulants.

You just finished baking a tray of chocolate chip cookies and left them to cool on the counter. When you step out of the room, your four-footed friend sneaks into the kitchen. Naturally, the scent of fresh-baked goods is irresistible…

Whether they’re store-bought or homemade, chocolate chip cookies are a favorite treat for many families. Your pooch is likely to find the sweets tempting. So, what if your dog eats a cookie or a plateful of them?

Chocolate chip cookies are usually made with semi-sweet chocolate chips, which are highly toxic to dogs. They contain two stimulants that can negatively affect your pup’s heart and nervous system. Even 1 gram of chips can have severe effects on smaller pups.

If your dog ate one or more chocolate chip cookies, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately. Based on your dog’s weight and the amount he ate, the doctor should be able to advise you about what you need to do for your pooch.

How much chocolate is toxic to dogs?

Chocolate toxicity is dose-dependent, so it will vary based on the type of chocolate and your dog’s weight. Unfortunately, semi-sweet chocolate has high concentrations of theobromine and caffeine, which are poisonous to dogs. Just 0.3 ounces/pound of semi-sweet chips can be dangerous to dogs.

One chocolate chip cookie can be enough to make a 10-pound dog sick, but if you seek early treatment, they should be able to recover. However, three small cookies are considered to be severely toxic for small breed dogs.

The bottom line is that you should contact your veterinarian any time he consumes chocolate. Smaller doses usually make dogs quite ill, and large enough doses can be fatal.

The amount of toxin in the chocolate depends on the type of chocolate and your dog’s weight. Semi-sweet chocolate chips contain high concentrations of theobromine. Even one cookie can make small-breed dogs ill, and as few as three small cookies can be dangerously toxic.

What should I do if my dog ate chocolate chip cookies?

When you catch your dog snacking on a chocolate chip cookie

  1. Stop him and remove any crumbs or other cookies from his reach
  2. Assess the situation to estimate how many cookies your dog ate
  3. Collect any packaging if it’s available.
  4. Call your veterinarian and report the incident. Tell him
    1. How much he ate
    2. The type of chocolate and cocoa content(if listed)
    3. Other ingredients in the cookies
    4. Whether any packaging is missing and potentially eaten
  5. Once your veterinarian estimates the dose of toxins your dog consumed, he will provide recommendations. Follow the doctor’s directions.

Only induce vomiting at home if your veterinarian instructs you to do so. The doctor may want to examine your pup and induce vomiting at the clinic to help ensure his safety. Depending on the ingested dose, the vet may also recommend you monitor your furbaby at home and report any concerning symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or drooling.

If your dog ate a chocolate chip cookie, prevent him from eating any more and collect the packaging. Call your veterinarian and report what happened including the ingredients of the treat and how much your dog ate. Follow the doctor’s instructions.

When should I take my dog to the vet?

Chocolate toxicity is a serious condition, so you need to act quickly if your dog eats chocolate chip cookies. Always call your veterinarian and report the incident. However, you should skip the phone call and head straight to the clinic if your dog exhibits the following signs:

  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Muscle tremors or seizures
  • Drooling excessively
  • Panting
  • Hyperactivity/restlessness
  • Weakness

It’a also advisable to take small breed dogs(10 pounds or less) to the vet if they eat more than 1-2 cookies. The sooner you take action, the more likely your dog’s recovery and prognosis will be favorable. 

Quick action is important if your dog eats a chocolate chip cookie. Contact your veterinarian immediately to report the incident. If you notice signs of digestive upset, nervous symptoms, or hyperactivity head straight to the vet. Dogs under 10 pounds should also see the doctor if they ate more than 1-2 cookies.

What if my dog ate plenty of chocolate chip cookies but seems fine?

Because chocolate chip cookies contain other ingredients, it usually takes time for your dog’s system to digest and absorb the toxins. You may see symptoms of toxicity as soon as 1 hour after ingestion in small dogs, but it can take 6-12 hours or more before you notice signs of poisoning. 

Even if you don’t see symptoms, it’s best to play it safe and contact your veterinarian. Chocolate toxicity is dose-dependent, so try to determine how many cookies your dog munched. This will help the doctor estimate how much chocolate your dog ingested and recommend the next steps.

You usually won’t see signs of chocolate toxicity immediately after your dog eats some cookies. Depending on your pup’s size, it may take anywhere from 1-12 hours or longer before you see any symptoms. It’s best to call your veterinarian and follow his instructions.

Signs that my dog got chocolate poisoning

Signs that indicate your dog ingested a toxic dose of chocolate may include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive thirst and urination
  • Muscle tremors or seizures
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Restlessness or nervousness
  • Panting
  • Weakness or coma

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. While chocolate toxicity is rarely fatal, but it can make your dog extremely ill. Early treatment can help to minimize the negative effects. 

If your dog was poisoned by chocolate, you may notice symptoms of digestive upset or nervous signs. Contact your vet as soon as possible if you see any of these symptoms. Early treatment can help minimize negative side effects.

What happens to dogs that eat chocolate chip cookies?

When your dog eats chocolate chip cookies, the effects will vary depending on the number of cookies and your dog’s size. Usually, pooches experience digestive upset including vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea. He can become dehydrated if the symptoms are severe enough. 

The toxins can also cause a racing heart rate, nervousness, muscle tremors, and possibly coma. If you don’t seek treatment, the effects can cause death. 

The way chocolate chip cookies affect your dog will depend on his size and the number of cookies he eats. Initial symptoms can include digestive upset, but the stimulants may also stimulate the heart and nervous system.

Why is chocolate toxic to dogs?

Dogs don’t digest theobromine or caffeine appropriately, so they’re absorbed through the intestinal wall. From there, the toxins enter the bloodstream and travel to the tissues. The problem with these chemicals is that they act as stimulants on the heart and nervous system.  In high enough doses, the effects can overwhelm your dog’s system and cause severe illness or potentially death.

Dogs can’t digest the stimulants found in chocolate, so they’re absorbed into the bloodstream. When they reach the heart and nervous system, they can cause overstimulation that causes illness and potentially death.

How do vets treat chocolate poisoning?

If you bring your dog to the vet because he ate chocolate chip cookies, be prepared to explain how much your pooch ate. Bring a list of ingredients or the packaging if you have it. The doctor will examine your dog and run diagnostic tests including bloodwork and urinalysis. He’ll also estimate the dose of chocolate your dog ingested. 

Depending on how long ago your dog ate the cookies, your vet may induce vomiting to reduce exposure to the toxins or administer activated charcoal to neutralize the chemicals. If your dog becomes dehydrated due to vomiting and diarrhea, the doctor will also give him IV fluids. 

If your dog ate chocolate chip cookies, your veterinarian will examine your dog, run diagnostic tests, and estimate the dose of chocolate your dog ate. Treatment may include inducing vomiting or administering activated charcoal. The vet may also give your pooch IV fluids if needed.

How long is the recovery?

There is no antidote for caffeine or theobromine, so the chemicals have to work through your dog’s system. Caffeine rapidly leaves the body, but theobromine takes a bit longer.  It usually takes about 1-4 days for the chemicals to cycle through the body and for your dog to fully recover.

There’s no way to reverse caffeine or theobromine, so they have to cycle through the system. While caffeine exits the body quickly, it can take 1-4 days for the effects of theobromine to wear off. 

The Final Woof

Chocolate contains the stimulants caffeine and theobromine, and their toxic effects on dogs are dose-dependent. When a dog eats cookies containing semi-sweet chocolate chips, he can ingest enough chocolate to become severely ill. In severe cases, dogs that don’t receive treatment may die.

The toxins found in chocolate stimulate the heart and nervous system If you suspect your dog ate chocolate chip cookies you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible. Signs of chocolate toxicity can include digestive upset, elevated heart rate, and nervous symptoms.  Whenever you see signs of toxicity, skip the call and take your dog to the vet for treatment. Early treatment can help minimize the toxic effects of the chemicals.

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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