Can dogs and cats eat chocolate?

29 May 2023
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.

Can dogs eat chocolate?

It's a known fact that dogs adore chocolate, but it's also widely recognised that consuming chocolate can be incredibly hazardous to their health. The reason for this is due to the toxic substance called theobromine which is present in all forms of chocolate.

The danger level of chocolate ingestion depends on several factors such as the amount and type of chocolate consumed, and the size and weight of your dog. While small amounts may only lead to mild symptoms like vomiting or diarrhoea, larger quantities can result in severe illness or even death.

Symptoms of toxicity in dogs include hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, rapid heart rate, increased urination or thirst and restlessness. If left unaddressed these symptoms may progress into more serious issues including cardiac arrhythmias which can lead to sudden death.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that even though we love our pets dearly we should never share any form of human food with them – especially not chocolates!

Can cats eat chocolate?

Chocolate is one of the most popular treats in the world, but it can be deadly for cats. This is because chocolate contains a toxic substance called theobromine, which cats cannot digest properly. When consumed in large enough quantities, even a small amount of chocolate can cause serious health problems or even death.

Symptoms that your cat has ingested chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and hyperactivity. In more severe cases, seizures and muscle tremors may occur as well. If you suspect that your cat has eaten any type of chocolate or cocoa product at all, it's important to seek veterinary help immediately.

The severity of symptoms will depend on several factors including how much chocolate was consumed and how long ago it was ingested. The size and weight of your cat also plays a role in determining the effects that consuming chocolate will have on their body.

To prevent accidental consumption by curious felines, store all chocolates away from pets' reach preferably in locked cabinets or other secure locations where they cannot gain access to them easily. It's always important to read ingredient labels before giving any food item to your pet so as not unintentionally expose them to harmful substances such as those present in chocolates.

Information purposes only

The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for pet-specific advice from your veterinarian. Never disregard your vet’s recommendations, or delay in acting on them, based on something you have read on this site. Regardless of how a food is rated here, any food that you give your pet can pose potential health risks, including allergic reactions, choking, or other health conditions such as bloat. Always monitor your pet while they’re eating, and never introduce a new food into your pet’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian. 

Pet poison emergency protocol

If your pet is acting sick, call your regular veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is closed, call a nearby on-call veterinarian, animal urgent care, or veterinary emergency hospital. If your pet is not acting sick but you think they may have been exposed to a poison, call the Animal Poison Line (01202 50 9000).

Food safety statuses


Could be given almost daily without harm

Safe in moderation

Not toxic, but should not be given regularly


Toxic or simply too risky to give to your pet