It’s your birthday, you are here with your chocolate cake, and you wish to share it with your favorite one, your pet dog. That’s when you think about it, ‘can dogs eat chocolate cake?’ Today, we are here to solve all your doubts.
The clear answer to ‘can dogs eat chocolate cake?’ is no. Dogs cannot digest chocolate the way we do. A chocolate cake contains chocolate composed of theobromine, cocoa powder, and caffeine. It becomes impossible for dogs to metabolize or break down these products as we do.
Chocolate cake is a dessert for us but a toxic poison for dogs. Theobromine and cocoa powder in chocolate cakes can adversely affect dogs and lead to severe sicknesses. However, if your dog mistakenly eats chocolate off the counter mistakenly, let’s learn how it will affect the dog.
What happens if my dog ate chocolate cake?
If your dog just ate chocolate, calm down. First, contact your veterinarian and let him know. He will ask about the quantity of chocolate cake your dog ate, how much time has passed since he ate the chocolate cake, and if your dog is showing any signs or symptoms of chocolate toxicity. He might also inquire about your dog’s breed and its weight.
After your dogs eat chocolate cake, it will take nearly 6-12 hours for your dog to show symptoms. If your dog vomits before it, contact your veterinarian. If the veterinarian asks you to bring the dog to your clinic, don’t worry. The veterinarian will make the dog vomit to clear his body from further absorption of chocolate.
As we previously discussed, chocolate in chocolate cake contains theobromine. Theobromine is the most potent toxin for dogs. Theobromine enters the dog’s heart and central nervous system, causing damage. After eating chocolate cake, some of the first signs you observe in your dog are vomiting, diarrhea, excessive panting, and excessive thirst. However, if the amounts of chocolate in a chocolate cake are excess, your dog might also show seizures, high blood pressure, cardiac failure, abnormal heart rates, and death in the most severe cases.
Will a piece of chocolate cake kill my dog?
A small amount of chocolate cake might not affect your dog much. However, your little piece of cake might contain high amounts of chocolate, and thus, higher amounts of theobromine. In such cases, even small crumbs of chocolate cake might affect the dog.
The amount of chocolate it will take to kill a dog depends on its weight and breed. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine and thus, might vary in how they affect the dog. Dark chocolates contain the highest amount of theobromine. Thus, dark chocolate might cause severe effects in dogs, even in minimal amounts.
If you are wondering what amount of chocolates might affect your dog, don’t worry. We got it calculated for you.
How much chocolate can kill a dog?
0.3 ounces of dark chocolate per pound of body weight can kill a dog. Thus, one and a half ounces of dark chocolate for a 50-pound dog can kill the dog. For milder chocolates, these numbers vary. However, 0.5 – 2 ounces of milder chocolate per pound of a dog’s body weight might be lethal for the dog.
Author’s note: According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, chocolate was one of the top toxins with the most reported cases. Hence, you should ensure that your dog is not exposed to chocolate in any way.
If you learn that your dog has eaten large amounts of chocolate, immediately call your veterinarian and rush your dog to the clinic. However, wait if your dog has eaten minimal amounts of cake and you don’t see any signs and symptoms.
How long should I watch my dog after eating chocolate?
On eating chocolate cake, your dogs might show effects of the toxin within 6-12 hours. However, if your dog hasn’t shown any symptoms post 12 hours, don’t take your eyes off it.
On consumption of chocolate cake, your dogs have to be monitored for at least 24 hours. The time it takes for a dog to consume chocolate cake varies depending on its breed, weight, and metabolizing capacity. Thus, different dogs might take different amounts of time to show adverse effects on eating chocolate cake.
How do you treat chocolate poisoning in dogs?
Suppose you have taken your dog to a veterinarian on eating chocolate cake. Your veterinarian might decide the treatment plan depending on the amount of chocolate consumed. The treatment plan will also be based on the time passed since the chocolate cake was consumed and your dog’s weight and breed.
Your veterinarian might do one of these things to protect your dog from toxicity:
- Induce vomiting
Your veterinarian might induce vomiting in your dog to clear his stomach from chocolate. Vomiting prevents the absorption of chocolate in the dog’s system, thus saving him from severe damage. Vomiting in the dog might be induced using hydrogen peroxide. Or other peroxides.
- Administer IV Fluids
IV fluids will be administered to your dog as a supportive treatment to stabilize it. Administration of IV Fluids might also result in excretion of the theobromine, the chocolate content.
- Administer activated charcoal
When vomiting in a dog would have yielded no benefits, your veterinarian will administer activated charcoal to avoid the adverse effects of chocolate toxicity. However, the administration of activated charcoal is done only for the most severe cases.
Author’s tip: There is no antidote to treat chocolate toxicity. Your dog must vomit within the first two hours of chocolate cake consumption. Hence, if your veterinary clinic is far, your veterinarian might suggest inducing vomiting in the dog.
What cakes are safe for dogs?
Your dogs cannot eat chocolate cake. However, they can eat other cakes, and you can bake them for your dogs on special occasions.
You can make the best cakes from non-grain flours like coconut, almond, potato, lentils, and chickpeas. You can include seedless apples, blueberries, carrots, peas, pears, potatoes, pumpkins, and strawberries in your dog’s cakes. Nonetheless, low sugar yogurt, pumpkin puree, applesauce, bananas, sweet potato puree, mashed potatoes, peanut butter, coconut, and honey in small quantities are the best frosts available for your dog’s cake.
It’s essential to take care of your dog, which includes ensuring that he eats the right food and does not consume any food that might adversely affect him. However, if your dog does end up eating chocolate cake, it’s best to contact your veterinarian and inform him about the whole incident, along with the dog’s breed and weight. Nonetheless, do not panic; your dog will be fine.
Drop-in a comment and let us know if you have ever encountered an incident where your dog ate chocolate cake before.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.