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Can the German Shepherd Eat Chocolate? Be careful!

german shepherd eat chocolate

Everyone who knows me knows how much I like my chocolate! One day, while enjoying one of my many favorite bars, I wondered if my German Shepherd could eat a little …

So, can the German Shepherd eat chocolate? Chocolate is toxic to the German Shepherd and to dogs in general as it contains a compound called theobromine (related to caffeine) that causes poisoning. All types of chocolate are dangerous, however the most powerful are dark chocolate and sugar-free baking chocolate. Death can occur depending on the size of the dog and how much it has eaten.

In this article, I will share with you a lot of information about dogs and chocolate. Keep reading!

Can the German Shepherd Eat Chocolate? 

Chocolate is made from the seeds (beans) of the pod-shaped fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree. The poison in chocolate is the methylxanthines theobromine and caffeine . Both are diuretic, which means that they remove water from the body.

These compounds are also stimulants that can speed up a German Shepherd’s heart rate and stimulate his nervous system. Although the concentration of theobromine in chocolate is 3 to 10 times that of caffeine, both contribute to toxicosis.

You and I have a high tolerance to these compounds and we can easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs are not capable of doing so. They can only process it much more slowly, allowing it to build up to toxic levels. Theobromine is also found in coffee, tea, and cola drinks.

Watch the following 3-minute “Animal Expert” video that describes why dogs should never eat chocolate:

Here are some of the types of chocolate-containing foods that are dangerous for your German Shepherd:

  • Baking chocolate (unsweetened)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Cocoa beans
  • Semisweet chocolate
  • Milk chocolate
  • White chocolate
  • Hot chocolate
  • Chocolate cake, cookies and candy, etc.

Different types of chocolate have different potency levels:

Baking chocolate, dark chocolate, and cocoa are the most dangerous for your German Shepherd, while white chocolate is the least.

White chocolate contains very little theobromine and although your German Shepherd would have to eat a large amount to cause poisoning, it is still high in fat, which can make your dog quite sick and can also trigger pancreatitis.

Therefore, the darker and bitter the chocolate, the higher the risk. Your dog could get sick or die from eating a small amount of bakery chocolate, but eating an equivalent amount of milk chocolate (which contains mostly sugar and fat) can produce mild symptoms or no symptoms.

These are the approximate amounts of theobromine present in the following types of chocolate per 28gr:

  • Baking chocolate 450 mg
  • Chocolate negro 300 mg
  • Chocolate semidulce 260 mg
  • Milk chocolate 60 mg
  • White chocolate 1 mg

So now we know which TYPES OF CHOCOLATE are the most toxic, exactly HOW MUCH IS TOXIC to your German Shepherd (or any other breed for that matter)?

Well, this all depends on the weight of your dog. The weight of a German Shepherd can vary from a small female of 22 kg to a large male of more than 40 kg. Therefore, a 6-pound Yorkshire Terrier who eats one ounce of dark chocolate is at higher risk of toxicity than a 75-pound German Shepherd who eats the same amount.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual , just one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is a potentially lethal dose for dogs.

How long does it take for chocolate to affect a dog?

Although your German Shepherd may start showing symptoms within two hours of eating chocolate, it can take up to twenty-four hours for symptoms to appear because theobromine is slowly metabolized. However, you should not wait for symptoms to appear and contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.

If you surprise your dog red-handed, quickly remove any chocolate that has been left in the dog’s mouth. Do not try to stick your finger down your dog’s throat as it is dangerous and can make things worse.

You will be pleased to know that there are alternative dog-safe chocolate products that you can purchase. These do not contain caffeine or the deadly, poisonous and highly toxic theobromine found in chocolate.

My German Shepherd loves these chocolate drops for dogs that you can buy on Amazon. They are great for training and when I feel the urge to eat sweet chocolate I don’t feel guilty because I know I can give my girl one of her two drops of chocolate.

What are the symptoms if my dog ​​eats chocolate?

This is a list of the symptoms that your German Shepherd may show if he ate a quantity of chocolate:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Panting
  • But excessive
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excitement
  • Twitching
  • Lethargy
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Tremors
  • Seizure
  • Death (due to heart problems, hyperthermia, or respiratory failure)

What do I do if my dog ​​eats chocolate?

Early intervention and treatment can make a difference in saving your German Shepherd’s life. If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, you should contact your vet as an emergency matter.

The sooner your dog is diagnosed, the more likely it is and the less expensive it will be, unless, of course, you have a good pet insurance plan.

Your vet will want to know:

  • What kind of chocolate your dog ate and if he has symptoms.
  • How much chocolate your dog ate and how long ago he ate it.

Try to give as much information as possible, as this will help with any treatment and the prognosis afterward. If you are not sure, try to estimate as best you can.

If your German Shepherd has eaten chocolate in the past two hours, your vet may tell you to induce him to vomit to remove the poison. If more than two hours have passed, your dog may need a more intensive treatment such as the one described below:

  1. Induce vomiting (depending on when the chocolate was eaten).
  2. Give activated charcoal – so that it binds to the chocolate from the stomach and intestines.
  3. Intravenous fluid therapy.
  4. Give heart medications.
  5. Monitor seizure activity and elevated heart rate as needed.
  6. Careful monitoring.
  7. Bland diet.

You should never induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a vet because it can sometimes cause further injury or damage. You must follow the correct instructions and not try crazy and dangerous remedies like sticking your finger down your dog’s throat or giving him mustard or salt.


You and I know that our German Shepherds cannot eat chocolate and you know what to do in case of accidental poisoning. Recovery will depend on the speed of treatment.

However, you should not worry, as full recovery can be made and the prognosis is good if the poisoning is detected and treated early, that is, within two hours of ingesting the chocolate. Recovery time can take up to three days. Be sure to remind your home guests of the dangers, as not all visitors will be familiar with dogs.

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I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

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