My Dog Ate A Brownie

My Dog Ate A Brownie

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

It contains substances known as methylxanthines that can increase a dog’s heart rate in addition to stimulating its nervous system Chocolate consumption can cause your dog to become ill, depending on the type and amount consumed. Smaller breeds are more likely to experience severe effects than larger dogs.
Get advice from your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline as soon as possible if your dog ate a brownie that contains chocolate.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “My Dog Ate A Brownie“.

After your dog eats a brownie you should take the following steps immediately:

My Dog Ate A Brownie

It contains substances known as methylxanthines that can increase a dogs heart rate in addition to stimulating its nervous system.

Chocolate consumption can cause your dog to become ill depending on the type and amount consumed. Smaller breeds are more likely to experience severe effects than larger dogs.

Try to determine how much they ate

Knowing what type of chocolate your dog ate and how much of it he ate can help you determine if an emergency exists.

When a pet consumes 20 mg of methylxanthines per kilogram of body weight mild symptoms usually occur.

Heart symptoms occur around 40-50 mg/kg while seizures occur at dosages greater than 60 mg/kg.

In laymans terms a very concerning dose is approximately one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight.

In small dogs such as pugs and dachshunds even the smallest piece of a Hersheys Milk Chocolate bar can cause serious health problems.

An easy way to determine the severity of the problem is to use a chocolate toxicity calculator.

In the next section I will describe how the calculator works.

Know the signs of chocolate poisoning

It can take some time for chocolate poisoning in dogs to manifest but in general it includes:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Tremors
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Heart failure and death

Act immediately

Get advice from your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline as soon as possible if your dog ate a brownie that contains chocolate.

A veterinarian may recommend monitoring them for signs of illness listed above and calling if anything worsens based on how much and what kind they consumed.

A veterinary intervention may be required in more severe cases to provide additional treatments such as medicines or intravenous fluids to resolve poisoning-related symptoms.

He might be given activated charcoal several times by the veterinarian to induce vomiting.

In the event your dog has seizures they will need to be monitored at the clinic overnight until the symptoms subside and the treatments begin to work.

Be proactive going forward

All chocolate items including cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix should be stored away from the dog.

Children and guests should realize that holiday treats containing chocolate may be deadly if left out on tables or countertops for canines to get a hold of during Halloween Easter Valentines Day and Christmas!

How dangerous is chocolate to dogs and why?

In addition to theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate methylxanthines can speed up a dogs heart rate and increase their nervous system activity.

Chocolate consumption has a significant effect on your dogs chances of becoming ill.

It can also have an impact on how badly a dog is affected by it with smaller breeds being more susceptible to severe effects than larger ones.

Different types of chocolate can have different concentrations of toxic substances and not every chocolate contains them at high levels. Below is a ranking of the amount and type of toxic substances found in various types of chocolate:

1). Cocoa powder (the most toxic) 

2). Bakers chocolate unsweetened 

3). Chocolate that is semisweet 

4). A dark chocolate bar

5). Chocolate made with milk

Almost all chocolates contain levels of toxins considered dangerous for dogs regardless of the type consumed.

Because cocoa powder is believed to be the most dangerous type of chocolate for dogs because the toxins are more concentrated here than in any other form this does not mean that high amounts of semisweet or dark chocolate are safe.

Chocolate consumption by your dog should be considered potentially fatal and treated accordingly.

Which chocolate is most dangerous and why?

Chocolate powder is the most toxic type of chocolate that dogs can ingest because it contains the highest concentration of toxic substances like caffeine and theobromine.

Therefore if you have a dog in your home you should secure any form of cocoa powder to prevent accidental ingestion.

A small amount of cocoa can cause illness and symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

While semisweet and milk chocolates have lower concentrations of these compounds nearly all types of chocolate contain them.

Therefore ANY chocolate ingestion should be considered potentially harmful to your dog and addressed immediately.

Why are small dogs at greater risk?

Small dogs such as a Jack Russell Terrier are more likely to experience side effects than an average adult Labrador retriever.

Since smaller dogs have less body mass the amount of chocolate they consume per serving size affects them more severely.

The effects of ingesting something harmful by a child are more severe than those of ingesting it by an adult.

Chocolate consumption by small dogs is also affected by the type of chocolate consumed. Dogs may be slightly less affected by white chocolate than by dark milk or unsweetened cocoa.

When ingested coffee powder contains much more caffeine and theobromine – two substances that can be toxic to dogs. This is especially true for smaller dogs.

Because the overall risk for small dogs is greater you should not waste time determining whether a particular type of chocolate is more harmful or less harmful.

No matter what type of chocolate your small breed dog consumes you should take immediate action if you suspect that it has ingested it.

How much chocolate is in a brownie?

The following ingredients are typically used to make brownies:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

In other words a regular-sized brownie contains 200mg of chocolate or 0.25 ounces of chocolate which is close to the lethal dosage for dogs meaning a small dog could die after eating several brownies! 

The consumption of brownies at any level should be considered harmful if not potentially fatal especially for small dogs. 

Using a chocolate toxicity calculator

A chocolate toxicity calculator such as the one here is a great tool to bookmark in case your dog eats chocolate.

The calculator assesses your dogs weight the type of chocolate they consumed and the approximate amount they consumed.

Once the severity of the situation is determined recommended actions will be offered as well as signs and symptoms to watch out for.

As an example if a small breed dog (5-12kg) consumes half a chocolate bar containing cocoa the calculator will classify this as a severe emergency and recommend immediate veterinary intervention.

If a large breed dog (25-40kg) consumes the same amount of chocolate the risk is only mild to moderate and you should see your veterinarian if symptoms arise.

In all cases the calculator suggests watching for the following symptoms in your dog:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Breathing that is rapid
  • Hyperactivity or restlessness
  • Incoordination or tremors
  • Rapid heartbeat

How long do symptoms of sickness take to appear after eating chocolate?

Usually this takes between 24 and 36 hours. It can take as little as two hours or as long as a day.

Chocolate poisoning may cause your dog to show signs such as vomiting diarrhea hyperactivity abnormal heart and breathing rates panting and drooling.

To find out if your dog has consumed chocolate call the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680). In light of their size and how much they ate it might be necessary to immediately bring them to the veterinarian to prevent serious health consequences such as seizures or death.

To help move toxins out of the body your veterinarian will likely induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal.

Veterinary intervention may include medications or intravenous fluids in more severe cases.

How might the other ingredients in a brownie affect a dog?

Aside from chocolate brownies contain other ingredients that may be harmful to dogs. A dog can just like a human have an allergy to wheat flour.

A wheat allergy can develop over time if it is exposed continuously. As a result wheat-containing foods may not cause problems initially but the allergy may develop later after prolonged exposure.

Pets suffering from such allergies typically experience a lot of discomforts. Itching skin or gastrointestinal upsets like diarrhea or vomiting can result if they consume gluten-containing foods.

Dogs are similarly adversely affected by sugar.

Too much sugar can lead to obesity in humans and diabetes in animals but we rarely think about our furry canine friends when thinking about such matters.

Its bad enough that humans have diabetes; what does this mean for animals with shorter lives?

Overall there are several ingredients in brownies besides chocolate that should be considered harmful to dogs.

Keeping them from eating brownies is the best course of action. You should store all chocolate items including cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix out of reach of the dog.

Please remind your children and guests not to leave any chocolates on countertops or tables near dogs.

Also included are trick-or-treat bags and gifts from Easter baskets to Christmas stockings during the holiday season.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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