If you’ve had your pug for a while, then you know they love eating. If you’ve been wondering “can pugs eat chocolate,” you’re in the right place. We’re going to look at the effects of chocolate on dogs and what to do if your pup eats it. Read this article if you want to know what Pugs can eat.
Can Pugs Eat Chocolate?
Absolutely NOT. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, because of the toxic component known as Theobromine, and the caffeine, which disrupts the nervous system and can cause the animal’s heart to race.
You should NEVER give them any type of chocolate, regardless if it comes in the form of:
- Ice Cream
- White Chocolate
- Chocolate Syrup
- Chocolate Brownies
- Dark Chocolate (this is the worst for dogs)
- Mint Chocolate
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate
- Milk Chocolate
- Cocoa Powder and etc
No matter how much they beg, you need to understand that chocolate hurts dogs. Try these dental treats for Pugs instead, which will help freshen their breath.
Why Chocolate Is Dangerous For Dogs and Other Animals
You’ve probably heard that wondered “can dogs die from eating chocolate?” The answer is yes if they eat too much. Studies have shown that approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous for a 20-pound dog, which is about how much a full-grown pug weighs.
Watch this video to get all your questions about why chocolate is bad for your best friend, and read this article to find out the best foods for your pug.
What Makes Chocolate Toxic for Pugs?
As I mentioned above, there are two substances in chocolate that can cause problems in your dog’s system. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine and caffeine.
Theobromine aka xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid that is found in chocolate, guarana, coffee beans, some tea leaves, and other products.
Humans can metabolize theobromine, however, dogs metabolize it much more slowly, therefore the toxicity can build up in their system and make them sick or can even be fatal.
Pets are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people are. This substance can disrupt your pug’s nervous system and can cause their heart to race, elevated body temperature, and can elevate their blood pressure. Which can eventually lead to caffeine poisoning?
Chocolates High In Theobromine
Dark chocolate contains a higher dose of theobromine than is found in milk chocolate candy. The following chocolate products have the highest amounts of theobromine, that your dog should NEVER eat.
- Chocolate Wafers – 21mg per wafer
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – 138mg per 1oz handful
- Dark Chocolate – 228mg per square ounce
- Sweet Chocolate Candies – 175mg per 1.5 ounce bar
- Cocoa Powder – 800mg per ounce (this has the most theombromine)
- Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans – 147mg per ounce (approximately 28 beans)
- Baking Chocolate – 450mg per ounce
- Milk Chocolate – 50mg per ounce
If your pug is NOT well trained, you’ll need to make sure that you keep all your chocolate locked up or on counters, they can’t reach. You don’t want them accidentally eating any of the chocolates from the list above.
What About White Chocolate?
White chocolate does NOT contain non-fat cocoa solids, so it doesn’t have as much theobromine. However, some brands of white chocolate can still be dangerous, because they can contain up to 35% cocoa solids.
It also contains high levels of sugar and fat, which are not valuable nutrients for your pug. A pug requires a well-balanced diet with the proper vitamins and nutrients.
Basically, when it comes to feeding your adult pug or puppy, you should NEVER give them any type of chocolate product. If you’re not sure if it has chocolate, the best thing to do is don’t feed it to them.
But what happens if your best friend eats a piece of chocolate cake or a candy bar you have lying around?
What Happens If A Pug Eats Chocolate?
When a dog eats chocolate, signs of chocolate poisoning can start appearing within 6-12 hours after your dog consumes it. As a Pug owner, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of chocolate poisoning.
Below are some of the symptoms that may last up to 72 hours after consuming chocolate:
- Muscle Tremors
- Fast Heart Rate
- Increased Urination
- Slowed Heart Rate
Note: older dogs and puppies are more susceptible to fatalities from chocolate poisoning.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate?
Call your vet immediately and let them know your dog has eaten chocolate. Be sure to let the vet know what type of chocolate it was, read the brand from the wrappers, and when your dog ate it. Don’t be surprised if they ask you the age of your pug and overall health.
This will help them determine whether your dog has eaten a toxic dose and if they will require treatment or not.
There’s a good chance that they will ask you how much your pug weighs, so be sure you have that information ready for them.
If you don’t have a regular vet and don’t want to take them to an emergency vet, then you can call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-213-6680.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the fact that they consumed chocolate. It can be a very serious problem.
Can Pugs Die From Eating Chocolate?
If they ingest a large amount at one time, it can kill your pug. However, it is usually NOT fatal if they eat it in a very small amount. A large dog will be able to consume more chocolate than a small dog before suffering ill effects.
It also depends on the type of chocolate that your dog consumes. As I mentioned above, some chocolate products are more potent for your dog than others.
How Much Chocolate Will Kill A Dog?
Unfortunately, the answer is it depends. The darker the chocolate (high cocoa content, low sugar, milk, and other ingredients) will be more toxic at lower dosages. If your dog eats half a pan of chocolate brownie, they will need an emergency trip to the vet.
A dog that weighs 20lbs may be fine if they consume a full-size Snicker’s bar or a 1.5 bar of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar. That being said, you still need to monitor them to see if they are displaying any signs or symptoms of poisoning.
That being said, the worst chocolate a dog can eat is dark chocolate.
Chocolate Toxicity Meter for Dogs
As a pug parent, I know that you’ll freak out if your dog consumes something they shouldn’t. The first time Mindy ate a piece of a Kit Kat bar that fell on the ground, I almost freaked. Thank goodness this chocolate toxicity meter helped me calm down.
She ate about an ounce of milk chocolate and weighed about 20 pounds at the time. So I put in her weight and for the amount consumed I put one ounce. (which I think it was a little less than she ate)
The Toxicity meter told me that she wouldn’t experience any symptoms, and it was correct. Of course, I still called the vet to let them know that she ate some milk chocolate.
They told me just to watch her closely for any effects. Luckily, she never had any.
Final Word On Pugs And Chocolate
As a pug owner, you need to realize that NOT all human food is good for your dog. A Pug eating chocolate can lead to severe health problems and possibly even death.
It’s important to know whether something can harm them or not.
Even though small amounts of chocolate won’t hurt your dog. You should NEVER give them chocolate as a treat!
There are plenty of other treats and snacks that are much safer for dogs.
References and Further Reading
My Food Data – Top 10 Chocolate Products Highest In Theobromine
Merck Manual – Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, PhD, DABVT, DABT, University of Illinois – Chocolate