My Dog Ate Brownies: Should I Worry? (Solved & Explained!)

Who doesn’t love brownies? Unfortunately, the answer to that would be ‘your dog’ in a perfect world, but we all know how a dog feels about something you are eating – they want some, and NOW! So, what if your dog ate brownies? What should you do?

If your dog has eaten brownies then you’ll want to take them to the vet immediately. With brownies you have different types of chocolate, most specifically milk chocolate, dark, semi-sweet, or even baking chocolate with fudge brownies. All of these are toxic in very small amounts so you need to get the vet involved immediately!

Knowledge is power, as they say, and today we’re going to give you important information that you need to know about brownies, the chocolate in them, and what it can do to your dog. Read on to find out why those brownies are so dangerous – it’s all about your dog’s physiology and certain chemicals in chocolate!

What happens if a dog eats some brownie?

While your dog might seem fine initially after eating that brownie, the reality is actually quite the opposite. Brownies contain chocolate, which in turn contains caffeine and a chemical called Theobromine. While the caffeine is bad enough on its own, Theobromine is actually much, much worse.

Dogs cannot quickly process Theobromine the way that humans can and what happens is that the Theobromine passes through the stomach to the intestines, where it is immediately reabsorbed and put back into your dog’s system.

This repeats for a long time, with the peak concentration of Theobromine being reached around 10 hours after they ate that brownie, though you could see symptoms much sooner. Ultimately, it has a half-life of 17.5 hours before it stops wrecking destruction in your dog’s system and finally leaves.

During this time, it can damage their hearts, cause violent seizures, or even make your dog fall into a coma. Getting your vet involved right away is always going to be the best option with chocolate – it’s deadly to dogs and if you also have a cat in the house, it’s potentially deadly for them too.

How much brownie is toxic to dogs?

The amount of chocolate required to reach toxic levels is actually quite small and varies quite a bit based on the type of chocolate. With brownies, you most commonly have milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or you might even have baking chocolate in the recipe or additional semi-sweet chocolate chips.

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With that in mind, let’s take a look at how little it takes to literally poison your dog:

  • Milk chocolate – With milk chocolate, assume that .5 ounces per every pound of your dog’s body weight to determine the toxic amount.
  • Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate is more toxic than Milk chocolate, with .3 ounces to every pound of your dog’s body weight being the toxic amount.
  • Baking chocolate – Baking chocolate is the most toxic of the chocolates on this list, with a mere .2 ounce for every pound of body weight of your dog being considered dangerously toxic.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – Semi-sweet chocolate chips, like dark chocolate, are toxic in amounts of .3 ounces per pound of a dog’s body weight.

Will my dog be OK if he ate one brownie?

Even one brownie should not be considered safe, with the possible exception of white chocolate. White chocolate generally has no cocoa content, but is made up of sugar and cocoa butter instead, with only trace amounts of caffeine and Theobromine.

Any other chocolate, however, is definitely not safe. Even assuming it’s the least toxic type, milk chocolate, you’ll generally find about 2 ounces of it present in a single brownie and this is enough to make a large dog very ill and for a smaller dog it could be potentially life-threatening.

If your dog ate a brownie, then get them to the vet, or call your vet first at the very least. If you can’t reach them, don’t panic, as you can also call the ASPCA Poison control line at 888-426-4435 and they can help you 24 hours a day and even on holidays.   

Chocolate toxicity is potentially lethal, so you’ll need to get advice from a vet or the ASPCA at the very least and the sooner you do it, the better, because the Theobromine is going to keep circulating in your dogs body for the next 17.5 hours and it’s definitely going to do damage while it does.

How long does it take for a dog to get sick after eating chocolate?

While smaller dogs may show symptoms earlier, expect a general window of 6 to 12 hours before you start seeing the more pronounced symptoms of chocolate toxicity. Symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst and urination
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Panting
  • General restlessness/hyperactivity
  • Muscle tremors or spasms
  • Seizures

If you see any of these symptoms then get your dog to the vet immediately, as the Theobromine will keep concentrating and reach its peak after around 10 hours. By this time, it can do a lot of damage, so you definitely don’t want to wait.

What if my dog ate chocolate but seems fine?

While your dog might seem fine, if your dog has eaten brownies and you know that there is real chocolate in them, then you will still need to get them to the vet. It can take 6 to 12 hours before symptoms show, after all, and by then the toxins will have had a long time in the body to do damage.

It’s best not to wait for this and to get help immediately.

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Some final words on dogs and brownies

Brownies are great for us, but they’re literally poison for your dog. As such, if your dog ate brownies, it’s best to get professional assistance right away. Sadly, dogs simply cannot digest chocolate safely the way that we can, so it’s up to you to get your dog the help that they need right away.

Trust us on this one – You’ll be very glad that you did!