My Dog Ate a Chocolate Chip Cookie: Problem or Not? (Solved & Explained!)

While chocolate is a great thing for us, with dogs and many other animals this is definitely not the case. With that in mind, if your dog ate chocolate chip cookie crumbs or whole cookies, what should you do?

If your dog at chocolate chip cookies, then you will want to get them to the vet right away. Chocolate chip cookies contain semi-sweet chocolate chips, which are toxic enough that just 6 ounces of them can essentially poison your dog. This is something you don’t want to wait on, so get your dog to the vet right away!

In today’s article we’re going to talk about chocolate toxicity from cookies and other sources so that you’ll have a better understanding of why it is so dangerous for your dog. Read on to find out what you need to know about the dangers of chocolate toxicity from chocolate chip cookies and more!

Why is chocolate toxic for dogs?

Chocolate has a slight bitter taste to it that goes with the sugary sweetness we all know and love, and that bitter taste is produced by a chemical called Theobromine. While humans can digest it easily and even get an endorphin rush from the stuff, with dogs and many other animals it is actually quite toxic.

A big part of the problem is that Theobromine doesn’t get digested properly, and the toxin can be reabsorbed through the intestines and cycle through the dog many times until it can be safely diluted.

If enough chocolate has been ingested, it can put your dog in a coma and even prove fatal, so chocolate should be considered deadly poison where your dog is concerned – and it doesn’t even take very much.

How much chocolate is dangerous for dogs?

How much chocolate is dangerous for dogs is probably answered best by saying ‘not much at all’, but that’s hardly helpful for a panicked owner, so let’s take a look at the actual amounts by types of chocolate, starting with semi-sweet chocolate such as found in chocolate chip cookies:

  • Semi-sweet chocolate – Semi-sweet chocolate is highly toxic, with dangerous amounts being considered .3 ounce per pound of your dog’s body weight.  
  • Baking chocolate – The worst of the bunch, baking chocolate is almost always a recipe for the vet emergency room, with .2 oz per pound being considered dangerously toxic. To give you an idea, 2 squares of baking chocolate can threaten the life of a 20-pound dog!
  • Dark chocolate – .3 ounces per pound ingested is considered the toxic amount, which is the same as semi-sweet chocolate.
  • White chocolate – White chocolate might give your dog a tummyache, but unless actual cocoa content has been added, this is the safest of the bunch – this is because white chocolate seldom uses actual cocoa and is more of a ‘mockolate/mock chocolate’.
  • Milk chocolate – Milk chocolate is the mildest of the ‘true chocolates’, in that it has cocoa but in relatively diluted amounts. As such, .5 to .7 ounces (depending on the milk chocolate) per pound of body weight is considered the toxic amount.

How much chocolate is in a chocolate chip cookie?

While homemade chocolate chips cookies actual chocolate content is up to the baker, your average chocolate chip cookie statistically contains 21.14 chips per cookie.  With that in mind, you need to know that it takes about 28 chocolate chips to equal an ounce of semi-sweet chocolate.

You’ll still want to bring your dog in to a vet if ANY chocolate is ingested, but basically the most dangerous ingestion is considered to be .3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate per pound of dog. Roughly this will come out to 3 small cookies being dangerously toxic for a 10-pound dog, though any amount is going to make them quite ill.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much, so chocolate ingestion needs to be viewed as potentially life-threatening whenever it occurs.

What are signs of chocolate toxicity?

The signs of chocolate toxicity are important to know and will generally ‘kick in’ within 6 to 12 hours of ingestion for large dogs, though consider 1 – 6 hours for smaller dogs as they have lightning metabolisms and less body weight to shield them. Here are signs to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Hyperactivity
  • Racing heart

In extreme cases, this can lead to seizures and even a coma, so if you see any of these signs then you need to get your dog to the vet immediately (also if you are sure that they have ingested ANY chocolate – it’s that serious).

With drooling and vomiting, you will often detect a scent of chocolate as a telltale sign, so this is something else that you can look for if you aren’t sure. That said, with your dog, it’s always best ot err on the side of caution, and if you want a rd-party confirmation then call your vet or the ASPCA help line at 888-426-4435.

The ASPCA poison control line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and on every holiday, so if you can’t get your dog to the vet right away then this number can definitely help. We recommend posting it on your refrigerator, as this information can save your dog’s life if you panic and don’t know what to do.

Is there a dog-safe chocolate chip cookie?

If your dog is a cookie fiend, then you might start looking for or even baking your own Carob cookies. Carob is a tree which produces dark pods that are often used as a chocolate substitute, as it tastes similar when properly prepared but won’t contain Theobromine or caffeine.

While it’s better to simply hide your cookies when you can’t watch them and to provide a meat treat or something else that you know is doggie-safe, in the case of insistent and sneaky dogs then switching to an ‘all-carob’ rule is a good way to get your chocolate fix with a safety-guarantee in case your dog swipes one.

Some final words on dogs and chocolate

If your dog ate chocolate chip cookie crumbs or even a whole cookie, we hope that this information today has explained the dilemma with enough detail to prepare you. Chocolate toxicity is nothing to trifle with, so if your dog has gotten into your cookies, then it’s an immediate trip to the vet – no exceptions.

Chocolate is simply too dangerous for dogs and cats, so you really don’t want to wait on this one. If you can’t reach your vet right away, then don’t panic, simply call the ASPCA poison control line at 88-426-4435. They can help and every moment counts, so be sure to contract them right away.

If your dog hasn’t gotten in to your cookies yet, then consider switching to carob or simply get into the habit of putting your cookies away whenever you can’t be there to watch them. Remember, dogs are sneaky, so even a few moments away is all it takes for your dog to swipe a cookie.

With a safety protocol in place and the knowledge about how dangerous chocolate can be for your dog, you should be okay, so just use what we’ve shared today and keep chocolate in all of it’s forms away from your dog. It’s literally a matter of life and death!