What to Do if Your Beagle Ate Chocolate? A Crucial Guide

Bracken the beagle after eating dark chocolate

In this blog post, we will tell you what to do if your beagle ate Chocolate and step-by-step instructions on how to prevent them from getting sick from chocolate poisoning.

What to do if your dog ate chocolate?

If your dog ate chocolate, you need to act quickly. Chocolate is toxic for beagles; in fact, it is dangerous for most dogs. Depending on the kind of chocolate and the quantity of cocoa powder in the chocolate bar will determine if you need to take your beagle straight to a veterinary clinic. If in doubt, always call your vet and ask them for advice. Don’t be tempted to wait as if your beagle has eaten a large amount of chocolate, as time can be critical. So, if your dog ate chocolate, read on.

Is chocolate bad for beagles?

We can eat certain foods that our beagles must stay away from, and one of those is chocolate. As you probably know by now, your beagle will eat just about everything, including foods that are dangerous for them to eat, and chocolate is one such food that all dogs should avoid.

What type of chocolate is toxic to beagles?

Just about everything on this table is bad for your beagle – avoid it!

There are different types of chocolate. Unsweetened baking chocolate contains six times the amount of theobromine than milk chocolate, although amounts can vary between beans and different brands of chocolate.

Milk chocolate is not good for your beagle but is less likely to cause issues to a dog that ate chocolate.

Almost all ingestions of baker’s chocolate can result in poisoning and are considered emergencies. The worst type of chocolate is dark chocolate and is particularly toxic to beagles.

Milk chocolate that contains sugar, butter or milk is not as bad, but it’s still a good idea not to allow your dogs to eat any milk chocolate at all as there are certain conditions where they could eat too much and end up in trouble and end up with chocolate poisoning.

The amount of cocoa in the chocolate determines the toxicity level and how dangerous it is for dogs. Dark chocolate may contain a higher cocoa content than milk or white chocolate and is, therefore, more toxic to your beagles.

An average milk chocolate bar will contain low amounts of cocoa powder but could still cause a dog that eats too much chocolate.

How much chocolate is toxic to dogs?

Beagles can handle some chocolate, but it depends on a few different factors, such as the weight of the dog and the kind of chocolate they ate.

If your beagle eats white chocolate or lightly licked a candy bar, the likely chance is that they will be ok.

The size/weight of your beagle will affect how the chocolate could react with your pooch. What might be ok for a larger dog could be fatal for a puppy. However, if your dog eats chocolate, it’s always worthwhile to give your vet a quick call to ask them for advice or go and see them for a check-up.

In any case, if your beagle ate chocolate, in particular, a large amount of chocolate, it’s best to call the vet straight away. The severity and length of time they’ve had access will determine how long you should wait before acting.

Why is chocolate toxic for beagles?

Chocolate is actually toxic for all dogs, not just beagles. Chocolate is processed from the seeds of the cacao tree, which contain a family of compounds known as methylxanthines.

These compounds include caffeine and related chemical theobromine, which may cause seizures in dogs, stomach upset, vomiting, increased heart rate, and affect the dog’s nervous system.

Here is a link to a study carried out by Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, DVM, Ph.D., about chocolate intoxication.

What happens if a beagle eats chocolate?

If a large quantity of theobromine or caffeine is ingested, some dogs will experience muscle tremors or even seizures that may affect the nervous system and increase your dog’s heart rate and blood pressure. In any case, you must contact your veterinarian.

How much chocolate can kill a beagle?

The type of chocolate and the dog’s body weight will determine how toxic it is to your dog. As a starting point, if you know that your beagle has consumed at least two ounces or more of chocolate (70% cocoa) in one sitting, you should contact a vet immediately as this could potentially cause serious problems for your beagle.

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

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning will usually show within 6 to 12 hours but may appear within 1 hour depending on the weight of your dog and the type of chocolate bar it ate. If you know your dog has had chocolate, treat it as an emergency and act immediately, and don’t wait for the signs or symptoms of chocolate poisoning to appear.

beagle at the vet after chocolate poisoning
Beagle at the vet after chocolate poisoning

What foods are bad for beagles?

I did some research to see what foods Beagles definitely can’t eat. Most people know that grapes and chocolate are off-limits to all dogs, but some of the items on this list might surprise you.

Here is a list of foods that are not safe for your beagle to eat, and in some cases, some of these food items can be toxic to dogs. This list was compiled from various online sources.

  • Alcohol
  • Almonds
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot Pits
  • Avocados
  • Candy
  • Cat Food
  • Cinnamon
  • Coffee
  • Grapes
  • Sugarless gum
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Onions
  • Peach Pits
  • Potato Leaves and Stems
  • Raisins
  • Salt
  • Tea
  • Tomato Leaves and stems
  • Walnuts
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast Dough

Will my dog be OK after eating chocolate?

Most likely, yes, most dogs will recover. However, if your dog has had a large quantity of chocolate or shows signs and symptoms of poisoning such as drowsiness, vomiting, and diarrhea, among others, then treat it as an emergency and take your dog to see a veterinarian immediately.

If you know your dog has had chocolate make sure you contact your vet right away for advice on what is best for your beagle.

A first-hand account of a beagle eating a considerable amount of dark chocolate

Bracken was feeling very sorry for herself after her chocolate stealing ordeal
Bracken was feeling very sorry for herself after her chocolate stealing ordeal

My wife and I have had direct experience of a beagle eating a large amount of dark chocolate. Here’s an account of what happened.

Bracken, our first beagle, was notorious for sneaking away into every corner of our home to try and find whatever scraps of food to eat (which makes our home sound like a scruffy cave!).

Being a crafty beagle, she would often wait until we were preoccupied and sneak off on a merry beagle adventure. She’d stolen all sorts of food and non-food items for a good chew on!

On one particular occasion, we had friends come to visit from Holland for a long weekend. It was their first time stopping at our new home, we showed them to their rooms to drop their bags, and we went to the kitchen for a beer and to catch up.

I noticed Bracken and Bayleee (our beagles) were absent. My beagle senses kicked in. I instantly realized they were in the guest room going through our friend’s bags to see what she could find!

Unbeknown to us, our friends had bought us a gift from Holland, 2kg of the finest Dutch chocolate. You guessed it, the girls had found it and ate the whole lot! To make matters worse, we couldn’t tell which of the dogs had taken the chocolate!

I knew chocolate was bad for beagles, dark chocolate in particular, so I started to worry. It was 7 pm on a Friday, so the vets were closed for the weekend.

I called the emergency vet for advice and was immediately ordered to visit the veterinary surgery where the veterinarian would meet us to treat them for chocolate intoxication.

Within 20 minutes, we were at the surgery. The vet gave both dogs an injection to induce vomiting. Around 2 minutes passed when both dogs were sick. As we inspected the vomit, It turned out it was Bracken who had eaten all of the chocolate.

Both dogs looked very sorry for themselves but were at least now safe and out of danger.

Had we waited and the dogs had the chance to digest the chocolate, the ending could have been very different. The veterinarian informed us that 30-40 minutes is the maximum amount of time we had before digestion. Phew!

To recap, should your beagle eat chocolate, follow these steps –

Try to work out the type and quantity of chocolate your beagle has eaten.

  • Try to work out the type and quantity of chocolate your beagle has eaten.
  • If it is a large quantity of chocolate, then immediately call your veterinarian for advice.
  • Here is a link to a Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter that will help you to make a decision. However, don’t dwell on the toxicity meter for too long. Always better to call the vet and find out if you need to induce vomiting.
  • Should you need to go to the vet, then time is critical. Move quickly and with purpose, and stay calm.
  • The vet may need to induce vomiting in your dog, so take a few blankets and paper towels for any mess you need to clean up the mess from the chocolate.
  • If your dog has been induced to vomit, ensure they can access plenty of fresh, clean water when they get home.
Baylee and Bonnie Beagles sleeping together
Our two Beagles, Baylee on the bottom (5 Yrs old) and Bonnie (2 Yrs).

Final thoughts

If you are a follower of our blog or a seasoned beagle owner, you will know by now that beagles are food-driven and will hunt out all kinds of food, including foods that are toxic to your pet.

Please don’t make it easy for them. Keep harmful foods like dark chocolate away from them. If, like in our case, you have guests in your home, inform them of the beagle behaviors and be vigilant with food.

Lastly, if in doubt, ALWAYS call your veterinarian immediately! A quick call to the vet to see if you need to induce vomiting could be the difference between a fun story to tell friends and family or heartbreak at losing a cherished family pet.

Related questions

Why do Beagles eat so much? Beagles struggle to regulate their appetite like other breeds. Used in large packs to hunt, Beagles are the ultimate scavengers. Hunting all day is hungry work, always on the lookout for food and taking every opportunity to eat. A strict meal schedule is essential to avoid your Beagle becoming overweight.

How much exercise do Beagles need? Adult Beagles should have two walks a day for a minimum of 20-30 minutes for each walk and set at a brisk pace. A puppy should be limited to a maximum of one mile per day and spread over several short walks. A puppy’s skeletal system does not fully develop until 18 months old, so exercise must not be overdone so as not to disrupt the healthy growth of bones.


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Simon Wilson and his two beagles

My Beagle Buddy is a dedicated resource crafted with love and expertise by Simon Wilson alongside his two cherished Beagles, Baylee and Bonnie. With over a decade of hands-on experience, Simon has delved deep into the world of Beagles, unraveling the joys, challenges, and intricacies of beagle ownership.

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