How much chocolate will kill a French bulldog?

Eat Chocolate

Can french bulldogs eat chocolate?: French Bulldogs should never be allowed to eat chocolate. Chocolate includes theobromine which is extremely toxic to dogs. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine efficiently, and it builds up in their body to dangerously high levels. In more extreme cases, they will die from eating chocolate.

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, and it could cause a severe medical emergency depending on the nature and quantity of chocolate eaten and the dog’s weight. When you are sure that your dog has consumed chocolate, it is essential to check them for signs of toxicity.

How Is Chocolate Toxic to French Bulldogs

Chocolate includes both theobromine and caffeine, which can accelerate the heart rate and trigger the dogs’ neurological system.   Your dog’s risk of getting ill from the consumption of chocolate depends on the form and quantity of chocolate eaten and the dog’s weight.

These toxic substances vary in concentration between various types of chocolates. Below are several types of chocolate listed with theobromine content in order:

Milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz.Semisweet chocolate contains 150mg/oz.
Baker’s chocolate 390mg/oz.Pure Healthy/Specialty chocolate even more!

Your veterinarian will be able to assess whether your French Bulldog needs immediate medical attention if you know how much chocolate he has eaten. Dogs tend to experience moderate signs of chocolate toxicity when they absorb 20 mg of methylxanthines per kilogram of body weight. 

The heart symptoms of chocolate toxicity can be detected at doses as low as 40 mg/kg, and seizures can occur at levels as high as 60 mg/kg.

One ounce of milk chocolate is a hazardous dose of chocolate for every pound of body weight. Considering Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars weigh 1.55 ounces, just one bar of chocolate can be harmful, especially to small dogs.

It is safe for large dogs to consume a small piece of chocolate cake or a small chocolate bar; however, you should never give your dog chocolate as a treat.

The following site has a great toxicity tracker for chocolates and is an excellent tool for helping you figure out if your dog has consumed a toxic dose.

Can French Bulldogs Eat Chocolate? How Much Can Kill?
Sick Frenchie.
Photo by Andrew Faires

Signs of Chocolate Poisoning in French Bulldogs

Theobromine poisoning may cause dangerous symptoms between 4 and 24 hours after consumption.

Here is a list of the dog ate chocolate symptoms:

Vomiting or diarrheaFast breathing
HyperactivityIncreased Heart Rate
Increased urinationTremors
Collapse and death

The risk of sudden death from chocolate poisoning is higher in dogs with heart conditions and older dogs.

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What to Do If Your French Bulldog Ate Chocolate

When your dog has eaten chocolate, urgent care might be required, so please call your vet for advice as quickly as possible or immediately take your Frenchie to the nearest Vet’s emergency clinic.

Remember the weight of your dog, the chocolate kind and how much chocolate they have consumed, and when they ate it. If necessary, take the chocolate wrapping to the vet. The knowledge will help the vet figure out whether your dog has already eaten a dangerous amount of chocolate and how to manage it.

Common ways vets manage chocolate poisoning is by using fluids and IV medications. A medication called apomorphine, for instance, can be used to induce vomiting, gastrointestinal pumping to drain the stomach with liquids, and a medicine called activated charcoal to keep chocolate from entering the dog’s bloodstream.

Prevent Your French Bulldog from Eating Chocolate

There are some measures you can take to reduce your French Bulldogs risk of chocolate consumption:

  • Purchase chocolate with low theobromine levels, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate contain high theobromine levels as they are manufactured with higher cocoa concentrations. It takes just a tiny amount of dark chocolate to kill even a big dog. Milk chocolate and white chocolate have lower amounts of theobromine, so if you have chocolate in the house, be cautious, put it in a high, secure spot.
  • Do not leave any chocolate around the house– when Frenchie is sneaking food, it’s because it’s found lying around. Especially throughout Christmas and Easter, many French Bulldog owners have an excess of chocolate that wouldn’t usually be in the house, so be careful to keep it out of reach when you’re not there.
  • Don’t ever offer chocolate as a reward – while chocolate is a wonderful excuse for treating yourself; it’s never ok to use this as an incentive for your dog. There’s plenty of other human food you can use as Frenchie rewards, such as cooked meat and some fruits and vegetables.

Can French Bulldogs eat white chocolate?

Milk chocolate contains theobromine; however, the quantity per ounce is so small that it would take a sufficient amount for an average-sized dog to become ill. There is 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce of chocolate in white chocolate.

Theobromine toxicity is doubtful, but high fat is prevalent in white chocolate. If your dog eats more than a few ounces of it, it will probably experience gastric upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Pancreatitis is a possibility also. Once saturated with fat, the pancreas is excessively inflamed.

Can Frenchies Eat Chocolate? How Much Can Kill?
Photo by Amirali Mirhashemian

When you should call the vet if your French Bulldog eats chocolate

In more extreme situations, a veterinarian would need to treat your dog.
Knowing several of the most effective treatments as a Frenchie owner is important:

Induced vomiting: although the procedure is super off-putting, it is also one of the safest ways to get most of the toxins out of your dog’s body.

IV fluids: These help empty the stomach and remove any residual contaminants.

Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal ingestion prevents the toxic compounds in chocolate (that nasty theobromine) from reaching the blood of your dog.

Your veterinarian may suggest repeating this procedure more than once to optimize the risk of removing certain toxins, so don’t be surprised if they send you home with a small bottle of the gooey black stuff.

What other foods are dangerous for French Bulldogs?

As well as chocolate, the following foods should never be fed to a French Bulldog (or any dog for that matter). 

Fatty meats.Salty foods.
Garlic and onions.Grapes and raisins
Sugary foods.

Another good article to read on dogs eating chocolate is the following.

What is the best food for French bulldogs?;dn=503455641432026;res=IELENG

Marshall Newton

Marshall Newton stands as an authoritative figure in the world of dog care and training, enriched by over 40 years of hands-on experience. His lifelong journey with dogs has seen him own over 20 canines from a diverse range of breeds, making him a versatile expert in the field. Marshall's expertise doesn't stop at general dog care; he's also a specialist when it comes to French Bulldogs. As the founder of "Little French Dog," Marshall provides invaluable advice and resources for both new and seasoned Frenchie owners. Whether it's understanding breed-specific traits or discovering new care tips, Marshall is the go-to resource in the Frenchie community. Interested in learning more? Feel free to connect with Marshall on LinkedIn for a deeper dive into his professional background and a wealth of canine insights.

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