Can Dogs Drink Chocolate Milk?

Most pups have an irresistible love for sweet snacks and drinks, chocolate milk included. But no matter how much you love your dog and want to give it the best treats and rewards, some human foods are not good for them. For example, chocolate is poisonous to dogs.

So, if you are wondering can dogs drink chocolate milk or what to do if your dog ate fudge, some chocolate cake, or any other food containing cocoa and chocolate, then read on for the potential dangers.

We have included a list of the most common symptoms of chocolate toxicity in canines and information regarding how much chocolate can kill a dog and what to do if your pup has gobbled up some chocolate at home.

Chocolate milk has further dangers for your dog due to the caffeine, added sugar, dairy, and high-fat content.

In any case, if your dog drank chocolate milk, it is recommended that you call your vet or the pet poison control hotline immediately for emergency advice.

So, Is Chocolate Milk Safe For Pups?

No. No food or drink which contains chocolate and cocoa is safe for canines. The reason is that chocolate contains theobromine, which is a chemical compound that dogs cannot metabolize. As a result, it remains in the body and bloodstream and can cause mild to severe poisoning.

The effect that chocolate milk or any other treat or beverage containing chocolate has on a dog depends on the weight and age of the dog and on its overall health.

But even if you have a large breed dog, it can still be harmed if it ingests chocolate milk. The reason is that this beloved hot drink also contains lactose, which often causes digestive upsets in canines, including vomiting, diarrhea, and even a loss in coordination.

Chocolate milk contains caffeine as well. And caffeine is as toxic to dogs as theobromine and can cause mild to severe poisoning in pups.

There is sugar in this hot beverage too. Sugar is not good for dogs, as it can lead to blood sugar spikes, weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

Last but not least, chocolate milk contains fat. Too much fat can affect a dog’s pancreas and lead to a flare-up and severe pancreatitis.

In other words, you should never give your dog access to chocolate milk!

Related: Can Dogs Drink Milk? Here’s What Experts Say!

The Most Common Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs

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Statistics show that chocolate poisoning is one of the most common problems that pet poison helplines and vets must deal with daily.

One of the reasons for this is that some pet parents are unaware of the potential dangers and want to treat their beloved pups with the sweet foods and drinks that they themselves enjoy.

But even if we take all precautions to keep our dog safe, there can be cases when it gets hold of an unattended cup of chocolate milk or a chocolate treat like some white chocolate or a donut that you have carelessly left within its reach.

If you see this happening, stop the dog immediately, and take the chocolate away.

If your pup has already lapped a cup of chocolate milk, you should call your vet or an animal poison control hotline. First, you will need to establish how much chocolate milk it has consumed and then inform the experts about your pup’s weight, age, and health. You will receive advice on the actions you must take according to your specific case.

The more chocolate milk ingested, and the smaller the dog – the bigger the risk of more severe effects on it.

Your vet may advise you to monitor your dog for possible symptoms of chocolate poisoning or other adverse effects from drinking the chocolate milk.

These are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in puppies given in order of severity, from moderate to severe:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity or/and agitation
  • An increased thirst
  • Excessive drooling
  • A racing heart rate
  • Heavy panting
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Twitching or tremors
  • Seizures
  • Muscle rigidness
  • Heart failure
  • Collapsing
  • Death

Some of the symptoms may appear almost immediately, while others can appear after up to 12 hours after the dog ate chocolate.

Keep in mind that some dogs may experience other adverse effects from drinking large amounts of chocolate milk. For example, some dogs and particular breeds such as German Shepherds and Newfoundlands are more prone to lactose and carbohydrate intolerance than others. In severe cases, this can lead to seizures in more lactose-sensitive pups.

The sugar and the fat from the chocolate milk, combined with the caffeine in it, can cause flare-ups of the pancreas and, in more severe cases, can lead to painful and dangerous pancreatitis in canines.

What Is The Treatment For Dogs With Chocolate Poisoning?

The treatment depends on your dog’s condition, size and weight, the quantity of chocolate milk ingested, and overall health.

For some small and toy breeds, a single spoon of cocoa or bitter chocolate is enough to make them sick. Larger dogs may display no symptoms at all.

In any case, you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect that your pup has consumed chocolate milk.

You should keep a close eye on your pet and watch for any of the abovementioned or other worrying symptoms. If given the instructions by the vet, you may apply some of the home remedies to help resolve the problem.

If your vet asks you to come immediately, you should treat the situation as an emergency and get your dog there fast.

Sometimes, the vet will induce vomiting to make the dog throw up any undigested chocolate milk. The vet may also give activated charcoal to the dog, which acts as a sponge and absorbs the toxins from within the digestive system.

Your veterinarian will test the dog’s heart rate and blood pressure and, if needed, will appoint a blood panel test or other examinations.

Some dogs may need to remain in the hospital to be monitored by the vets and to receive IV fluids and further doses of the activated charcoal.

The fatalities due to poisoning from drinking chocolate milk are relatively rare, and the chances of complete recovery are significant, especially if you act as promptly as possible if your pup drinks chocolate milk.

In any case, it is recommended that you keep any kinds of chocolate snacks, foods, and drinks well away from reach from your dog!

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