Halloween is just around the corner which means yummy treats for kids (and adults!). The first thing that comes to mind? Chocolate. Which we of course all have engrained in our heads by now that chocolate can be dangerous and, in some cases, even deadly for our canine friends.

The trouble with chocolate and dogs?

Theobromine & Caffeine: the two molecules found in chocolate that are toxic to dogs.

How much chocolate does it take to cause toxicity in a dog?

Well, this all depends on the dog and the type of chocolate (or how much cocoa it has in it).

SMALL DOG – ~20 LBS.

Milk Chocolate: 6 oz.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: 3 oz.
Dark Chocolate: 2.5 oz.
Baking Chocolate: 1 oz.

MEDIUM DOG – ~50 LBS.

Milk Chocolate: 15 oz.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: 6.5 oz.
Dark Chocolate: 7 oz.
Baking Chocolate: 2.5 oz.

LARGE DOG – ~90 LBS.

Milk Chocolate: 26 oz.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: 10.5 oz.
Dark Chocolate: 11 oz.
Baking Chocolate: 4 oz.

But chocolate isn’t the only candy dangerous to dogs…

Xylitol (a naturally-derived sweetener used in many sugar-free candies, gums, medicines, etc.) is a serious risk for dogs. Xylitol stimulates the rapid release of insulin in canines, which leads to a dangerous, often fatal drop in blood sugar.

So how can we protect our dogs from chocolate? Simple, keep it out of reach and teach young kids the harmful affects it can have on our dogs.

Here’s a handy guide from Orvis on keeping your dog safe from that chocolate stash year-round, but especially during the holidays when treats are everywhere.

Dogs and Candy: Sweet Safety Infographic