For dogs, the smell of chocolate is almost as tempting as a big juicy steak. That's why your dog may rip into your Halloween or other candy. Although he loves it, chocolate usually doesn't love your dog. It contains caffeine and a related chemical called theobromine. Both of these are stimulants that can raise your dog's heart rate -- occasionally to the point of being fatal. Fortunately, most dogs who overdose on chocolate just get an upset stomach which may be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. (If your dog gets into chocolate, call your veterinarian or poison control hotline immediately for professional advice.)
The amount of chocolate that can cause death depends on your dog's size and the kind of chocolate he steals. The following is only a guideline, your particular situation may vary. Again, contact your veterinarian or poison control hotline immediately for professional advice.
Baking chocolate: half to one ounce can cause death in small breeds; for medium breeds, the amount is two to three ounces; in large dogs, the amount is four to eight ounces.
Milk chocolate: four to ten ounces can cause death in small dogs; one to one and one half pounds in medium size dogs; two to four and one half pounds in large dogs.
Email me anytime, follow me on Twitter, tell me your story, and please subscribe to my Examiner - Dogs column!