Are you missing a pot of chocolate pudding?
Are you a pot short after sorting out the packed lunches?
Are your suspicions turning on your dog?
But apart from being naughty, does this secret snack put your dog in any danger?
Dog ate chocolate pudding. What should I do?
If your dog has stolen a ready to eat pot of chocolate pudding and eaten the entire contents then the one thing that is between that dog and an emergency trip to the vets is its size.
For a dog of around 7 kg and under, it will require emergency assistance.
A medium sized dog of around 30 kg might have a touch of diarrhea and in a huge breed dog of around 60 kg, that pot “won’t have even touched the sides”
Now throughout the rest of this article I explain how I came to those “conclusions”, so please keep reading.
If however, your dog only managed to get the odd lick of chocolate pudding then the chances are that they will have escaped “scot free”.
But you need to keep an eye on them over the next 12 hours for any signs of chocolate poisoning.
What do I mean by chocolate pudding?
To create this article, I looked at quite a variety of chocolate puddings because not all of you will be eating chocolate puddings made by the same brand and some of you will be eating homemade chocolate puddings.
I look at three different chocolate pudding snacks, which come ready to eat in plastic pots.
Two were made by Jell-o (a standard chocolate pudding and a sugar free chocolate pudding) and one pudding was made by Snack Pack.
I also looked at a Jell-o cook and serve chocolate pudding, which comes in a powdered form that you add milk to before serving.
I also looked at one of the most popular online recipes for chocolate pudding.
What are the main ingredients of a chocolate pudding?
You won’t be surprised to learn that across the different brands and the slightly different products, the ingredients are very similar.
So here are the most common ingredients: water, milk, sugar, cocoa and vegetable oil and salt.
In the sugar free variety that I looked at, sugar was just replaced by an artificial sweetener called maltitol.
Having teased out the main ingredients that are used to make your favourite chocolate puddings, it is now time to find out if any of these ingredients are toxic.
Are any of these ingredients toxic?
The main ingredient of concern is cocoa, which is a concentrated form of chocolate
Cocoa contains a chemical in it called theobromine that is poisonous to dogs and if consumed in a great enough quantity, will kill them.
The difficulty is finding out how much cocoa is in a product.
And this is difficult because the exact amounts of any ingredients aren’t specified- they never are on food packaging.
Fortunately, there is another way of finding out how much theobromine is in each of these products and that is by looking very closely at some nutritional data.
It won’t be an exact amount but it will be good enough for what we need.
Knowing if your dog is safe or not.
What is the most dangerous type of chocolate?
Chocolate is one of the most consumed products on the planet and it comes in a huge variety of “forms”.
By this I mean whether the chocolate is white, milk, dark, baker’s or even cocoa powder.
The simple rule of thumb is that the darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is to dogs.
This is because darker chocolate has a much higher concentration of theobromine in it than milk chocolate.
How much theobromine does it take to poison a dog?
In about half of all dogs, having somewhere between 100- 200 mg of theobromine in their system per kilogram of body weight is enough to kill them.
The size of your dog and the amount of chocolate that they ate are very important in all of this.
But even before these levels are reached, a dog might be showing systems of being very sick.
And I will talk about that more later.
In the next section, I’m going to be comparing how different sized dogs might be affected by the various chocolate puddings we have mentioned.
How much theobromine is in a chocolate pudding?
In this section, I focus on three different types of chocolate puddings and how eating them might affect three different sizes of dogs.
 100g ready to eat chocolate pudding
Firstly, let’s think about a plastic pot of chocolate pudding.
The nutritional data for a plastic pot of chocolate pudding shows that in a 100g serving, the amount of theobromine is 70 mg.
I am going to assume that your dog ate all of the pudding in the pot.
So the next logical thing to do would be to use an online toxicity calculator to find out if your dog is in danger.
Although there are a few to choose from (and this one seems to have the greatest flexibility) none of them seem to be set up to work out toxicity levels from a dog eating chocolate pudding.
A dog that eats milk, white dark or baking chocolate is well catered for but not chocolate pudding dogs!
So after a lot of tinkering I have come up with my own calculations.
And to illustrate them, I am going to use three dogs.
My mother in law’s miniature Poodle (Henry), my Golden Retriever (Sylvie) and a Great Dane.
Henry is around 15 lbs (close to 7 kg), Sylvie is 60 lbs (30 kg) and a Great Dane can be around 120 lbs (60 kg.)
Henry, as the smallest dog, would be in the greatest danger and could potentially die as he would have theobromine levels of approaching 90 mg/ kg.
Sylvie with levels of theobromine of just over 20 mg/ kg could expect a bit of vomiting and diarrhea.
Buster with only 10 mg/ kg of theobromine in his system would carry on as normal as if nothing happened.
 Cook and Serve Chocolate pudding
Each sachet when mixed with milk, creates about a 100g serving.
Now, according to the nutrition data the amount of theobromine in each serving is about 63 mg- slightly less than the ready to eat pots.
The outcomes for all three dogs would be the same as for the ready to eat pots of chocolate pudding.
 Homemade chocolate pudding
This recipe seems very popular and creates a typical chocolate pudding.
Even ignoring the whipped cream, it isn’t good news.
It uses about 100 g of baking cocoa, which could potentially have 2057 mg of theobromine!
An astronomical amount which would almost certainly kill Henry, could potentially kill Sylvie and even the mighty Buster could end up with seizures.
I don’t know about you but I’m a bit shocked by that.
In the next section, the information doesn’t get any easier as we look at how quickly theobromine takes to poison a dog?
How long does it take a dog to get sick?
There are a whole host of factors that will impact on the amount of time that it will take to poison your dog.
We have already discussed the most important of these- the size of your dog and the amount of chocolate consumed but even things such as your dog’s age and their general well being will be important.
If your dog has a pre-existing heart condition that will make them more vulnerable.
However, if everything else is equal, symptoms will kick in between six and twelve hours after your dog ate the chocolate pudding.
What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning?
There are several symptoms that a dog with chocolate poisoning might display.
And remember, they might display one or more of these symptoms.
Vomiting and diarrhea are common as is an increased level of thirst in your dog.
Do they keep going over to their water bowl?
Your dog might be restless, pacing around because theobromine is a stimulant.
In particularly bad cases of poisoning, you might witness your dog having muscle tremors or seizures.
I have had enough of the doom and gloom of chocolate poisoning and so as I close out this article, I want to talk about some of the other ingredients in chocolate puddings.
How bad are the other ingredients in a chocolate pudding?
Chocolate puddings pose another danger to dogs and that is because of their high sugar and fat content.
As well as containing dangerously high levels of chocolate, they also contain nearly 5% fat and 17% sugar.
In some ways the level of fat and sugar in these puddings is a bit irrelevant because they are in serious trouble already with the theobromine.
But the high levels of fat and sugar will place even more pressure on the dog’s system as it tries to process everything.
It is like being attacked on several different fronts.
Why might sugar free chocolate pudding be dangerous?
There is no escaping the real danger that consuming a chocolate puddings present for a dog.
And buying a sugar free variety could put your dog in even greater danger- although that is a mute point in this situation.
Some sugar free products contain a chemical called xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs.
The trouble is that a dog cannot process xylitol and it can lead to huge spikes in a dog’s blood sugar level.
Now I have looked at a couple of sugar free chocolate puddings and they use a different artificial sweetener, called maltitol.
No artificial sweeteners are good for dogs but at least maltitol won’t poison a dog- consuming it may only give them an upset stomach.
But put xylitol on your watch list for chocolate puddings or any other sugar free product that you eat.
Carefully reading labels might save your dog’s life!