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Can dogs eat chocolate frosting?

It was a summer day in August, back in the early 1980s, and my brother was turning seven. We had just gotten a new puppy named Lucy, and she was our world. Fairly rambunctious and super sweet, Lucy was like an angel. She hadn’t even gotten into trouble in our house … yet.

Of course, she was in huge trouble once we realized that Lucy had eaten nearly the entire cake my mom had baked for my brother’s big day.

We were all inside opening presents, and the cake was sitting outside in some shade, ready for a heap of kids to run over and enjoy. Lucy was wandering around aimlessly — or so we thought. As soon as we all walked out onto the deck to enjoy cake after the presents, we saw the aftermath of what she had done: crumbs were everywhere, the cake seemed to be scattered in a huge radius, and there was Lucy — sitting humbly in the corner with chocolate frosting all over her face.

Although most of us know that chocolate of any kind is a no-no for dogs, it’s important for me to say that Lucy was fine after my parents took her to the vet. I’m sure the aftermath of that visit was not pleasant for Lucy, but she was okay.

I say all of this to explain that many people have dogs like Lucy — who are interested in eating chocolate frosting. Or perhaps they’ve already decided to do so. It’s great-tasting after all.

As a dog owner, is this okay to allow? In the following article, we’ll answer these questions and others related to the topic of our beloved dogs and whether chocolate frosting is safe or harmful to them.

Can dogs eat chocolate frosting?

The short answer is no. First of all, you should definitely not feed your dog chocolate frosting. Anything with chocolate in it can be toxic to dogs.

What if they already ate it?

Of course, for most dog owners who might be asking the question of whether or not dogs can eat chocolate frosting, it’s generally a matter of your dog already having accidentally consumed the frosting. Or rather, they may have already consumed it intentionally on their part but not on your part!

In this case, if you dog consumed only a small bit of chocolate frosting — say, a little piece that was on top of a piece of white cake — you don’t need to panic.

Can dogs eat regular frosting?

Of course, not all frosting is made out of chocolate. There’s strawberry frosting, cream cheese frosting, vanilla frosting, and other varieties. If your dog has eaten any of these types of frosting, then they should be just fine. Maybe they will have an upset stomach in some cases.

The effect of quantity

While at the same time any type of frosting that doesn’t involve chocolate is probably going to be okay for your dog, you should also remember that there is the issue of quantity. Even if your dog has eaten two full containers of vanilla and they’re going to survive, chocolate frosting will be different. If your dog eats two whole containers of chocolate frosting, this may be too much, and it may cause symptoms.

The reason? It’s the same reason why humans wouldn’t want to consume this amount of frosting either. Simply put, it’s going to upset their stomach. For this reason, they might end up with vomiting, diarrhea, or a generally upset tummy that makes them tired and lethargic.

What happens if my dog eats chocolate frosting?

Chocolate is definitely toxic to dogs. On the other hand, it’s rare that chocolate consumption in a dog leads to death. Rather, it generally leads to significant illness.

Should you take your dog to the vet?

In most cases, you won’t need to take your dog to the vet right away if they’ve only eaten a small to moderate amount of chocolate frosting. The better way to handle the situation is to closely monitor your dog to see if they have any worrying symptoms. We’ll discuss symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs later in the article.

How much chocolate frosting is likely to be too much for a dog?

In order to understand how much chocolate will be too much chocolate for a dog, it’s important to understand why chocolate is actually toxic to them. The answer is in a chemical called theobromine. This is present in chocolate — as is caffeine. Both of these are actually toxic for dogs because they can’t be metabolized in a dog’s body as well as they can be metabolized in a human’s body.

In order to know how much chocolate is toxic to your dog, in particular, you generally have to look at how much theobromine was in the chocolate they ate. This varies depending on the chocolate type. If it’s dark and bitter chocolate, there will be more danger to your dog. Milk chocolate is better. Milk chocolate frosting, therefore, is probably not so bad when it comes to theobromine content.

Considering your dog’s size

Additionally, it is important to consider your dog’s size. If your dog is rather large, they can technically consume more chocolate and be fine. When your dog is very small, even a non-substantial chunk of dark chocolate could cause serious illness.

What to do if my dog eats chocolate frosting?

If your dog has recently eaten chocolate frosting, it’s important to monitor them closely. Also take note of how much frosting they ate and what type of frosting it was. You might consider simply keeping the container that the frosting was in, if possible. That way, if you need to go to the veterinarian to explain the issue, you can bring the container with you.

Record your dog’s symptoms

As you monitor your dog, record any symptoms they may have. Chocolate poisoning is rare, but it does happen.

What are the signs to look out for?

As stated, when it comes to chocolate, it really depends on how much your dog ate and what type of chocolate it was. If it was only a tiny bit and it was milk chocolate frosting, for example, you’re probably in the clear. If it was a significant amount of chocolate frosting and/or a type of frosting that contains a lot of dark bitter chocolate, you should watch your dog more closely and be more aware of any possible symptoms.

Possible symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs

The possible symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Panting or a racing heart rate
  • Excessive urination
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors