Skip to content

No, dogs cannot eat cocoa powder as it is highly toxic to them. All cocoa products contain a substance called theobromine, which is instantly poisonous to dogs if ingested. Dry cocoa powder contains up to 26 mg of theobromine, which means it is highly dangerous for dogs.

Cocoa Powder
dangerous icon

Dangerous: This food is generally considered a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of dogs. Please contact your vet, a veterinary hospital or pet poison control if you suspect your dog has eaten this food recently.

Food Safety Highly toxic in any amount
Dangerous Serving As little as 4 ounces of cocoa powder can be toxic to dogs
Poisoning Symptoms Vomiting, lower stomach pain, hypertension, increased thirst, increased heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm, restlessness, convulsions
Severe Poisoning Severe theobromine poisoning can be fatal
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Much Cocoa Powder is Dangerous for Dogs?

Everyone knows chocolate is toxic for dogs. However, cocoa powder is even more toxic as it contains 50% more theobromine than chocolate. As little as 4 ounces of cocoa powder can be highly toxic to dogs.

Why Can’t Dogs Eat Cocoa Powder?

Cocoa powder contains a substance called theobromine. Theobromine in a dog’s body can cause diarrhea, vomiting and death in severe cases.

What to Do if your Dog Ate Cocoa Powder?

If you suspect your dog has eaten cocoa powder then you should immediately contact your pet poison helpline or your local vet. They may suggest inducing vomiting in your dog to take the cocoa powder out of the dog’s system. If your dog is showing symptoms of theobromine toxicity, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, increased heart rate, or seizures, take them to the nearest animal hospital or emergency veterinarian right away. Theobromine toxicity can be life-threatening, therefore it is important to take action immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Extremely small amounts of cocoa powder such as 1.5 ounces can be eaten by dogs. Some dog treats use a tiny bit of cocoa powder as well.

  • Cocoa powder is more toxic to dogs than chocolate as it contains more theobromine.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.