Dog ate chocolate?

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Artificial sweetener ingestion.

Species: Dog
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 5-8 years
This morning I ate an atkins bar for breakfast. I left the wrapper on the couch and came home about 3 to 4 hours later. When I got home, I noticed that my dog had licked the inside of the wrapper (which contained "diet" chocolate). She couldn't have gotten much, but I am concerned that the artificial sweeteners in the chocolate might be harmful to her. She's acting fine, but I'm not sure how long it's been since she ingested the chocolate. Should I be worried?

Here is a list of the ingredients in the bar:
Soy Nuggets (Soy Protein Isolate, Oat Flour, Calcium Carbonate), Glycerine, Polydextrose, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Chocolate Chips [Maltitol, Chocolate Liquor (Processed With Alkali), Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract], Rolled Oats, Palm Kernel and Palm Oil, Sunflower Oil, Whey Protein Isolate, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Soy Nuts, Roasted Almonds, Coconut, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Whole Milk Powder, Cellulose, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium and Vitamin Mineral Mix (Tricalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Vitamin A Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin, D-l Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Biotin, D-calcium Pantothenate, Zinc Oxide, Folic Acid, Chromium Chelate, Phytonadione, Sodium Selenite).

Related Articles written by Dr. Marie:

Chocolate Toxicity Calculator
Can my dog eat this?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question.

Most artificial sweeteners are totally safe for dogs. Some of them can cause some mild stomach upset (i.e. possibly a small amount of diarrhea).

The main concern though is a sweetener called Xylitol. This can be very toxic to a dog's liver. It looks like the sweetener in this bar is Malitol and sucralose. Neither of these are going to cause problems.

The small amount of chocolate in the bar is very unlikely to cause problems.

If just a little bit was licked then I wouldn't be worried at all. If your dog had eaten the whole bar I would expect some diarrhea though.

You may find these links interesting:

What foods are toxic for dogs?

Chocolate toxicity calculator for dogs.

I hope all is well!

Dr. Marie.


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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