The Caffeine-Like Chemical That Makes Chocolate Toxic to Dogs and Cats

A new episode of Reactions by the American Chemical Society explains the chemistry of chocolate and the specific molecule called theobromine, which is chemically similar to caffeine. Theobromine is a vasodilator that animals can’t metabolize, which makes the yummy sweet stuff absolutely toxic to dogs, cats and other domestic animals.

You may have heard that chocolate is high on the list of things that dogs should not be eating, but have you ever wondered why? One molecule, theobromine, is the central culprit to chocolate’s toxicity to dogs. Today we’re taking a closer look at the stuff, how much is too much, and also give you little advice if you catch little sparky sitting in a pile of chocolate wrappers on your kitchen floor.