Ren33 asked me to drop in on the chocolate and dogs issue.
Chocolate is indeed toxic to dogs, but the toxicity depends on dosage.
The chemical in chocolate that is problematic is called theobromine. It's related to caffeine. While some dogs are more sensitive than others, a dose of 100-200 mg/kg of theobromine is generally life-threatening. Some dogs show toxicity at doses as low as 20 mg/kg.
Theobnromine is not a cumulative poison; thus, if your dog eats small amounts it will not accumulate a toxic dosage. However, large amounts of chocolate eaten at once are deadly.
The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it has. Here is a chart of theobromine amounts in chocolate from the Merck Veterinary Manual:
* Dry cocoa powder = 800 mg/oz
* Unsweetened (Baker's) chocolate = 450 mg/oz
* Cocoa bean mulch = 255 mg/oz
* Semisweet chocolate and sweet dark chocolate = 150-160 mg/oz
* Milk chocolate = 44-64 mg per oz chocolate
Thus, as you can see, a small amount of milk chocolate probably will not hurt a large dog, but a standard 4 oz. bar of baker's chocolate can kill a small dog. There is also no specific antidote for theobromine poisoning.
"Choc drops" manufactured for dogs contain no real chocolate and thus are safe.
My flat-coated retriever ate a bar of baker's chocolate once. He showed classic signs of mild toxicity- imagine drinking about 40 cups of coffee and what it would do to you and you get the picture- diarrhea, vomiting, urinating and really, really, really bouncing off the wall for a day
He was fine afterwards, but it wasn't a fun experience.