Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate? White or Dark Chocolate? How much?

  • By: Ray Johnson
  • Date: June 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 10 min.

When you have squirrels frequenting your yard, you will eventually want to give them some food. If unsure what food they like most or the food they might be allergic to, you will have questions about the food you should feed them. For example, you might ask, do squirrels eat chocolate?

Squirrels can eat chocolate. However, theobromine, an alkaloid found in chocolate, is toxic to squirrels. It can cause diarrhea and heart problems. You, therefore, should never give chocolate to squirrels. If you have to give squirrels chocolate, ensure you only give the chocolate in moderation. In a week, squirrels should never be fed more than 5 grams of chocolate. 

In this article, you will discover whether squirrels can eat white or dark chocolate, if they should eat the chocolate in moderation if they can eat chocolate covered-almonds, whether they love chocolate, and if baby squirrels can eat chocolate.

Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate?

If you have ever watched squirrels eating or you have squirrels in your house (attic or walls), you most likely know that they destroy most things they come across.

When squirrels destroy toys, furniture, fabric, and other personal items they come across, you might question whether they eat everything on their way.

Apart from that, if you get the chance to watch squirrels from afar, they are constantly gnawing and chewing. So, with that in mind, is it right for you to conclude that squirrels can eat chocolate?

Before I discuss if squirrels eat chocolate, let me first explain why they are constantly gnawing and chewing. You see, squirrels have four front incisors, which are critical to the squirrels’ ability to chew hard objects.

Squirrels’ incisors and the molars are constantly gnawing. Therefore, the squirrels must constantly gnaw and chew items to ensure that the incisors and the molars are sharp and of good length.

Indeed, if squirrels do not chew and gnaw on objects constantly, their teeth will get bigger to the extent that the squirrels could die out of hunger since they would not be able to eat with the longer teeth.

It is essential to point out that even if the squirrels gnaw and chew on different items, they don’t swallow everything they gnaw or chew. Thus, even if they gnaw on wood, it does not necessarily imply that they swallowed the wood.

Squirrels mainly love to eat nuts and seeds. But as opportunistic creatures, they tend to eat anything else they find. So, if they come across chocolate, squirrels will eat the chocolate.

Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate In Moderation?

As opportunist creatures, squirrels will always eat chocolate whenever they find it. Nevertheless, it is recommended that squirrels are not fed chocolate. If they have to eat chocolate, it must be in tiny amounts.

But since chocolates are made of different ingredients, you should not give chocolate to squirrels. If you must feed squirrels chocolate, then you must feed them the chocolate in moderation. A pea-sized amount of chocolate a week would not harm a squirrel.

If you have a weighing scale and want to ensure that you are feeding the squirrel the right amount of chocolate, you should weigh the chocolate and give the squirrels only 5 grams of chocolate a week.

Apart from feeding a limited amount of chocolate to the squirrels, you should also limit the amount of food you feed the squirrels. When you overfeed the squirrels, they will depend on the food you provide them. 

That can be dangerous since when you are not around to feed them, the squirrels will likely starve to death as they wait for you to feed them.

Can Squirrels Eat Cacao Plants?

The cacao plant is a small tree that is found in the rainforest. The tree produces a fruit that contains cocoa beans. These beans are used to make chocolate. Squirrels love to eat the fruit from the cacao plant as it is nutritious.

In a study by Molina and Briceno, the researchers discovered that squirrels love to eat mature cocoa pods since they are more detectable and have a greater nutritional value.

The fact that the cacao plants contain theobromine toxic to squirrels does not imply that they will not eat the plant. 

Squirrels can eat cacao plants and will not be adversely affected by the theobromine in the plants since the levels present in the plant are not harmful to squirrels. Nevertheless, once the cocoa beans have been fermented, theobromine levels increase, making them toxic to squirrels. 

Is Chocolate Harmful To Squirrels?

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine: These compounds have a stimulating effect on the squirrels’ central nervous system and can cause hyperactivity and tremors.

Chocolate can cause digestive problems in squirrels: Theobromine present in chocolate is toxic to the squirrel’s liver. When eaten in large amounts, chocolates can result in anorexia and diarrhea in squirrels.

Chocolate can cause weight gain in squirrels: Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine – stimulants that can affect blood sugars and cause weight gain. Caffeine is a diuretic that encourages water loss in the body, while theobromine causes an increase in urination. So, if a squirrel is fed a lot of chocolate, it could become obese.

Is Dark Chocolate Bad For Squirrels?

Photo shows chocolate which should not be given to squirrels. If they  squirrels have to be give chocolate, then only 5 grams of a chocolate should be given every week.
Chocolate is not good for squirrels – If you have to give squirrels chocolate make sure you give them pea-sized chocolate once a week

Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that has a higher cocoa content than other types of chocolate. It is, therefore, darker in color and has a more intense flavor. Although dark chocolate is generally considered healthier than other types of chocolate, it is not safe for squirrels.

Dark chocolate is toxic for squirrels because it contains theobromine which is toxic to the squirrels. Even if theobromine is found in all chocolates, it is more concentrated in dark chocolate. Those feeding squirrels chocolate need to be aware of this because the high concentration of theobromine in dark chocolate implies that the chocolate can be poisonous to squirrels.

Theobromine is a compound found in cocoa beans and is responsible for the bitter flavor of dark chocolate. It is also toxic to dogs, cats, and other animals. Squirrels are susceptible to the effects of theobromine and can die after eating even small amounts of dark chocolate.

Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate-Covered Almonds?

Chocolate-covered almonds are a type of candy that is coated with chocolate. They can be found in many stores and are usually a popular gift for people.

Squirrels can eat chocolate-covered almonds. The almonds are a good source of protein and vitamins B and E, which are essential for the health of squirrels. Chocolate is a high-fat and sugar food. But it also contains antioxidants that can be beneficial to squirrels.

Too much chocolate can cause health problems for squirrels. If you have to give squirrels chocolate-covered almonds, you must only give them a small amount at a time. One chocolate-covered almond is fine for a week.

If squirrels were to be given more than one chocolate-covered almond, the squirrels would be taking in a lot of theobromine. That could cause trembling, agitation, tremor, convulsions, diarrhea, and arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeats). It might even leave the squirrel dead.

There are also some other nuts that are good squirrel treats. For instance, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and pistachios can be given to squirrels without worrying about causing health problems.

You should feed the squirrel the safe nuts instead of risking its life by giving almonds covered with chocolate.

How Long Does Chocolate Affect Squirrels?

The time it takes for chocolate to affect the squirrel is determined by the type of chocolate eaten by the squirrel and the amount of theobromine in the chocolate. For small amounts of chocolate, less than 5 grams, most squirrels will not be affected by the chocolate.

When squirrels eat chocolate above the allowed limit, it will take 2 – 12 hours before symptoms of theobromine poisoning start to appear. The effect could last a couple of days. In extreme cases, the squirrel could end up dying.

Once a squirrel has eaten the chocolate, it is absorbed and distributed to the entire squirrel’s body, including the brain. After distribution, theobromine triggers its effect, causing some symptoms of theobromine poisoning to be seen.  

Some of the common symptoms in squirrels that have eaten a lot of chocolate and are experiencing chocolate poisoning are; seizures, trembling, and panting.

Can Chocolate Kill Squirrels?

Chocolate is a potent toxin that kills squirrels. It destroys the liver and intestines and can cause seizures and death. In addition, chocolate contains theobromine which affects squirrels’ system.

Chocolate can kill squirrels too. Theobromine and caffeine are the two ingredients in chocolate that are toxic to squirrels. A few pieces of chocolate can be deadly for a squirrel.

So, if you have any leftover Easter chocolate or other chocolate lying around, be sure to keep it away from the squirrels in your yard! They may seem like a treat to the squirrels, but they can be dangerous and even result in death.

Is White Chocolate Bad For Squirrels?

White chocolate is a type of chocolate that is made from cocoa, butter, and sugar. The ingredients are mixed, heated until the mixture thickens, and left to dry. The resulting product is white and has a sweet taste.

Since white chocolate has lower levels of theobromine, you might be of the view that white chocolate is not bad for squirrels. That is not the case. Even small amounts of theobromine can be fatal to squirrels. Therefore, theobromine in white chocolate makes the chocolate bad for squirrels.

If you have to feed squirrels white chocolate, make sure you only feed the squirrels pea-sized white chocolate once a week. When squirrels are fed more than 5 grams of chocolate a week, the chocolate could poison the squirrels.

Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate Cake?

Yes, squirrels can eat chocolate cake. They are omnivorous scavengers that eat just about anything, such as acorns, insects, nuts, and chocolate cake.

While chocolate is not nutritionally rich, it does contain some beneficial nutrients like antioxidants that can help neutralize toxic radicals. So there’s no harm in letting your squirrel have a little piece of cake now and then. Just make sure that the squirrels eat the chocolate cake in moderation to stay healthy.

Overfeeding the squirrel will chocolate cake can be devastating. When squirrels eat a lot of theobromine, they are likely to experience chocolate poisoning, resulting in their death.

Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Chocolate chip cookies are not ideal for squirrels
Chocolate chip cookies can be poisonous to squirrels when given in large amounts

Yes, squirrels can eat chocolate chip cookies. When eaten in moderation, the cookies are not a problem. But, if a squirrel eats too many chocolate chip cookies, it will die. Chocolate is poisonous to squirrels.

Half a chocolate chip cookie is OK for the squirrel once in a while. However, you should never feed the squirrel chocolate chip cookies regularly. The cookies have sugar and chocolate, and the two ingredients can affect squirrel health if eaten in large amounts.

Don’t leave chocolate chip cookies in your yard. Even if you haven’t seen any squirrels in the yard, they might appear from nowhere and eat the cookies, leaving them at risk of being poisoned by the sugar and chocolate in the cookies.

Do Squirrels Love Chocolate?

A squirrel’s favorite snacks include nuts, seeds, tree flowers, tree buds, and tree fruits from a broad assortment of trees, such as dogwood, hackberry, hemlock, hickory, mulberry, and spruce. In addition, Squirrels will also occasionally snack on mushrooms and fungi.

Moreover, squirrels are omnivorous animals and can eat both meat and plants. In the wild, they eat various things, including insects, eggs, nuts, berries, and other fruits. They will also eat small animals, such as birds, lizards, and snakes.

Squirrels living in urban areas often rely on bird feeders for their food, but they will also eat insects and other small creatures that live in the park or yard. While squirrels can digest meat reasonably well, it is not their preferred diet.

When they come across chocolate, squirrels will eat the chocolate. That does not mean that they love chocolate. As omnivorous scavengers, they will eat whatever comes their way.

Furthermore, the theobromine in all types of chocolate is poisonous to squirrels. Thus, it is advisable not to feed squirrels chocolate since it will most likely poison them.

Can Baby Squirrels Eat Chocolate?

Baby squirrels can eat chocolate as long as it is in small amounts.

Even if chocolate is not a necessary part of a baby squirrel’s diet, it can provide some beneficial nutrients for baby squirrel’s development.

Chocolate also has antioxidants which can help protect the baby squirrel from disease. Nevertheless, too much chocolate can be harmful to the baby squirrel.

If you have to feed baby squirrel chocolate, ensure that you feed it less than 2 grams of chocolate in 2 weeks. If possible, avoid giving baby squirrel chocolate.


In conclusion, chocolate can be toxic to squirrels. Too much chocolate can cause problems and even death in some cases.

Therefore, chocolate should only be a rare treat and in moderation. If you have been feeding squirrels in the yard chocolate, its time you stop it.


Meng et al., 2009

Pub Chem

US Department of Agriculture