Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate? Read Before You Regret It.
When it comes to dog food, there are many kinds. You can consider canned, packed products available on the market like high calorie dog food, low protein dog food or allow it to consume your own food in refrigerator like beans or green peppers even chocolate. Most of the chocolate battles you’ll hear about are whether white chocolate is ‘real chocolate’ or not. Both white, brown and dark chocolate lovers will protect the chocolate they so love. White chocolate has been fought a lot, but it survives to this day. However, when we turn to dogs, the question becomes: Can dogs eat white chocolate?
To get to the bottom of this, let us start by looking at chocolate in general.
Why Is Chocolate Toxic?
There is a general message out there that chocolate is toxic to dogs. However, then what makes it dangerous for dogs yet humans would do anything for chocolate?
Well, chocolate contains a particular toxin called theobromine which is a stimulant, much like the caffeine found in coffee. It is found in human medicine and gets used as a blood vessel dilator, heart diuretic as well as a relaxant for smooth muscle.
Dogs are not able to digest or process theobromine the way we humans do, which makes it dangerous to them. Symptoms of theobromine toxicity include:
- Increased heart rate
- Visible muscle tremors and twitching
- High blood pressure
- Hyperactivity or agitation
- Vomiting, drooling or even diarrhea
So, What Amount of Theobromine Is Contained In The Different Types of Chocolate?
- Milk chocolate contains 44mg per ounce
- Semisweet chocolate contains 150mg per ounce
- Baking chocolate contains 390mg per ounce
Dogs will react differently depending on the amount of theobromine consumed. It takes about 9mg of theobromine per pound for mild signs to set in and up to 18mg per pound for the severe symptoms to kick in. Fatalities will happen once this amount reaches 100mg per pound.
If your dog has just eaten the chocolate, you should consider inducing vomiting. Otherwise, you will have to take them to the vet for further assistance.
The table below is from North Windham Veterinary Hospital and shows the number of ounces of chocolate that a pet would need to ingest for toxicity
How About White Chocolate? Is It Toxic To Dogs?
- White chocolate contains 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce or chocolate. This amount is very low and means that an averaged sized dog will have to consume considerable amounts to display any signs of toxicity.
- Therefore, we can confidently say that in moderate amount, your furry friend will not suffer from theobromine toxicity. However, there is something else that might affect it.
Are There Any Other Effects If My Dog Eats White Chocolate?
Now that we have ruled out theobromine toxicity, that should not be a big worry. However, white chocolate contains high levels of fat. If your dog takes a lot of it, they might experience stomach upset and end up vomiting or even having diarrhea.
Pancreatitis is another possible condition. This occurs when the pancreas of the animal becomes inflamed with much pain if it has consumed a lot of fat. You should know that pancreatitis can be fatal if it does not get treated medically. The symptoms include:
- Sharp abdominal pain. Your dog might walk with a hunched back or might not let you touch them
- Restlessness because of the pain
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heavy breathing or panting
In many cases, treatment for pancreatitis includes pain control, fluid therapy and not giving food by mouth only until the pancreas gets less inflamed.
Dogs that have experienced pancreatitis once are likely to undergo the same effects again if they consume any small amount of fat. Therefore, it is important for you to maintain a low-fat diet for the rest of the dog’s life.
Do I Need To Call My Vet If My Dog Has Eaten White Chocolate?
The simple answer is yes. While it might not necessarily be about the theobromine, the fat present in white chocolate could lead to stomach upsets or even pancreatitis. It is also possible for your vet to induce vomiting if they determine your dog has eaten sufficient amounts.
Here is a 5-minute video by Today I Found Out (on YouTube) with more details on why chocolate is not safe for your dogs. Check it out here.
Therefore, What Can I Feed My Dog Instead Of White Chocolate?
Once you have agreed with us that any form of chocolate has fats and toxins which have the potential to hurt your furry companion, we can talk about alternatives you can choose.
1. Apple Slices
Apple slices are a superb option because they can help clean any residue from your dog's teeth. This will result in fresher breath. Apples are fibrous fruits meaning your dog will have improved bowel movement. These fruits also contain both Vitamins A and C. Just remember to take off the core and seeds before feeding your doggie.
You can buy sliced apple dog treats from Loving Pets now.
Surprisingly enough yogurt offer lots of benefits to your dog. They are high in calcium and protein meaning they can help in strengthening the teeth and bones of your canine companion. Additionally, they contain active bacteria which are important in the digestive system. Again, with yogurts, don’t choose the ones with added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
You can grab dog treats from Vitakraft which contain Yoghurt.
Therefore, we hope that the question of “Can dogs eat white chocolate?” has now been settled once and for all. Remember that you should not expose your dog to any artificial sweeteners and fats to avoid causing them much trouble.
You should opt for their regular diet, but also consider the alternative solutions which we have suggested to give your dog a little more variety. If you have found the article informative and would like to tell us about your experience giving dogs chocolate, please let us know in the comments section below. Otherwise, we wish you a happy relationship with your dog. Bye!