White chocolate may not be the most popular chocolate worldwide, but it’s still a sweet treat that’s hard to resist. If you’re a big fan of this ivory-colored confection, you might be tempted to give your dog a bite. Question is – can dogs eat white chocolate? Is white chocolate good or bad for dogs?
Most true-blue dog lovers and responsible owners know that chocolate is a food dogs can’t eat. It’s highly dangerous and toxic. But, what about white chocolate?
If you want to know the real deal behind white chocolate, read on. Dog Food Guide is here to answer all your dog-related questions and reveal everything you need to know about chocolate poisoning, white chocolate, and much more.
Chocolate Toxicity: What Is It?
Yes, chocolate should never be given to your pet dogs. It contains caffeine and a chemical called theobromine – an organic compound found in cocoa. Like coffee, it acts as a great pick-me-up that can lower blood pressure, dilate blood vessels, and increase urination.
Unfortunately, your pet dogs cannot digest these compounds the way we can. This makes your dog highly susceptible to its chemical effects.
But since not all chocolate is created equal, its toxic effects vary depending on the amount of theobromine and caffeine it contains. Dark chocolate has more cocoa powder, so you can expect dark chocolate to contain more caffeine and theobromine than milk chocolate and white chocolate.
Aside from the type of chocolate, the amount of chocolate your dog has eaten and your pet dog’s size also matters. The more your dog eats, the higher the risks. In addition, smaller dog breeds are more sensitive to its effects than larger dogs.
Common Signs & Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs
In case your pup gets himself a helping of chocolate, your best course of action is to contact your veterinarian ASAP. Alternatively, you can bring your dog to the nearest emergency animal hospital immediately or call the Pet Poison Helpline.
Chocolate toxicity is an emergency that requires immediate vet care and intervention. If left untreated, severe cases can result in death.
Besides frequent urinating, other signs and symptoms to watch out for include:
- Increased heart rate
- Panting or breathlessness
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tremors
- Cardiac arrest
Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate? Is White Chocolate Toxic To Dogs?
Since white chocolate is a kind of chocolate that also contains a chemical called theobromine, it makes sense to think that it’s toxic to dogs. However, that is not entirely the case.
Compared to milk or dark chocolate, white chocolate is not as toxic. But this does not mean that you can give your pet a bite.
White chocolate is still harmful, but it’s unlikely to cause poisoning in dogs. Even so, giving this as a treat is discouraged given all its other dangers.
Read also: Can dogs eat figs?
What You Need To Know About White Chocolate
White chocolate doesn’t taste like chocolate. Yes, it’s sweet, creamy, and it melts in your mouth like your typical dark and milk chocolate, but it lacks that bitter flavor that truly defines anything that’s chocolate.
So, despite the labeling, white chocolate is technically not a chocolate. And you know what? FDA agreed to this notion back in the day since white chocolate didn’t contain chocolate liquor – non-fat, high in theobromine cocoa solids that give chocolate its brown color and distinct bitter taste.
Unlike its dark colored counterparts, white chocolate contains a minimum of 20% cocoa butter. Compared to non-fat cocoa solids, which carry 44-450 mg of theobromine per ounce, cocoa butter has lower levels of theobromine (around 0.25 mg per ounce) and caffeine. This makes white chocolate the lesser evil among the three types of chocolate in the canine world.
Why Your Dog Should Not Eat White Chocolate
Maybe you are wondering, how much chocolate can your dog eat? None! The minimal amounts of chocolate-related dangerous compounds found in white chocolate will unlikely poison your dog. Still, the other components that make up a bar of white chocolate may put your dog in harm’s way.
Here are the reasons why it’s best to keep that piece of chocolate (regardless if it's white) to yourself and away from your pet:
It’s High In Fat
Like humans, dogs tend to gain weight when they consume a lot of fatty foods. Besides that, too much fat in their system can also lead to other health problems, including:
Giving your pet dog fatty foods (think chocolate) can result in an upset stomach. Your dog may experience vomiting and diarrhea after eating this confection.
Eating a fatty diet can cause pancreatitis – a painful condition characterized by the enlargement of the pancreas. Its symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, and lethargy.
It’s Loaded With Sugar
Aside from being high in fat, white chocolate contains a lot of sugar. And just like, too much sugar can lead to several medical issues. This includes tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
It Contains Other Harmful Ingredients
Besides fat and sugar, dog owners should also be wary about the other ingredients found in white chocolate. This includes milk, coffee, macadamia nuts, and raisins.
Some dogs are lactose intolerant, and small amounts can trigger tummy problems like vomiting and diarrhea. On the other hand, raisins, coffee, and macadamia nuts are all part of your pet dogs’ MUST-NOT EAT list.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats White Chocolate
“My dog ate white chocolate! What to do?” First, don't panic.
Given the small amounts of theobromine in white chocolate, you might not need to worry about your dog showing signs of toxicity after your dog has eaten a few bites. White chocolate rarely poses a threat, however, this does not mean that your dog is out of the danger zone.
A dog that eats white chocolate is still at risk. If your dog has ingested chocolate with macadamia nuts, coffee, and raisins, you might want to contact your vet since all of these can poison your dog. Calling your veterinarian is also your best bet if your dog shows any of the health problems stated above.
Now, if your pet somehow gets its paws in your chocolate stash, you don’t have to wait for your dog to get seizures. Get in touch with your veterinarian right away. Since white chocolate still has trace amounts of theobromine, ingesting loads of this treat may still put your dog at risk of poisoning.
As for treatment, your vet will most likely induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal, and provide supportive care. Treatment is best done by a licensed vet unless you’re instructed to do this independently.
Food For Thought
It is essential to prioritize the health and well-being of our canine companions when considering their dietary choices. White chocolate, like other forms of chocolate, contains theobromine, a substance that is toxic to dogs.
Even though white chocolate contains lower levels of theobromine compared to dark chocolate or cocoa, it is not entirely safe for dogs to consume. Ingesting white chocolate can lead to various health issues, including gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, potentially life-threatening symptoms.
Any food that is brimming with fat and sugar should be left in the cupboard, out of your dog’s reach. If you think your pup deserves a treat, give them something healthy like a piece of carrot, apple, or melon. We’re sure your dog won’t mind as long as you’re there giving them some TLC.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?