Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate

‘Can dogs eat white chocolate?’ Last night I was having an evening snack of white chocolate in the kitchen when my Fido, Timmy, sneaked in on me. He stood there with his eyes on me and I could tell he was saying, ‘Give me some hooman.’

So I asked myself, can dogs eat white chocolate? As a doting pet parent, you want the best for your furry friend so you may wonder if dogs can eat chocolate.

Read on to find out if you should give your dog a piece of your delicious treat.

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs should not eat white chocolate as it has theobromine which is toxic to them.
  • Small bits of white chocolate may not have adverse effects but huge amounts do.
  • Signs of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased breathing, and drooling, among others.
  • The best approach to handle chocolate poisoning is to induce vomiting.

Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?

No. Dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate as it contains doses of theobromine. Our fur babies cannot metabolize theobromine traces like humans do.

white chocolate and a couple of nuts
via Unsplash

Besides white chocolates, the other types of chocolates are not fit for dog consumption. The general rule to keep in mind is, ‘the darker the chocolate the higher its theobromine concentration and toxicity to pooches.

This table will help you understand better how the different chocolate types compare.

  • White chocolate has the least concentration of theobromine at 0.25 mg per ounce. So it can be non-toxic to some dogs if they eat a small quantity. 
  • Milk chocolate has a higher concentration of theobromine at 44-58 mg per ounce.
  • Dark chocolate has a theobromine concentration ranging from  130-450 mg per ounce.
  • Bakery chocolate; this dark and bitter chocolate has the highest theobromine concentration. Its average theobromine levels compare to those in dark chocolate.

How Much White Chocolate Can a Dog Eat?

White chocolate has the least theobromine concentration meaning it is less toxic to your canine. A few bits of white chocolate may not pose harmful effects to your furry friend.

However, if the dog finds a stash of white chocolate and gobbles it all, they will not be clear of chocolate poisoning. So you might want to keep your delicious treats off your pooch’s reach.

What Makes White Chocolate Poisonous?

The primary ingredient making white chocolate toxic is its traces of theobromine. However, depending on the type of white chocolate eaten, there can be other ingredients contributing to the toxicity.

So which are these other ingredients making white chocolate toxic to dogs? You may ask. To understand better, you need to know how manufacturers make white chocolate.

The delicious treat contains higher concentrations of milk solids instead of coca as is with other chocolate types. It’s made from milk powder, sugar, and cocoa butter. Other ingredients you may find include lecithin and vanilla.

White chocolate contains a high level of fat which when ingested in high concentration leads to obesity. Excessive sugar also poses a high dental risk for your furry friend.

Different white chocolate brands might include:

  1. Artificial sweeteners like xylitol. It causes a dog’s blood sugar and insulin to drop resulting in seizures. It’s also non-friendly to your fur baby’s liver. It causes liver failure resulting in death.
  2. Nuts like macadamia are toxic to dogs. These nuts cause diarrhea, back leg weakness, and vomiting.
  3. Fruits like grapes and raisins are toxic to our furry friends. If your dog eats white chocolate that has these fruits, they can suffer from acute kidney failure.

Clinical Signs of Chocolate Poisoning

The duration your dog will take to show signs of chocolate poisoning depends on the quantity and type of chocolate eaten. Dark and bakery chocolate poisoning can show shortly after your pooch eats the snack due to the high theobromine concentration.

On the other hand, due to the low theobromine level in white chocolate, the poisoning signs can take several hours, 6-12 hours, to show. That said, some common clinical signs of chocolate poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Excess pee
  • Drooling
  • Increased heartbeat rate
  • Dehydration 

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate White Chocolate?

The best thing to do if you discover that your dog ate white chocolate is to induce vomiting. You also must know the type of chocolate, the amount taken, and your dog’s weight.

The information is essential as you have to contact your local vet to report the incident. With this, the vet can decide the severity of Fido’s poisoning symptoms and health condition.

dog hooked to a blood pressure meter
via Pixabay

If the dog ate a huge amount of white chocolate, the vet will have to use activated charcoal. The activated charcoal helps to stop theobromine absorption into your canine friend’s body. 

FAQs

  1. Is White Chocolate Safe for Dogs?

No. white chocolate is not safe for dog consumption because it has traces of theobromine which is toxic. It also contains excess fat and sugar which affect a dog’s health. 

  1. Why is White Chocolate White?

White chocolate typically comes from cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. It does not contain the cocoa solids that give chocolate its distinctive dark color.

  1. Is There a White Chocolate Substitute for Dogs?

Yes. Carob is a good white chocolate substitute for dogs. It is non-toxic to dogs, has health benefits, and is United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved.

Final Thoughts on Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate

The question of whether dogs can eat white chocolate can be daunting to many dog owners. You want Fido to enjoy a delicious snack with you but the bad news is that chocolate is toxic to dogs.

After reading the above post, you now understand if you should feed your dog chocolate-What makes chocolate poisonous, and what to do if your furry friend ingests it? 

The best news is that you can buy carob, a dog chocolate substitute, for Fido to enjoy. So make the right snack choice to ensure a good quality of life.

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