Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?

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Dogs cannot eat White Chocolate

Even though chocolate is a favorite snack for any occasion, there are some factors that you need to take into account as a dog owner. 

Who doesn’t love chocolates, right? It is considered one of the most popular foods in the world. But sadly, it is deemed toxic for our dogs. There are many varieties of chocolate, such as white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. It is risky to give chocolate to your dog in any event. 

Chocolate is toxic to dogs since it contains a harmful ingredient called theobromine. When it comes to white chocolate, the percentage of this toxin is low, unlike dark chocolate. If this is the case, can dogs eat white chocolate?

Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?

No. Regardless of whether it’s brown, black, or white – white chocolate is considered chocolate. 

Most dog owners assume that white chocolate is not that poisonous; thus, it’s okay for them to give their dogs small pieces of white chocolate. However, this is not true. Dogs cannot eat white chocolate.

The theobromine substance in white chocolate can still lead to chocolate toxicity even in its smallest quantity due to certain factors.

White Chocolates for Dogs

What is White Chocolate Made Of?

White chocolate is a derivative of cacao, meaning it does not contain any cocoa solids. And to be called chocolate, a product should bear cocoa solids. It is typically made from a blend of cocoa butter, vanilla, sugar, dairy products, and lecithin (a fatty emulsifier). 

The very thing that makes it chocolate is that cocoa butter plant-based fat is taken from the cocoa bean used in making chocolate.

Harmful Ingredients Found In White Chocolate

Dogs cannot consume white chocolate because various flavor enhancers could induce complications for your dog. 

As stated above, it can contain cocoa butter, sugar, milk fats, and other ingredients that cause complications when ingested by your pet. White chocolate also has caffeine which could be incredibly hazardous for a dog’s well-being. 

A common ingredient of white chocolate is xylitol. This is a food additive typically associated with “sugar-free” chocolates. And it can be life-threatening to our dogs.

What Could Happen if My Dog Eats White Chocolate?

Dogs cannot absorb or break down theobromine as humans do, making it unsafe for them. It hinders digestion and results in the increase of toxic levels in their body.

While theobromine poisoning is a rare phenomenon, white chocolate still contains a high level of fat. If your dog consumes even a small piece of it, they are prone to gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhea and vomiting. 

Pancreatitis is also a risk. This happens when the dog’s pancreas becomes swollen, causing a lot of pain if he/she has absorbed too much fat. Moreover, pancreatitis can be lethal if left untreated. Symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Painful abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restless
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Panting 

If the chocolate contains xylitol, you need to seek emergency medical attention. When dogs eat xylitol, it leads to a dominant release of insulin from the pancreas.

This accelerated release of insulin triggers a drastic reduction in blood sugar (commonly known as hypoglycemia). Sadly, even a small amount of xylitol can be very lethal to dogs. 

After digesting xylitol, symptoms may appear within 15 to 30 minutes or perhaps take 12 to 18 hours to develop, depending on the amount consumed. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Low blood sugar
  • Weakness
  • Ataxia
  • Collapse
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Dogs are lactose intolerant, and white chocolate has milk. Additionally, dogs can have different levels of lactose intolerance; a few might acquire only mild symptoms, whereas others may be more severe. The typical symptoms are:

  • Flatulence
  • Loose feces
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramp

Eating chocolate is particularly dangerous for older dogs or those with pre-existing health conditions. Even white chocolate with a lesser percentage of theobromine may lead to heart complications in dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages.

Chocolate Poisoning

While white chocolate does not pose any risk of chocolate toxicity, it will still depend on the dog’s size and how he reacts to white chocolate. If your dog accidentally consumes too much chocolate, he will display symptoms of chocolate poisoning, which is when you need to call the vet desperately.

  • Vomiting and drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Agitated
  • Muscle tremors
  • Racing heart rate
  • Severe symptoms, like convulsion, collapse, coma, or death 

It can take a few hours for clinical symptoms of chocolate toxicity to develop. The symptoms of chocolate toxicity may linger for days as it stays in the bloodstream more than usual. 

Although the level of poisoning is low, dogs can still get weak from consuming too much.

Is There Anything Good in White Chocolate for Dogs?

Not really. Your dog will not benefit from eating white chocolate, and there are no reasons for him to have it. Considering chocolate is packed full of calories, carbohydrates, and fat but has low nutrient content, it isn’t worth the trouble of sickness and pain.

Is there Anything Good in- White Chocolate for Dogs

What to Do If Your Dog Ingests Chocolate?

When your dog consumes chocolate, it’s necessary to contact the veterinarian immediately. Your vet can help provide the best form of treatment. Calm your dog down and look after him while you wait for care and help. 

If you can’t reach the vet, contact the emergency veterinary clinic or the pet poison hotline. These experts will guide you on what to do. 

It’s convenient to have or get a photo of the packaging to present to the vet and let them be acquainted when you believe your dog was consuming chocolate. Treatment usually varies depending on the amount of time the chocolate has been in the dog’s system.

Conclusion

If your dog randomly ingests a small piece of white chocolate, it is not likely that he will succumb to the lower amounts of theobromine. White chocolate is far from being as threatening as milk or dark chocolate, but you must still take precautions. 

White chocolate is harmful to dogs because of its high sugar and fat contents, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

And it will help if you also remember the fact that white chocolate still has dangerous ingredients. It’s better not to take the risk and avoid all varieties of chocolate as a whole. In conclusion, dogs cannot eat white chocolate.

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