Can White Chocolate Kill Dogs?

If you have a sweet tooth, white chocolate must be one of your favorite treats.

The rich, delicate chocolatey flavor is one that you yearn for often.

You naturally want to enjoy the sweet things in life with your loved ones but as a dog owner, wonder if white chocolate is safe for your four-legged friend.

So, can white chocolate kill dogs?

Yes.

White chocolate can kill dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that is lethal for dogs.

Dogs can’t metabolize theobromine as you do.

The chemical enters the bloodstream and attacks the nervous system, heart, digestive system, and kidneys leading to a coma and death.

Let’s delve deeper into why white chocolate is harmful to dogs, symptoms to look out for, and what to do if your four-legged friend ingests this sweet treat.

Can White Chocolate Kill Dogs

Why chocolate can kill your dog

Theobromine

Chocolate contains theobromine which is quite harmful to dogs.

Darker and purer chocolates contain more cocoa solids, therefore higher theobromine content making them more lethal.

White chocolate contains less cocoa, thus fewer theobromine levels, however, it’s still lethal, and about 2 ounces are enough to kill a dog.

Your dog has to ingest a large amount of white chocolate compared to the darker varieties for the toxicity to hit.

The effects of white chocolate on a dog depend on the amount ingested, the dog’s breed, age, weight, size, and health status.

Smaller dogs that eat large amounts of white chocolate are more susceptible to the dangerous effects.

Theobromine affects your dog’s digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems.

Initial symptoms in a dog that has ingested white chocolate are diarrhea and vomiting. 

High sugar content

White chocolate has too much sugar for your dog.

Excessive sugar will upset your fur buddy’s stomach and cause an imbalance of the bacteria in the gut.

Signs to look out for are vomiting, diarrhea, gas, discomfort, and loss of appetite.

Sugar can lead to diabetes in dogs, unhealthy weight gain, and dental cavities.

High sugar levels can also lead to inflammation in your canine that will later result in dermatitis, arthritis, and pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas.

High-fat content

White chocolate has a high-fat content that isn’t good for your furry friend.

High-fat levels can lead to obesity and also causes acute pancreatitis, which is fatal for dogs.

Signs to watch out for include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and a swollen, painful tummy.

Signs that your dog has eaten white chocolate

A dog that ingests copious amounts of white chocolate begins to exhibit symptoms within 2 to 12 hours.

Signs to watch out for are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • High fever
  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Heavy panting
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Agitation
  • Unsteady
  • Muscle tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seizure
  • Collapse

What to do if your dog eats white chocolate

If your dog has ingested white chocolate, contact your vet immediately and rush your canine to the hospital.

Waiting to monitor the symptoms can be risky and may lead to grievous harm from chocolate poisoning that your vet’s quick intervention can avoid.

Carry the white chocolate wrapper and provide information like how much was ingested.

The data is critical and aids your vet in delivering the best treatment and care to your furry friend.

Treatment

Your vet’s decision on the mode of treatment will depend on the type of chocolate, amount, and time taken to seek help.

Early treatment involves detoxification, where the vet induces vomiting and administers activated charcoal to prevent the absorption of theobromine into the dog’s bloodstream.

Your vet may also give your pet intravenous fluid therapy to stabilize your dog and boost excretion.

Depending on the effects and reaction to treatment, your vet may decide to keep your canine overnight for observation or release with home care instructions.

Foods that contain white chocolate

The following foods contain white chocolate and shouldn’t be fed to dogs.

  • White chocolate bars
  • Cakes
  • Chocolate doughnuts
  • Cupcakes
  • White chocolate layered fruits
  • Cookies
  • Pancakes
  • S’mores

How to keep your dog safe from white chocolate

Even a tiny piece of white chocolate can make your dog ill.

Follow a few safety tips to keep your dog safe and avoid such incidents.

  • Keep away from reach- Ensure you and your family store your white chocolate away from your dog’s reach. Keep tightly sealed in containers and place them on high shelves in the pantry where your dog can’t reach.
  • Alert your guests- Always inform your guests beforehand not to feed your dogs. When hosting, you already have your hands full and may not be able to keep an eye on what your canine eats.

Healthier and tastier treats will leave your furry friend happy and well-fed.

These include fruits and vegetables like apples, melons, bananas, and broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin.

Frequently asked questions

How can you tell that your dog has eaten white chocolate?

If your dog has eaten a considerable amount of white chocolate, you will notice the symptoms between 2 to 24 hours.

Your dog will experience vomiting and diarrhea and become restless.

What other components in white chocolate make it harmful?

Other than the chemical theobromine, white chocolate has high fat, sugar, and buttermilk contents which can cause your dog digestive issues.

Frequent consumption of fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis.

Should you induce vomit if your dog eats white chocolate?

Avoid home remedies for chocolate poisoning.

Don’t force your dog to vomit if he has eaten white chocolate.

The vomit may find its way to the dog’s lungs and cause even more significant problems.

Always call a vet for guidance.

A pet hospital is better equipped to treat your pet under safe and sterile conditions.

How much theobromine can harm a dog?

A dose of theobromine as low as 20mg per kilogram is toxic to your dog.

A dose of 40mg causes high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and a fast heart rate.

Your dog can experience seizures and tremors if up to 60 mg of theobromine is consumed.

Over 200mg dosage of theobromine is fatal and can cause a heart attack.

Conclusion

As a pet owner, you know you are responsible for the well-being of your furry friend.

You want to shield your canine from harm.

Avoid white chocolate treats and stick to healthier, more wholesome treats.

Your pet may not like being denied the sweet white chocolate, but a more nutritious treat should make him happier.

Megan Turner
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