Most dog parents know that if their dog ate chocolate, the results could be mild to severe toxicity, which can sometimes be fatal. This is due to chocolate poisoning, which can happen if your pup eats any type of chocolate, no matter whether it is some Hershey Kisses, a Kit Kat or laps up a cup of chocolate milk.
But if you wonder whether white chocolate is as bad for dogs as milk and dark chocolate, you should be warned that while it is safer, white chocolate can also lead to a buildup of toxic components in the pup’s body and to poisoning and death.
Read on to learn more about why dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate and how much chocolate can kill a dog. We have listed the most common symptoms of chocolate poisoning in canines and what to do, and possible home remedies to help save your pup.
Can A Dog Eat White Chocolate Safely?
No! White chocolate can be harmful to canines. The reason is the theobromine contained in the chocolate. This chemical compound is found in chocolate and cocoa, which canines cannot metabolize properly. As a result, it remains in the dog’s organism and can quickly build up to a toxic level.
Plus, white chocolate contains caffeine, another potential threat to the dog’s wellbeing and life.
Still, to be perfectly honest, white chocolate is not as dangerous for pups as the same quantity of dark and bitter chocolates and cacao. In fact, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is for dogs.
The reason is that the theobromine content in the darker chocolates is much more concentrated (130-450mg/ounce) than the theobromine contained in white chocolate, which is about 0.25m/ounce. For reference, the content of this component in regular milk chocolate is approximately 44-58mg/ounce.
And darker chocolate, which is often used for baking chocolate cake, usually has higher caffeine content than milk or white chocolate.
Thus, white chocolate is probably the safest variant when it comes to dogs eating chocolate. Omit, it is best to avoid feeding your pup any chocolate and to keep away all products containing chocolate if you want your fur baby to be safe and healthy.
What Is The Danger For a Dog If It Eats White Chocolate?
If your pup has somehow managed to snag and gobble up some white chocolate, there is a potential danger of chocolate poisoning. The toxicity level depends on the amount of chocolate it has consumed, as well as on the weight, age, and health of your pup.
Smaller dogs are at a more considerable risk of poisoning than larger ones when it comes to eating the same quantities of chocolate. Also, senior dogs with underlying health problems are more prone to severe effects from consuming white chocolate than healthy young dogs.
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According to studies, the toxic levels of the compound theobromine for canines start from 20mg per kg of body weight. Consuming 40mg of theobromine can lead to cardiac problems such as irregular heart rates, racing heart rates, and high blood pressure in dogs.
Doses of 60mg or more of theobromine can lead to various dangerous neurological symptoms such as twitching, tremors, or seizures. 200 mg or more of theobromine can be fatal for dogs. Large quantities like this can lead to cardiac arrest and other complications which can lead to death.
Some vets claim that the greater risk for dogs who have consumed white chocolate is due to the high fat and sugar content rather than the theobromine.
The fat and sugar can lead to a flare-up of the pancreas and to pancreatitis, and the sugar can lead to spikes in the blood sugar levels, which is especially dangerous for dogs with diabetes.
The Symptoms Your Pup May Suffer From White Chocolate Poisoning
Here are the most common symptoms to keep an eye for if you suspect or are sure that your pup has eaten some white chocolate:
- Restlessness and excessive panting
- Racing or abnormal heart rate
- Excessive urinating
What To Do If Your Dog Has Eaten White Chocolate?
Suppose you suspect or are sure that your pup has eaten any type of chocolate or anything containing chocolate like a donut or some delicious fudge. In that case, you should call your vet or a pet poison control hotline immediately. In the meantime, watch the dog for any worrying symptoms.
The signs of chocolate poisoning may take a few hours to kick in, and they can last for several days due to the long half-life of the chemical compound theobromine.
Your veterinarian or toxicologist will instruct you about the actions to take.
The first thing the vet will do is to induce vomiting as soon as possible after the consumption of the chocolate. This should not be done at home without professional supervision, so getting your dog to the clinic ASAP is crucial.
The vet may also flush the digestive system of the pup with activated charcoal, which helps block the absorption of the toxin by the body.
Usually, in milder cases, this should be enough to prevent more severe poisoning, alleviate the symptoms and eliminate the adverse reactions in dogs.
The faster the theobromine is cleaned out of the dog’s body, the fewer the repercussions and the better the prognosis will be.