Most pet owners are aware that chocolate can be lethal to their cherished canine companion. Even a modest bit of chocolaty deliciousness might cause your pet to become ill. However, with the growing popularity of white chocolate-covered sweets, such as Hershey's kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups, some pet owners may question if white chocolate is dog-friendly.
Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?
White chocolate, like milk and dark chocolate, is unfortunately off-limits to our canine companions. The reason for this is that all chocolate includes theobromine, which dogs can't digest like people do, causing it to quickly build up to deadly levels and even death. Chocolate also includes caffeine, which is another reason why you shouldn't give it to Rover.
The darker and more bitter the chocolate, however, the more hazardous it is to our dogs. Baking chocolate and premium dark chocolate, for example, are extremely concentrated and contain between 130 and 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, whereas normal milk chocolate comprises between 44 and 58 mg/ounce. Caffeine levels are generally higher in darker chocolates.
Although white chocolate has far less theobromine, it can still be harmful for our dogs to eat. White chocolate, on the other hand, only has 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce... White chocolate is usually the safest bet for dogs when compared to milk or dark chocolate.
Dangers of White Chocolate for Dogs
However, just because your dog snatches some white chocolate doesn't mean they're safe—toxic quantities of theobromine have been documented as low as 20 mg/kg, so if your dog sneaks into the cabinet and devours a hoard of white chocolate candy, he or she might be poisoned.
If your dog takes more than 40 mg of theobromine, they may develop cardiac problems such as racing heart, heart arrhythmias, or elevated blood pressure, while dosages of more than 60 mg may cause neurologic symptoms such as tremors, twitching, and even seizures. Though fatal poisonings (which can result in severe circumstances such as cardiac arrest) are more common in dogs that take more than 200 mg, any of these diseases can result in fatal consequences. As a result, chocolate consumption is especially dangerous for elderly canines or those with pre-existing problems. However, even the lower quantity of theobromine in white chocolate can cause cardiac problems in dogs of any size, age, or breed.
Other elements in white chocolate, such as its high sugar level, might cause major problems for your four-legged family members. Indeed, many doctors believe that the fat and sugar in white chocolate are the most dangerous to our dogs. As a result, white chocolate consumption in dogs can produce symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as more serious illnesses such as pancreatitis, a potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats White Chocolate
If your dog consumes white chocolate (or any other type of chocolate), contact your veterinarian right once, since watching your pet or waiting for signs might make your dog too sick to treat properly. Chocolate poisoning symptoms might take many hours to appear but can linger for days due to theobromine's extended half-life.
Chocolate ingestion in dogs is treated by inducing vomiting as soon as possible after the chocolate has been consumed, which is why time is of the essence—you'll need to take your pet to your veterinarian's office or an animal hospital right away. In rare circumstances, your veterinarian may use activated charcoal to prevent theobromine from being absorbed into the body, and in mild cases of poisoning, this may be enough.
The sooner the theobromine is removed from their body, or your dog’s other symptoms from potential poisoning are stabilized, the better their prognosis will be.