Can Dogs Eat Chocolate or White Chocolate?

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate or White Chocolate?

by ScritchSpot

The quick answer: No. Milk chocolate and dark chocolate are toxic to dogs and white chocolate is unhealthy for them.

Hazards

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, two components that are toxic to dogs. Dogs cannot metabolize these the same way humans can, which is why chocolate is toxic to dogs but not humans. When those compounds are absorbed by a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, they can experience harmful effects to their heart and central nervous system. 

The amount of chocolate a dog must consume to cause harm depends on a number of factors, including the size of the dog and how dark the chocolate is. Cocoa powder and baker’s chocolate are the most concentrated sources of theobromine, followed by semisweet chocolate, dark chocolate, and then milk chocolate. 

PetMD has a very helpful chocolate toxicity meter where you can enter your dog’s weight and the approximate amount and type of chocolate that was consumed to determine how dangerous your specific situation might be.

After consuming toxic amounts of theobromine, your dog can experience the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing/excessive panting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness/hyperactivity
  • Increased urination
  • Internal bleeding
  • Heart attack

What do I do if my dog eats chocolate?

If your dog is experiencing symptoms, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 and be prepared to provide information about your pet’s weight as well as how much and what kind of chocolate he ate. You can also contact your local veterinarian or emergency vet who will determine if your pet requires emergency care based on this information.

In the case that your dog requires emergency care, try to keep him as calm and still as possible. Treatment of dog chocolate poisoning includes inducing vomiting, activated charcoal, IV fluids, and anti-seizure drugs.

What about white chocolate?

Though white chocolate contains only negligible amounts of theobromine (and he’d have to eat heaps of white chocolate to reach toxic levels), it still should not be given to your pup. White chocolate is comprised mostly of fats and sugars, both of which are unhealthy for your dog. In addition to weight gain, consuming white chocolate can cause your dog to experience vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress, and even pancreatitis.

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