White chocolate is often referred to as chocolate by foodies. White chocolate fans will claim that white chocolate can be considered chocolate. However, chocolate snobs insist that it isn’t. Your opinion about safety for your dog doesn’t matter. The big question is: Does white choco make your dog more dangerous?
What Makes White Chocolate Toxic?
The “toxic” ingredient in chocolate is called theobromine. Theobromine is a stimulant that’s similar to caffeine. It’s used in medicine as a blood vessel dilator and heart diuretic. It acts as a muscle relaxant and smooth diuretic. Dogs are not able to process theobromine like humans. Therefore, if dogs consume large quantities of it, it could be dangerous. Toxicity to theobromine may manifest as:
- Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea
- High blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Muscle tremors, twitching
Theobromine is the highest in dark/baker’s chocolate, at 130-140mg per ounce. Milk chocolate has 44-58 mg/ounce.
Dogs who eat more than 100mg/pound (estimated) are most likely to die. Dogs that consume 20 mg/pound or more may show signs of toxicology.
Is White Chocolate Toxic to Dogs?
White chocolate contains theobromine, but it is so tiny that dogs of average size would have to eat a lot to get sick. White chocolate contains 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce.
A 30-pound dog must eat white chocolate at a higher rate than its body can handle to become sick.
What happens if my dog eats white chocolate?
White chocolate, while it is not common to get theobromine toxicities, is very high in fat. If dogs eat more than one ounce, they can experience diarrhea and vomiting.
Pancreatitis can occur. Pancreatitis can occur when the pancreas becomes irritated by too much fat. Pancreatitis can be fatal if it isn’t treated. You can describe pancreatitis by:
- Your dog is used to a painful stomach.
- No appetite
- Your pain makes you restless
- Vomiting & Nausea
Pancreatitis can be treated with fluid therapy, pain control, and no food. Pancreatitis is more common in dogs who have experienced it before. To avoid another bout, they should continue to eat low-fat food throughout their lives.
Should I Call My Vet if My Dog Eats White Chocolate?
Yes. Yes. Your vet should be informed if your dog eats any amount of white chocolate. Although theobromine isn’t a problem, it can lead to digestive problems and pancreatitis. If your dog has had too much, your vet might recommend instilling vomiting.
While the white chocolate isn’t as dangerous as dark or milk chocolate, it is important to take safety precautions to ensure that your dog doesn’t ingest it.