If you are a chocolate lover, you may have been asked the question "dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate?" at least once in your life. We all have our preferences, but if you are a dog owner, all you might truly care about is if any and all chocolate is properly locked up away from your furry friend.
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But what about white chocolate?
According to HuffPost, white chocolate doesn't exactly count as genuine chocolate, because it doesn't contain cocoa powder. White chocolate, however, does contain a large amount of cocoa butter, which is a derivative of the cocoa bean.
So while dog owners shouldn't get their hopes up just yet, it all begs to question, if white chocolate isn't truly chocolate, is white chocolate toxic to dogs?
Where does white chocolate come from?
The history of white chocolate remains largely a mystery. However, the Chicago Tribune reports that it is widely accepted that Nestlé was the first to develop a commercial white chocolate in 1936 as a way to use up excess milk powder left over from production for World War I. To this day, manufacturing white chocolate has been a great way to utilize the excess cocoa butter left over from the processing of cocoa beans for cocoa powder. In other words, one person's trash is another person's white chocolate!
Can dogs eat white chocolate?
No, dogs should not eat white chocolate. Even though there is not enough of the toxic theobromine in white chocolate to poison a dog, the high fat content can make a dog very sick with vomiting and diarrhea. There are far better dog-friendly options then giving your dog white chocolate. Dogs really should not eat any type of chocolate, even if white chocolate is technically "not as toxic."
Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs
Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst, panting, restlessness, excessive urination, and a racing heart rate. In more severe cases of chocolate poisoning, a dog can experience muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure. Keep in mind that a dog with other underlying health conditions can experience intensified symptoms. If your dog has any of these symptoms, it is extremely important to seek immediate medical attention.
What are the concerns with feeding white chocolate to dogs?
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, the amount of toxic theobromine in chocolate varies. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic and dangerous it is to your dog. While baking chocolate has highly concentrated levels of theobromine, white chocolate barely poses any threat of poisoning because the amounts of theobromine are so low. That being said, there are still ways that white chocolate can make your dog sick.
High in Fat
White chocolate is high in fat, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If eaten, the high fat content in the white chocolate can also put your dog at risk for pancreatitis.
High in Sugar
White chocolate is high in sugar, which can cause problems for dogs with diabetes and heart issues. It can also lead to other health problems like urinary tract infections.
If your dog manages to accidentally eat a small bit of white chocolate, it is unlikely that he will be poisoned due to the lower levels of theobromine. However, that does not make white chocolate a suitable treat for your pet. White chocolate is not good for dogs due to the high fat and sugar levels which can upset your dog's stomach. You should also keep in mind the fact that white does still contain toxic ingredients, and if you want this around your pet. It's safer not to take the risk, and skip out on all types of chocolate all together. Better safe than sorry.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.