Nutella is the one of the most delicious foods out there. It works great on toast, bagels, pancakes, waffles, apples, ice cream… basically just about anything. When you eat Nutella, it's like heaven for your taste buds.
While you love the hazelnut spread, you don't know if it's good for your dog, too. Could he possibly get the same enjoyment out of it as you do? Or, what if he accidentally licks a spoon with Nutella on it— should you go to the veterinarian?
Researching what's in it, as well as how dogs react to the ingredients, is a good place to start.
Where does Nutella come from?
Nutella comes from Italy. Pietro Ferrero invented Nutella in 1946 following a cocoa shortage in Italy after World War II. It was originally in a loaf shape, and made to be served on bread. Its name was Giandujot, who was a local carnival character in the 1940s. The name was then changed to SuperCrema, and shortly after, Ferrero's daughter Michele transformed it into a hazelnut and cocoa cream in a jar. It finally got its name Nutella in 1964, and one year later, its iconic jar was created.
Can dogs eat Nutella?
No, dogs should never eat Nutella. One of the ingredients, cocoa, is especially poisonous to dogs, while the other processed ingredients simply are not healthy for pups.
What are the concerns with feeding Nutella to dogs?
The ingredients in Nutella are not good for your dog. They include sugar, palm oil, skimmed milk, vanillin, soy and, most importantly, cocoa.
Any kind of chocolate is bad for your dog. It contains theobromine, which can cause agitation, seizures, internal bleeding, vomiting and an increased heart rate. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine, so if your dog eats too much chocolate, it could even be fatal.
There are 11 grams of saturated fat in 2 tablespoons of Nutella. Dogs don't need that much saturated fat. When they do have fat, it should be from natural, healthy sources, like chicken, beef or other animal proteins.
While dogs can have sugar from natural sources, like fruit that isn't toxic to them, they should not have the processed sugar found in Nutella. If they eat too much sugar, they could be hyperactive and then depressed, gain weight, have bloodshot eyes, be agitated, and get a kidney or urinary tract infection.
Palm oil is not good for dogs. It could cause them to have diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration when eaten in small amounts, and gut blockages, liver failure, and kidney damage when eaten in large amounts.
While soy is in a lot of dog foods, it isn't necessarily great for them. While some dogs are allergic to soy, it can cause kidney stones, bloating, gas, and thyroid damage in others.
Plain and simple, Nutella is not good for your dog. Along with the highly toxic cocoa it contains, the other ingredients could also lead to your dog being sick.
If your dog licks a little bit of Nutella off your spoon, monitor him for signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea. If he is exhibiting any of these signs, make sure you take him to the veterinarian immediately. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661, which offers 24/7 support.
If you want to give your dog a treat he'll actually like that won't upset his stomach, or cause further damage, then put some natural, sugar-free peanut butter on a banana or one top of his dog food. He'll love it, plus, peanut butter is actually healthy for him.
Need some ideas for other foods you can feed your dog? Check out our list of everything your dog can and cannot eat.