No, a dog can not eat white chocolate.
As much as we humans love it, it’s not at all good for your dog.
White chocolate is generally much less toxic than dark or milk chocolate, but you should still avoid feeding it to them all the same.
Apart from the toxic element (albeit at lower levels), white chocolate contains many other ingredients, such as sugar which are not great for dogs at all.
Out of all the chocolates, white chocolate is considered the safest one for dogs, but as you will see further down, not all things are consistent and it’s best avoided altogether.
Why can’t dogs eat chocolate?
Chocolate can be highly toxic for dogs because it contains caffeine and most crucially, theobromine.
Even a small amount of theobromine could seriously damage your dog’s health, because they are unable to metabolise this chemical naturally, in the same way, that humans do.
Factors to consider
As we humans know, not all chocolate is created equal and this is particularly true for a dog if they ingest any.
Different bars and brands of chocolate will all contain differing amounts of caffeine and theobromine, affecting your dog differently.
As a general rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is for your dog.
The other factor to consider is your dog’s weight. The smaller your dog, the greater the effect of even a small amount of chocolate ingested.
How much cocoa is toxic for dogs?
According to the NCBI, levels between 100-500mg per kilo of body weight are enough to cause toxicity levels high enough to actually kill a dog.
As stated above, not all chocolate is the same.
Cocoa powder and plain chocolate have the highest concentrations at 20mg/gram of chocolate and 15mg/gram respectively.
Milk chocolate comes in at 2mg/gram and white chocolate is the lowest at 0.1mg/gram.
The NCBI article goes on to say that less than 100grams of plain chocolate could be fatal for a 10kg dog.
This isn’t a lot when you consider what some dogs are capable of eating and why you need to be extra careful and act quickly if they do so.
As you can see white chocolate is by far the lowest of them all, but it’s still best avoided.
As mentioned above, not all brands create their chocolate equally, so the above figures are a guide only.
Dog chocolate toxicity calculator
If you know what your dog has eaten, you can use the calculator from VetsNow to give you an idea on the potential toxicity levels.
We would encourage you to err on the side of caution with this.
Be realistic with what your dog might actually have consumed quantity-wise and seek veterinary advice regardless if you have concerns.
Is white chocolate or dark chocolate worse for dogs?
White chocolate contains less theobromine than dark chocolate does, but it should still be avoided.
You do need to be careful though, as different manufacturers use different ingredients.
As a rule, the highest levels of theobromine are in cocoa powder, next in line are dark chocolate, plain chocolate, milk and finally white.
White chocolate is indeed generally much less toxic than the others, but it’s still not good for your dog, so avoid.
How do I know if my dog has chocolate poisoning?
Symptoms can come on quickly, within a couple of hours. Even if your dog vomits the chocolate up almost immediately, it’s still advisable to call your vet for advice.
If you are confident that your dog has had chocolate, even white, then your best bet is to contact the vet asap.
Your dog may be showing signs of distress, including:
- Excessive panting
- Muscle twitching and tremors
- Elevated heart rate
How much white chocolate can a dog eat?
Ok, so you’re probably now asking, what about a small slice of white chocolate cake, or maybe a few white chocolate chip cookies?
The answer is still no.
Human chocolate is simply not made for dogs and we must take full responsibility to look after our four-legged friends and keep them safe and well.
The good news is that they can have their own chocolate!
There are many doggy chocolate treats on the market that are made safe for dogs by the use of carob and not cocoa.
Carob does not contain theobromine, so it is safe for dogs and the delicious sweet taste means that they get all the chocolate perks with no danger to their health.
Does white chocolate kill dogs?
Can white chocolate kill dogs? – It can, but it’s unlikely to do so.
As mentioned above, white chocolate generally contains much less theobromine than dark chocolate and therefore poses much less of a risk to your dog.
Regardless of this, it should still be avoided. There are far better treats for your dog to have.
What to do if your dog eats chocolate
If your dog does ingest a sizeable quantity of chocolate, whether it be dark or white, it’s best to contact your vet as quickly as possible.
Time is of the essence as it’s best to try and get treatment before they start to digest it and the toxins begin to build up in their bodies.
Keep calm and make sure that you know the type/amount of chocolate they have consumed and give the vet these details straight away.
So, can a dog eat white chocolate?
The answer is no.
Feeding your dog chocolate, even white chocolate should be avoided due to the risks it poses. Keep them away from it at all costs.
Yes, white chocolate is the least dangerous out of them all, but due to the fact that some manufacturers use different ingredients, it’s impossible to say if certain ones are ok, unless you scrutinise the ingredients – which most people won’t do.
The safest option is not to feed them any chocolate at all. The sugar and other ingredients aren’t great for them anyway.
If you have children let them know the risks also, as they can be tempted to give your dog things, especially when at the dinner table.
You can feed your dog dedicated dog chocolate if you wish, made from carob. You can find some of these here.
Have a question? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.
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