Even though white chocolate is advertised as having a high cocoa solid content, emergency veterinarians have concluded that it is extremely unlikely to poison a dog.
It has long been known that theobromine, a substance found in both dark and milk chocolate, is extremely harmful to dogs. According to certain reports, some white chocolate varieties that contain up to “35% cocoa solids are equally harmful.
If a dog consumes white chocolate, what will happen?
Toxic dosages of theobromine have been found to be as low as 20 mg/kg, so if your dog breaks into the cabinet and eats a hoard of white chocolate candies, it’s very likely that he or she could be poisoned.
Theobromine dosages exceeding 40 mg can cause cardiac problems in dogs, such as a racing heartbeat, heart arrhythmias, or high blood pressure. Doses over 60 mg might cause neurologic symptoms in dogs, such as tremors, twitching, and even seizures. Though fatal poisonings in dogs are typically brought on by doses greater than 200 mg (which might result in severe circumstances like cardiac arrest), any of these diseases can result in complications that result in fatalities. Due to this, elderly dogs or dogs who already have medical concerns should be especially cautious about taking chocolate. But even white chocolate’s reduced level of theobromine can cause heart problems in dogs of any size, age, or breed.
Theobromine in white chocolate is not dangerous to dogs unless they consume a lot of it, but other elements, including the high sugar level, can be quite harmful to your four-legged family members. In fact, many veterinary professionals would contend that the white chocolate’s fat and sugar are what endanger our pets the most. Because of this, eating white chocolate can make dogs experience symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea as well as more severe illnesses like pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that can be fatal.
Signs of White Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
- Continent pain
- Panting or agitation
- higher heart rate
- Frequently urinating
Can a dog consume a lot of white chocolate?
Yes, dogs are poisoned by chocolate. Although seldom fatal, eating chocolate can cause serious disease. Theobromine, a substance found in chocolate together with caffeine, makes it poisonous. The major poison in chocolate, theobromine is extremely similar to caffeine. Both substances have medical uses as a smooth muscle relaxant, blood vessel dilater, diuretic, and stimulant of the heart. Theobromine and caffeine are not metabolized by dogs as well as they are by humans. Dogs are therefore more susceptible to the impacts of the toxins.
How much chocolate is poisonoustoadog?
The type of chocolate affects how much theobromine is poisonous. The danger of chocolate to dogs increases with its darkness and bitterness. Gourmet dark chocolate and baking chocolate are extremely concentrated and have a theobromine content per ounce of 130–450 mg. Only 44–58 mg/ounce are present in typical milk chocolate. With approximately 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce, white chocolate rarely offers a risk of chocolate poisoning. Dogs can get sick from the chocolate’s fat and sugar even if the amount consumed is not toxic. In severe situations or in dogs with particularly sensitive stomachs, they can lead to pancreatitis. In order to put this into perspective, consider that a medium-sized dog weighing 50 pounds would only have to consume 1 ounce of baker’s chocolate or 9 ounces of milk chocolate in order to possibly exhibit poisoning symptoms. Small amounts of milk chocolate are generally not dangerous for dogs to consume.
What are the clinical signs of chocolate poisoning?
Clinical symptoms vary according to the type and amount of chocolate consumed. The most frequent clinical symptoms in many dogs include excessive urination, excessive panting, increased thirst, restlessness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Muscle tremors, convulsions, and heart failure are among the symptoms that might appear in severe cases. The prognosis for chocolate poisoning can go worse due to complications including aspiration pneumonia from vomiting. If in doubt, quick veterinary care is advised if a poisonous quantity of chocolate is consumed.
Can my dog eat white chocolate?
- Because it contains a lot of sugar and fat, white chocolate is still not good for dogs.
- If your dog unintentionally consumes white chocolate, call your vet right away in case there are any adverse effects.
- Instead of giving your dog white chocolate as a sweet treat, give it apple slices.
Fortunately, while white chocolate is not as poisonous to dogs as milk or dark chocolate, it is still not as safe. White chocolate contains theobromine, the poisonous ingredient in chocolate, but the level is very small. White chocolate toxicity in dogs can cause symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even heart attacks, however it would take a significant amount of white chocolate for your dog to experience these symptoms.
White chocolate is not entirely risk-free, it’s crucial to remember that. We advise against giving your dog any sweets or candies at all.
- White chocolate and other candies contain a lot of fat, which can make you throw up and have diarrhea. Your dog is also at risk for pancreatitis because to the excessive fat content.
- White chocolate and other sweets contain a lot of sugar, which can cause diabetes, weight gain, and other health issues.
Even while theobromine poisoning isn’t always a concern, you should still notify your veterinarian if your dog consumes white chocolate in case there are any other adverse effects. To counter the dehydration effects of vomiting and diarrhea, your veterinarian may offer intravenous (IV) fluids or induce vomiting.
Simply said, don’t give your dog any kind of chocolate. Apple slices are a healthier sweet treat that may be given to dogs.
Can dogs eat Reese’s White Chocolate?
Any type of chocolate, including white chocolate, should be kept out of your dog’s reach. Even though it contains less theobromine than dark or baker’s chocolate, giving it to your dog to consume is harmful and risky.
How soon will a dog become unwell after consuming chocolate?
Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and may result in a serious medical condition. Within 6 to 12 hours, symptoms of chocolate poisoning typically manifest.
How long does it take a dog to exhibit poisoned symptoms?
The toxin will determine how long it takes for a dog to exhibit symptoms of poisoning. Some poisons result in immediate reactions, while others can produce symptoms hours or days later.
As an illustration, the initial signs of antifreeze poisoning can show up in as little as 30 minutes, whereas the signs of chocolate poisoning take between 6 and 12 hours to manifest. Despite the strength of anticoagulant rat poisons, dogs may not exhibit symptoms for 3–5 days after consumption.
How do you flush poison out of a dog’s system?
Unfortunately, owners can’t do much to treat pet poisoning at home. However, there are a few techniques that vets can employ to remove the toxin from a dog’s body. Veterinarians will take the following variables into account when developing a treatment plan for their patient:
- Which kind of poison was consumed?
- How much poison was consumed
- Size, breed, age, and medical history of the dog
- The dog’s level of hydration
- How long has it been since the dog ingested the poison?
The veterinarian will implement one or more of the following treatment methods after determining the type of toxin and the severity of the situation.
Fortunately, there are remedies for some of the more popular canine poisons, including ethylene glycol and anticoagulant rat poison (a toxic ingredient in some types of antifreeze).
A veterinarian may inject fomepizole, an intravenous antidote that prevents the breakdown of ethylene glycol and lowers the risk of organ damage, if it is determined that a dog has ingested a harmful amount of antifreeze. The bad news is that in addition to the antidote, the dog might also need hemodialysis as part of this expensive treatment. It’s also vital to note that this medication is less effective if taken more than 12 hours after consuming antifreeze.
A veterinarian will administer vitamin K1 to a dog if they think it may have swallowed an anticoagulant rodenticide since it will help the dog’s platelets function again. The majority of veterinarians will maintain vitamin K1 medication for several weeks because ACR rodenticides have a very long half-life.
The vets might be able to cause the dog to vomit in order to get the toxins out of its stomach if the dog is brought in quickly away. To be effective, vomiting must be induced between two and four hours after consumption, and even then, there is no assurance that the dog will be able to vomit up all the poisons.
Unfortunately, most poisoning cases are not discovered until the dog starts to exhibit symptoms. Inducing vomiting may also be ineffective by the time canines arrive at the veterinarian because symptoms may not appear for hours or even days.
In the same way, veterinarians won’t try to make a dog vomit up a caustic chemical (like bleach or drain cleaner) because doing so could further harm the dog’s esophagus.
Another first line of defense against canine poisoning is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is administered orally by veterinarians, where it binds with the poison and stops hazardous metabolites from entering the bloodstream. Dogs can safely consume activated charcoal, which will generally pass through their systems.
Another method used by vets to remove hazardous material from a dog’s stomach is gastric lavage, often known as stomach pumping. When forced vomiting is inefficient or counterproductive because of the substance consumed, veterinarians frequently use this method.
In order to eliminate as much of the stomach contents as possible, the veterinarian will continuously drain the stomach and rinse it with water during a gastric lavage treatment. This surgery is carried out while sedated. Activated charcoal is typically administered by veterinarians before the treatment is finished.
Severe gastrointestinal symptoms are a common sign of poisoning. Some dogs will need a bland food while they’re recovering to avoid putting too much stress on their digestive systems.
body receives filtered blood. Sadly, this treatment is expensive and not readily accessible.
Can dogs survive being poisoned?
Yes! Dogs can undoubtedly survive poisoning, but the likelihood of survival is highly influenced by the type of toxin, the amount the dog consumed, and how quickly the dog receives medical attention.
In general, dogs who receive treatment immediately and don’t consume a lot of a hazardous chemical have a better chance of surviving. Dogs may require weeks or months to recover from different types of poisoning, and even then, some dogs may have irreversible organ damage.
What should I do if I think my dog has been poisoned?
When it comes to poisoning, time is of the utmost, therefore it is advisable to be on the safe side and act fast rather than waiting it out. If you see your dog taking in a known toxin, get medical advice. Consult a veterinarian right once if your dog is unresponsive or displaying poisoning signs.
If you think your dog may have ingested something harmful, take the following actions:
To find out if you need to bring your dog in, get in touch with your vet or an emergency clinic right away.
To avoid other animals from ingesting the toxin, put a tiny bit of it in a jar and take it to the vet with you. The rest should be carefully disposed of. Bring any ingredient lists or identification labels that are present.
If the vet advises at-home monitoring, be careful to keep a close eye on your pet and bring them in if they exhibit any worrying symptoms like collapse, difficulty walking, discolored gums, or excessive vomiting.
Unless specifically told to do so by a veterinary professional, never attempt to induce vomiting or give milk or activated charcoal to a pet because this could make the situation worse.
How should I react if my dog consumed chocolate?
Your dog might require an emergency trip to the veterinarian. You should first evaluate the type of chocolate and quantity your dog consumed. then think about the size of your dog. Depending on these elements, you can tell if your dog consumed a hazardous amount of chocolate.
You can assess the risk that chocolate consumption poses to your dog using online calculators for chocolate toxicity. It will notify you if you need to take your dog to the doctor when you enter your information. It’s best to err on the side of caution whenever possible.
Call your veterinarian as soon as you discover that your dog consumed chocolate. You can contact the 24-hour Pet Poison helpline at 855-764-7661 if you don’t have a veterinarian or if the veterinarian is closed.
Although there isn’t a known cure for chocolate poisoning, your veterinarian may try to induce vomiting to help your dog throw up the chocolate and treat any symptoms.
- Caffeine and theobromine, which are found in chocolate, have cardiac and central nervous system-related effects. These compounds are broken down by humans much more quickly than by dogs.
- Theobromine and caffeine are present in higher concentrations in darker chocolate, making it more harmful to dogs.
- The risk and the result are influenced by the type and amount of chocolate consumed as well as the dog’s body weight.
- Keeping chocolate out of your dog’s reach is the greatest method to stop him from eating it.
What is chocolate poisoning?
Caffeine and theobromine, which are found in chocolate, can have negative effects on the kidneys, heart, and central nervous system. Chocolate is not poisonous to people but may make dogs quite ill since humans can digest and eliminate these compounds far more effectively than dogs.
The percentage of cocoa solids in chocolate, as well as the growth circumstances, sources, and kinds of the cocoa beans used, all affect the levels of caffeine and theobromine in chocolate. As a result, the quantities of theobromine and caffeine in various chocolate varieties vary. In general, dogs are more likely to become unwell with darker chocolate. The highest concentrations of these compounds are found in baker’s chocolate, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate; however, white chocolate contains very little of these compounds and is not thought to be hazardous to animals.
The results of chocolate eating in dogs vary depending on the amount consumed and the dog’s size (body weight). More than 0.5 ounces of milk chocolate per pound of body weight can cause clinical symptoms in dogs. Dogs may become unwell by eating as little as 0.13 ounces of dark or semi-sweet chocolate per pound of body weight. It is a veterinary emergency when a dog consumes baker’s chocolate.
What are the clinical signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs?
Dogs may show clinical symptoms of chocolate poisoning 2 to 24 hours after intake. These include the potential symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, rapid breathing, elevated heart rate, seizures, hyperactivity, and pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis). In extreme circumstances, these can lead to death via coma, heart failure, or both.
How is chocolate poisoning in dogs treated?
Depending on the clinical signs, treatment options for chocolate poisoning in dogs may include inducing vomiting, activated charcoal, intravenous fluids, cardiac medicines, anti-convulsants, and antacids.
What is the prognosis for chocolate poisoning in dogs?
For dogs who have consumed small amounts of chocolate and have few clinical symptoms, the prognosis is favorable. For instances with severe symptoms, such as collapse and seizures, the prognosis is frequently dismal.
How can chocolate poisoning in dogs be prevented?
Keep chocolate and anything containing chocolate out of your dog’s reach for the best protection against chocolate poisoning in dogs.
*The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine prohibits the reproduction of this work without permission.