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Old 01-10-2005, 10:00 PM
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Is white chocolate bad for dogs

My fiancee's boss bought our dog a white chocolate covered dogbone... claiming dark chocolate was the evil cancer causing member of the chocolate family and white chocolate was okay. i'm not giving it to my dog unless i can find out otherwise... any truth to this claim? please advise stat!
Old 01-10-2005, 10:14 PM
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While the FDA doesn't even consider white chocolate to be chocolate, it's still made with cocoa butter, so has some theobromine, which is the toxic component for canines. This page has comparative levels of theobromine for different types of chocolate. It looks like white chocolate has 1/60th the amount that milk chocolate does. You'd have to decide if you were willing to risk it yourself, but it looks like you'd have to feed your dog a LOT of white chocolate to even make it sick...
Old 01-10-2005, 10:15 PM
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It's the theobromine that is toxic to dogs and cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is the key ingredient in white chocolate. Based on that alone, I'd be very wary.
Old 01-11-2005, 02:49 AM
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Frankly, I'd be far more concerned about the sugar content than the theobromine. Dogs don't digest sucrose particularly well, and sugary snacks can give them some pretty nasty cases of diarrhea.
Old 01-11-2005, 04:41 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
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The FDA is correct. "White chocolate" isn't chocolate. It is cocoa butter and sugar. The amount of caffiene and Theobromine is trace.

An occasional bit of it is fine for pooches. In fact, a little milk chocolate is likely OK also- if you also consider the size of the dog.

What sort/size of dog do you have?
Old 01-11-2005, 07:14 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Los Angeles (Brentwood)
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Here's some more information on chocolate toxicity in dogs:

http://marvistavet.com/html/chocolate_toxicity.html

It does not include any statistics about white chocolate, but here are some quotes from the text that you may find useful in your decision:

Quote:
The first problem with these sweets is the fat. A sudden high fat meal (such as demolishing a bag of chocolate bars left accessible at Halloween time) can create a lethal metabolic disease called “pancreatitis.” Vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are just the beginning of this disaster. Remember, in the case of pancreatitis, it is the fat that causes the problem more than the chocolate itself.

The fat and sugar in the chocolate can create an unpleasant but temporary upset stomach. This is what happens in most chocolate ingestion cases.
Quote:
Chocolate is, however, directly toxic because of the theobromine. The more chocolate liquor, the more theobromine is present. This makes baking chocolate the worst, followed by semisweet and dark chocolate, followed by milk chocolate, followed by chocolate flavored cakes or cookies.
Quote:
Toxic doses of theobromine are 9mg per pound of dog for mild signs up top 18 mg per pound of dog for severe signs. Milk chocolate contains 44mg/ounce of theobromine while semisweet chocolate contains 150mg/ounce, and baking chocolate contains 390 mg/ounce.

It takes nearly 4 days for the effects of chocolate to work its way out of a dog’s system. If the chocolate was only just eaten it may be possible to induce vomiting; otherwise, hospitalization and support are needed until the chocolate has worked its way out of the system.
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:11 AM
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Too much grease and sugar has been known to give dogs nasty gas. But there's no theobromine/caffeine, or not enough to worry about at least. It takes a fairly substantial amount of chocolate to hurt a dog, and white chocolate is not chocolate. Whoever it was above that claimed white chocolate's primary ingredient was theobromine doesn't know what they're talking about. Don't give your dog too much of this kind of thing, though. Pet obesity is becoming more and more common.
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