Dog Questions
can dogs eat white chocolate

Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate? Is It Safe? Find Out the Answer Here

Written by Steph McCulloch


Many occasions throughout the year call for a celebration with chocolate. We're talking Halloween, Christmas, and birthdays! However, it's important to keep this chocolate far away from our beloved pets. But what about white chocolate? Fortunately, we're here to answer the burning question.
owner signalling 'no' to dog looking at white chocolate


We all know dark and milk chocolate is a big 'no no' but what about the less commonly discussed white chocolate? Is it poisonous or a sweet treat?

The good news is that we’ve got all the answers about chocolate right here. We’re also discussing other human foods and their suitability for dogs so you can remain the most knowledgeable pet parent out there.

Does chocolate kill dogs?

dog looking lovingly into heart-shaped box of chocolates

Yes, sadly, chocolate can be extremely poisonous to dogs. This is because chocolate contains two substances that are toxic to dogs: caffeine and theobromine. Chocolate toxicity from theobromine is highly dangerous for dogs as their bodies metabolise it much slower than ours do. If it’s consumed by dogs it can lead to a buildup of theobromine in their system, which can result in various symptoms ranging from mild to severe, depending on the amount of chocolate and type ingested.

Theobromine is a chemical compound found in cocoa beans, which are used to make chocolate. It belongs to a class of compounds known as methylxanthines, which also include caffeine and theophylline. Theobromine is what gives a lot of chocolate its bitter taste. Ingesting small amounts of theobromine can lead to toxicity and even death in dogs. You might wonder what the symptoms of chocolate poisoning are and if your dog accidentally consumed it.

Common signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Rapid breathing

  • Increased heart rate

  • Restlessness

  • Hyperactivity

  • Excessive thirst

  • Seizures

  • Cardiac issues

If you suspect that your dog has eaten chocolate of any kind including baking chocolate, truffles, or any other form, it's crucial to seek immediate veterinary care as theobromine/chocolate poisoning can be fatal if not treated promptly. The severity of symptoms will depend on the type of chocolate (dark chocolate and cocoa powder have higher theobromine content than milk chocolate and are more harmful to dogs) and the amount ingested relative to the dog's size. Essentially, the darker the chocolate is, the more toxic for dogs it becomes.

Can dogs eat white chocolate?

close up of white chocolate bar with a blurred dog in the background

Fortunately, white chocolate is less toxic to dogs compared to dark and milk chocolate. This is because it contains very low levels of theobromine, however, this doesn’t mean it’s safe. White chocolate consumption by dogs can still cause major discomfort and potentially a diagnosis of pancreatitis due to the high fat content.

Though the risk of theobromine poisoning is less than dark chocolate, we recommend removing all traces of white chocolate from the reach of your pets! If you suspect your dog has eaten any kind of chocolate, even white chocolate, consult your vet immediately.

The specifics of white chocolate

jack russell gazing intensely at a piece of white chocolate being held by owner

The main difference between milk and dark chocolate compared to white chocolate is the composition. Dark and milk chocolate are made from cocoa butter, cocoa solids, and sugar. Though white chocolate is different because it is also made from cocoa butter and sugar, it doesn’t contain cocoa solids but instead, milk solids. This is one of the specifics of white chocolate.

Because white chocolate is one type that doesn’t contain cocoa solids, it doesn’t contain much theobromine, the poisonous component for dogs. As mentioned, this chemical is why dark chocolate is bad for dogs.

Though it doesn’t contain high levels of theobromine, white chocolate can cause other issues. There is a very high level of fat and sugar in white chocolate. This sugar in white chocolate still poses a danger to a dog’s health leading to digestive upset and conditions such as pancreatitis, as mentioned above.

White Chocolate may be tempting to give to your pet, but remember, even a small amount of chocolate can be harmful. Dogs should not eat any form of it. Excessive sugar consumption in dogs can lead to dental problems and obesity, both of which are serious issues for dogs of any size.

If your dog consumes any chocolate, especially in large quantities, it's crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. This means it’s important to be very careful with all types of chocolate, including white chocolate, and avoid feeding your dog with it. Even though it might seem good for dogs due to the absence of theobromine, we wouldn't recommend any amount of white chocolate as it is bad for your furry friend.

Other common foods

two cavalier king charles spaniels waiting patiently for a treat

As pet owners, we’re naturally very curious about what foods are safe and unsafe for our pets, especially the foods that we eat ourselves! Some of the most commonly searched foods owners check to see if their dogs can eat include:

  • Mackerel: Mackerel is a fatty fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and B12. These vitamins and minerals are great for a dog’s skin, coat, and overall health however, mackerel should be given in moderation. To read more about the types of mackerel your dog can safely eat, read our blog post.

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are not considered highly toxic to dogs, but they do contain a substance called solanine, which can be harmful in large quantities. Solanine is found in the stems, leaves, and unripe green tomatoes. We’ve also written an in-depth article on the safety of tomatoes for dogs.

  • Gravy: Gravy is a staple of British food, but is it safe for dogs? Plain, unsalted gravy is generally safe for dogs to consume in small amounts but there are some things to keep in mind such as other added ingredients like onions and garlic which are toxic to dogs. For more information on gravy and its suitability for a canine diet, read our dedicated blog post.

Speciality dog foods and their impact

In recent years, canine vegan diets have seen a huge soar in popularity with the development of plant-based dog food companies such as THE PACK. A vegan diet refers to a diet completely devoid of any animal products. It is considered a more environmentally friendly diet as it requires fewer resources to produce food.

A vegan diet can be highly suitable for dogs with certain allergies or sensitivities to animal proteins. A well-balanced vegan diet can be lower in saturated fats and cholesterol, potentially contributing to good heart health in dogs. However, there are some things to consider. Dogs are historically classified as omnivores, meaning their natural diet includes both plants and animals, and crafting a nutritionally complete vegan diet requires careful planning and supplementation to ensure they receive essential nutrients like vitamin B12, amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids.

It’s important to note that not all dogs may thrive on a vegan diet, as individual nutritional needs vary, and some may have difficulties digesting certain plant-based ingredients. The best thing to do is to consult with a veterinarian or a certified nutritionist before transitioning your dog to a vegan diet to make sure it meets their specific dietary requirements.

How food choices impact canine health

Food choices play an extremely important role in determining a dog's overall health and well-being. Providing a balanced and nutritionally complete diet is essential for maintaining healthy body weight, promoting proper growth and development, and sustaining optimal organ function.

Quality ingredients, including lean proteins, wholesome grains, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, offer essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that contribute to a shiny coat, strong teeth and bones, and a robust immune system.

Conversely, poor food choices, such as diets high in processed foods, excessive sugars, or inappropriate ingredients, can lead to obesity, nutrient deficiencies, allergies, digestive issues, and
dental issues.

In addition to this, some dogs may have dietary needs due to factors like age, breed, activity level, or pre-existing health conditions, which means their nutrition and food choices should be carefully planned and monitored.

Identifying signs of dietary distress in dogs

Understanding and identifying the signs of dietary distress in dogs is crucial for your pet’s well-being.

Keep an eye out for digestive issues like diarrhoea, vomiting, or constipation, as these can signal an improper or intolerant diet. Changes in stool consistency, colour, or odour should also be noted, as they may indicate dietary problems. Skin and coat health provide important clues; look for dry, itchy skin, excessive shedding, or a lacklustre coat as these could point to nutritional deficiencies or sensitivities to certain ingredients. Weight fluctuations that can't be explained by changes in exercise or pregnancy should be monitored, and lethargy or a drop in energy levels may suggest that your dog isn’t receiving enough nutrition.

Behavioural signs are also important and include things such as increased irritability and restlessness. Keeping an eye out for allergic reactions is also key. Symptoms include itching, hives, digestive upset, and swelling.

Furthermore, excessive thirst or urination could also be indicative of high salt or sugar content in your dog’s diet and may signal underlying health issues. Changes in appetite, such as a loss of interest in food or hunger pangs, should be noted. We also recommend
observing your dog's eyes and mucous membranes; they should be clear and vibrant, not dull or discoloured. If any of these signs are present, consulting a veterinarian is crucial.


In conclusion, maintaining a balanced and nutritionally complete diet for your canine companion is fundamental to their overall health and well-being. Paying close attention to their dietary needs and observing any signs of distress or discomfort is crucial in ensuring they lead happy, active lives.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Therefore, consulting with a veterinarian or a qualified nutritionist is highly recommended for tailored dietary advice. Further reading on canine nutrition can provide valuable insights into meeting your dog's specific dietary requirements.

All Waggel members get free access to online vet care any time of the day with
Joii. Joii operates through one easy-to-use app making connecting with a vet super simple. For a free pet insurance quote, try Waggel today.

Waggel Pet Insurance

Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.

Not a member? Why not get a quote now and cover your furry friend for a range of illnesses, all while enjoying our amazing perks and rewards.

Want more like this?

Get updates from us with helpful info, advice, answers to frequently asked questions and much more.

By joining, you agree to marketing emails. Unsubscribe anytime. See our privacy policy.

Share this post