Ingredient: Organic Cocoa Butter
WHAT DOG OWNERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT COCOA BUTTER
The cocoa craze has grown exponentially around the world from body butters and hair masks to tasty recipes and teas, chocolate bars aren’t the only thing incorporating the enriching cocoa ingredient into their formulas. Because we heavily associate cocoa butter with chocolate, many dog owners have raised valid concerns surrounding the potential toxicity of certain products that contain a cocoa derivative.
There are varying levels of toxicity in different types of chocolate.
The toxic substance found in a variety of chocolate products that can cause harm to your four-legged friend is called theobromine. This is the ingredient that has dubbed chocolate “poison” for our canine companions for years. However, it’s important to note there are endless variations of the well-loved sweet treat, and with those variations comes fluctuating levels of theobromine.
Levels of theobromine found in common types of chocolate
Milk chocolate: 1.0 – 2.1mg/g
Dark chocolate: .4 – 8.8mg/g
Cocoa powder: 4.6 – 38mg/g
White chocolate & cocoa butter: negligible amount of theobromine.
Toxic-effect Level in Dogs
Many veterinarians and researchers have spent countless hours, forums, and peer-reviewed articles in hopes of clearing up misconceptions and facts pertaining to the toxic-effect levels of theobromine in dogs. It remains unclear as to what an exact fatal dose of chocolate is, however, research has shown that the size of the pup, the type of chocolate, and the amount consumed all take part in severity levels of toxicity.
Because theobromine is the actual poisonous substance, different chocolate types can, of course, cause different reactions. A general measurement, according to a pathophysiology report, states, “toxic effects in dogs occur at theobromine doses of 20mg/kg with severe signs at 40-50mg/kg, seizures occurring typically at 60 mg/kg.”
Cocoa butter is not chocolate.
Cocoa butter is the fat extracted from the cocoa plant, and although it is found in a variety of sweet treats, it’s not “chocolate.” The extract contains minimal to no levels of the toxic-to-dog chemical theobromine, meaning it is safe to use, specifically in balms and other topical treatments.
It’s important to note that although white chocolate contains little to no theobromine, the added ingredients like sugar and milk can leave your dog with an upset stomach.
Remember, always proceed with caution when it comes to your furry friend. If your pup has a history of sensitivities or reactions to certain treatments, lotions, shampoos, treats, etc. it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before trying any new product!