Is Cocoa Butter Safe for Dogs: What You Wish You Knew!

Cocoa butter is not only safe for use for humans, it is safe for animals too. You’ll often find cocoa butter in paw balms owing to its thick texture that makes it a great moisturiser for dry paws.

Due to its natural chocolate smell that makes it tempting to eat, many dogs will happily lick cocoa butter if left accessible to them. However, unlike chocolate, cocoa butter is not toxic to your dog.

But there’s an ingredient in cocoa beans or chocolate that’s not safe for dog consumption. And that is theobromine.

Also Read: Can you Eat Cocoa Butter? Uses, Health Benefits and Side Effects!

What is theobromine?

Chocolate’s amazing taste has everything to do with theobromine, which is the chemical that causes it. Among humans, theobromine is energizing. It increases blood flow by dilation of blood vessels. Brain chemicals that produce a feeling of well-being are also released.

As dogs can’t metabolize theobromine properly, they are at risk of dehydration. In fact, it can make them very sick instead of giving them a feel-good feeling. It can even be fatal at high doses.

A dose of 20mg/kg of theobromine can cause symptoms of poisoning. At a dose of 40-50mg/kg, serious symptoms may occur, with a fatal dose exceeding 60mg/kg.

In other words, 270mg of theobromine is the fatal dose for a 10-pound dog. A 20-pound dog would need to eat 540 mg of theobromine.

Cocoa Butter and Theobromine

Some sources claim that cocoa butter is toxic to dogs because of its high content of theobromine.

A report published by the National Library of Medicine states otherwise. Cocoa powder, which has the highest concentration of theobromine, has 26000 mg/kg. Cocoa butter only contains 140 mg/kg.

Based on the toxicity levels indicated above, a dog would require a very large amount of cocoa butter to be toxic. It would take roughly 2 kg (4 pounds) to kill a tiny dog. It’s quite improbable that your dog will swallow a toxic dosage of cocoa butter.

What Happens if Your Dog Eats Cocoa Butter?

Depending on how much cocoa butter your dog consumes, cocoa butter may or may not hurt your dog. Thus, if they consume a small amount, they are unlikely to experience any symptoms at all.

If they consume a lot of cocoa butter, however, you and your dog may have a long day! The high-fat content in cocoa butter can cause stomach upset in your dog. The most common symptoms are vomiting and diarrhoea. But there’s no need to worry as the symptoms should go away within 24-48 hours.

Can You Use Cocoa Butter Lotion on Your Dogs?

Yes, cocoa butter lotion or cream is generally safe for dogs. There are so many cocoa butter lotions specially made for dogs. The most common and safest is Palmer’s special formulation just for dogs. 

If your dog likes to lick the cocoa butter, use just 100% pure cocoa butter. This will keep your dog from ingesting cocoa butter that has harmful ingredients. Palmers’ particular formulation for dogs is ideal for this purpose.

Also Read: Is Cocoa Butter Bad for You? Everything you Need to Know! Benefits and Side Effects!

What if your dog eats cocoa powder?

Due to its high theobromine concentration, cocoa powder is toxic to dogs. To be lethal, the cocoa powder must be consumed in large doses. Even a modest amount of cocoa powder can cause symptoms.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can occur within 2 hours after your dog consumes it. It can take 24 hours to 3 days for the theobromine to completely leave the body and for symptoms to diminish.

Mild symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, and hyperactivity.

Serious signs of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, a racing heartbeat, increased thirst, and frequent urination.

The dog may develop muscle tremors and convulsions if the poisoning is severe. Death from chocolate poisoning is usually caused by heart failure, which occurs when the heart cannot cope with the excitement caused by high levels of theobromine.

Also Read: Chocolate Facts, History, Types & Health Benefits

What to do if your dog eats cocoa butter?

If you notice your dog eating cocoa butter, there are some things you can do. Since theobromine isn’t a concern, it can be monitored and treated at home. However, an upset stomach is common if they’ve ingested a large amount of cocoa butter. This can typically be managed at home.

1. Observe your dog

If your dog eats something they shouldn’t, keep an eye out for symptoms. Expect some gastrointestinal discomfort. Keep an eye out for any serious symptoms. To be safe, keep an eye on them for at least 24 hours.

2. Induce Vomiting

Although cocoa butter is safe, a significant amount is harmful to your dog. Consider inducing vomiting if they consume a lot of cocoa butter. Give them up to 4 teaspoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide for every 10 pounds of body weight.

Take them for a walk to help the peroxide in their stomachs move about. Within 10-15 minutes, they should start vomiting. If vomiting does not occur, you can repeat the dosage once.

How to Treat Stomach Upset at Home

There are a few things you may do at home to soothe your dog’s stomach. Famotidine is a dog-friendly antacid. Administer 5 mg of peroxide per pound of body weight. Give a 10-pound dog 5 mg or half of a 10 mg tablet. Repeat the dose every 12 hours until the symptoms have gone away.

You might also give your dog Pepto Bismol. Give them one teaspoon for every ten pounds of body weight, up to a total of four teaspoons. As needed, repeat every 6 to 8 hours.

A bland diet can also be beneficial. Feed them a mixture of 2 parts rice to 1 part boiling chicken. You’ll feed them 2/3 cup rice and 1/3 cup chicken for one cup of food. Instead of two larger meals, it is preferable to split them into 3 or 4 smaller meals.

When to Worry

If your dog consumes a substantial amount of cocoa butter, he may get stomach distress. They should not, however, develop severe vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, or fever. If you notice any of these signs, you should contact your veterinarian.

If your dog is experiencing muscle tremors, seizures, or lethargy, seek emergency veterinary attention. This should not happen because of the cocoa butter. However, your dog may have an allergic reaction to something in the cocoa butter, especially if it’s a lotion or hand cream. 

Palmer’s for Pets Cocoa Butter Fragrance-Free-All Over Relief Balm for Dogs

Palmer's for Pets Cocoa Butter
9.4/10Our Score
  • PALMERS COCOA BUTTER DOG BALM – Now pets can enjoy the skin soothing quality of Palmer's Cocoa Butter with their very own dog balm for paws and dog skin soother balm with Vitamin E
  • MADE WITH COCOA BUTTER AND VITAMIN E – This dog skin balm from Palmers is made with cocoa butter and Vitamin E to keep your dog's skin and pads smooth and soft
  • FOR DRY SKIN & PADS – Keep your dog's dry skin and rough paw pads soft and smooth with Palmer's Cocoa Butter All Over Relief Balm
  • TRUSTED PALMERS BRAND – For over 175 years, Palmer's brand has cared for your skin. Now the same high quality products are available for your pets
  • SAFE FOR DOGS – This dog grooming product is made without any parabens, phthalates, or gluten. It is also cruelty-free and created with plant-based ingredients so you can feel good about the products you use on your pet

This fragrance-free all-over skin soother balm for dogs is great for dogs with dry skin. The Palmer’s dog balm is also suitable for use on dog pads. Formulated with cocoa butter and Vitamin E, this dog paw balm brings high-quality, feel-good skincare solutions for pets. With the classic Palmer’s Cocoa Butter formula and the addition of skin-soothing Vitamin E, you can’t go wrong with Palmer’s skin care for pets.

When you use this cream, your dog will no longer have dry patches or dandruff. If your dog has patches of missing fur, this cream will help grow it back in.

You’ll notice that after just a couple of applications, you will see a difference in your dog’s paw pads. Your dog is likely to lick his paws a bit afterwards, but there’s no need to worry about experiencing any adverse reactions. The price point is great value for your money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is cocoa butter harmful to dogs?

You might use products containing cocoa butter to keep your skin soft and supple. While the cocoa powder is toxic to dogs, that’s not the case with cocoa butter. It’s, however, advisable to use cocoa butter specially made for dogs for your dogs.

What kind of lotion can I use on my dog?

Unfortunately, you can’t just use your own human lotion on your dog because moisturizers may contain harmful chemicals and ingredients. Dogs are likely to lick topical treatments off of their noses and paws, so any skin-soothing product you use has to be 100% dog-safe.

How much cocoa butter will hurt a dog?

According to a pathophysiology report, a general measurement states that toxic effects in dogs occur at theobromine doses of 20mg/kg with severe signs at 40-50mg/kg, and seizures typically occur at 60 mg/kg.

Can I use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter on my dog’s paws?

The Palmer’s dog balm is suitable for use on dog pads. Formulated with cocoa butter and Vitamin E, this dog paw balm brings high-quality, feel-good skincare solutions for pets.

What is the best itch relief for dogs?

Chamomile, calendula, and green tea have properties that soothe and cool irritated skin. These soaks are best for dogs who have hot, itchy patches of skin that are at risk of getting rubbed raw.

How much cocoa is bad for dogs?

Dry cocoa powder is the most toxic, causing toxic effects at as little as 0.14 ounces (4 grams) for a ten-pound dog.

Can you put coconut oil on dogs?

Coconut oil is generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts or have applied to their skin or fur. When it comes to selecting a brand, virgin coconut oil is best, as most of coconut oil’s benefits have been observed with this type.

Is cocoa butter toxic for dogs?

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.

Now it’s your turn

As established, cocoa butter is not harmful to dogs, at least in its purest form. It has a low level of theobromine, making it ideal for use on the dry patches or paws of your dog. If you have concerns about your dog’s dry paws, you can go ahead and use Palmers’ special formulation for pets.

All the best!

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From chocolate craving to winter hot cocoa drinks indulgence - I've being through it all. In as much as I'm always learning about the awesomeness of cacao/cocoa beans, there's one thing I know for sure. Quality cocoa product always comes tops. The devil is in the details. That's why you should listen to me. I've done the research. I've made all the mistakes in the books. Yes, I'm just like you but I know a thing or two that can help you make a better choice.