Can Dogs Eat Nutella? Is It Safe for Dogs to Consume?


Can dogs eat Nutella? By now, most people are aware that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate. But what about Nutella? Is it the same as chocolate? Or should you be worried if your pet sneaks a Nutella sandwich?

It is good to always do some research about food items before offering these products to your pet because the digestive system of a dog is very different from a human’s. Many of the foods we consume are toxic and quite harmful to pets.

In this guide, we are going to take a closer look at Nutella’s ingredients and how they can affect your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Nutella?

Everyone loves Nutella, including your dog. You will notice your pet become all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the moment he or she gets a whiff of this popular spread.

So, can you offer your pet some Nutella as a snack? The short answer is no. Nutella is not a healthy snack to offer your pet because it contains the ingredient cocoa powder, which isn’t good for your pet at all. This is because cocoa powder contains theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs.

With that said, a little bit of Nutella probably won’t do too much harm because Nutella doesn’t contain nearly as much theobromine as chocolate. You don’t have to worry too much if your dog runs off with a Nutella sandwich.

But if your dog gets into an entire tub of Nutella, your dog can become ill and might need medical attention.

Ingredients in Nutella

Nutella in white bowl

Nutella is tasty because it is made from a wide range of sweet ingredients that give it that rich and smooth consistency and delicious, creamy taste. Here is a quick look at the main ingredients found in Nutella.

  • Hazelnuts
  • Sugar
  • Fatty Oil
  • Cocao powder
  • Palm oil
  • Skim Milk Powder
  • Non-fat milk solids
  • Emulsifiers like soy lecithin
  • Vanillin

The exact ingredients and quantity of each ingredient in Nutella can vary slightly for different countries, but these are the basic ingredients that are found in most of these products.

Why Is Nutella Bad for Dogs?

Nutella contains quite a few ingredients that are not exactly suitable for a dog’s digestive system. Many of the ingredients found in this spread can be toxic or can cause serious health ailments if your dog consumes too much of this product. Here is a quick look at all the ingredients in Nutella that are bad for your dog.

Cacao Powder

Cacao powder is used in Nutella to give it that chocolate taste and rich brown color. Each gram of cocoa powder contains 26 mg of theobromine, a product that is related to caffeine. This ingredient is extremely toxic to dogs. Just a few grams of theobromine can cause seizures or other serious effects in a 10-kilogram dog.

The reason theobromine affects dogs this way is because it is a cardiac stimulating agent. The metabolism of dogs also processes theobromine much slower than humans, which prolongs its effect on their bodies.

Theobromine (also known as methylxanthine) can affect your dog’s kidneys, central nervous system, and heart health.

Nutella contains very little cocoa powder and – as such – very little theobromine. The chances of your pet becoming ill from this ingredient are pretty slim. But this spread contains various other ingredients that can also have a negative impact on your pet.

Hazelnuts

A few hazelnuts won’t harm your dog. But this still isn’t a suitable treat to offer your pet. In large quantities, hazelnuts can damage your dog’s pancreas and even result in their stomach getting pumped. Offering lots of hazelnuts regularly can also increase your dog’s risk of becoming obese.

Nutella is mostly made from hazelnuts, which means your dog will be consuming way too much of this ingredient if you offer Nutella as a treat.

Sugar

Too much sugar affects dogs in the same way it affects humans. Eating a lot of sugar can make your dog overweight, cause diabetes, and result in tooth decay. Nutella contains 54 grams of sugar per 100 grams of spread. With more than half of the spread consisting of sugar, this certainly isn’t a healthy option for pets.

Fatty Oil

Hazelnuts contain lots of fatty oil. In moderate portions, fatty oils won’t affect your dog. But a lot of fat can make your dog’s stomach upset or may result in diarrhea.

What Are the Signs of Theobromine Poisoning?

Theobromine poisoning, also known as chocolate poisoning, can cause all sorts of negative side effects. Here is a quick look at some of the most common symptoms to look out for if your dog gets into a jar of Nutella.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increase in thirst
  • Panting
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive urination
  • A racing heart rate
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Internal bleeding
  • Heart failure

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Nutella

Beagle dog try eat from table

If your dog eats just a little bit of Nutella (2 tablespoons or less), then there is no need to worry. The ingredients aren’t strong enough to have an adverse effect (unless your dog is allergic), so your pet will likely be just fine. If you are worried, then you can get your dog checked out by a veterinarian. It is also best to check with a vet if your dog has a medical history of heart disease or pancreatitis because this may result in a fatality if your dog experiences a reaction.

You can also monitor your pet for signs of theobromine poisoning. If you notice any signs, then you should take your dog to a vet immediately.

Dogs that consume a lot of Nutella should be taken to the vet as quickly as possible because the chances of developing theobromine poisoning increase if your pet consumes a lot of this product.

The Best Nutella Alternatives to Offer Your Pet

It is natural to feel guilty when you are indulging in delicious treats like chocolate hazelnut spread, especially if your furry friend is drooling close by.

The best thing you can do is to offer your beloved pet something similar in consistency but much healthier. Here is a quick look at healthy dog snack alternatives to consider.

Xylitol-Free Peanut Butter

Xylitol-free peanut butter is just as tasty for dogs and much safer. In fact, a little bit of this peanut butter every now and then can improve your dog’s health because it promotes a healthy coat. It is also an ideal treat to insert into dog toysif you want to train your pet.

You should still be mindful not to offer too much. Peanut butter contains lots of vegetable fats that can result in obesity.

Plain Cheese Spread

Cheese isn’t the healthiest snack to include in your dog’s food container. But cheese spread without any herbs won’t be harmful either, and it is ideal for a dog lick mat because it is nice and sticky. This snack will also give your dog a little bit of calcium, which is helpful for promoting strong bones and teeth.

Canned Pumpkin

Canned pumpkin is low in calories and ideal for a pet who is struggling with constipation or diarrhea. Just be careful not to offer too much pumpkin because it can cause an upset stomach.

Plain Yogurt

You can offer your dog some plain greek yogurt. The natural bacteria in this treat are good for the gut, and yogurt contains calcium that can benefit your pet. Start off with a small amount of plain yogurt because some dogs are lactose intolerant or sensitive to this ingredient.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This is also a good treat for dogs with constipation, and it has the same creamy texture that Nutella does but without the poisoning effect. As with pumpkin, you shouldn’t offer too much.

Final Thoughts

So, can dogs eat Nutella? Your dog won’t get ill from eating just a little bit of this spread. But too much Nutella can cause severe health problems or may result in theobromine poisoning. If your dog eats a large tub of this food item, then it is best to take them to the vet immediately. But if your dog only eats a little bit, then you can simply monitor them for negative side effects.

In any case, it is much better to keep some of the healthy Nutella alternatives we discussed on this list at hand so you won’t be tempted to reward your dog with something that is poisonous to them.

We hope that you found this guide helpful! If you are looking for other advice and tips to optimize your pet’s health, then you should have a look at some of our other guides. On Can My Dog,you can find all the best health tips to keep your K9 friend in tippy-top shape.

Recent Posts