Our dogs have no idea about the “cloud nine” moment we get as we taste the sweetness of Nutella — a famous chocolate spread paired with different breakfast foods or snacks.
The ubiquity of this Italian treat has been a longtime staple in the pantries of Americans as well.
We see this stacked in a glass jar with white branding, and the chocolate’s color on the inside is highly irresistible.
Recently, Nutella ranked as the 4th best spread worldwide. Yet, the market demand for Nutella is gradually increasing.
Can this treatment be available for our canine friends? Can Nutella rank 1st as your dog’s table diet?
The quest for a perfect answer has just begun. So, with all circumstances considered, we present this article as your guide about Nutella — how this food benefits your dog and how to prepare for safer feeding!
What is Nutella?
Nutella is a chocolate and hazelnut spread. It can be served on pieces of bread, pastries, crepes, and other desserts.
It is a popular treat that many people enjoy. The main ingredients in Nutella include sugar, vegetable oil (palm oil), cocoa solids, and flavorings, including skimmed milk powder.
Initially, Nutella was created in Italy by Mr. Pietro Ferrero in the 1940s. It was first sold to the public in 1964 under its current name, Nutella.
This food was inspired by the English chocolate spread called “chocolate spread.” Ferrero SpA now manufactures Nutella.
It can be found in many groceries and supermarkets all over the world.
Food family of Nutella
Nutella belongs to the food family of chocolate spreads.
Chocolate spreads are a sweet spread that people enjoy on bread, pastries, and other desserts.
They consist mainly of sugar mixed with cocoa powder (or chocolate liquor), vegetable oils like palm oil or coconut oil, and flavorings such as vanilla or milk solids.
There are different chocolate spreads available in the market today, but the most popular is Nutella.
Others include chocolate-hazelnut spreads, chocolate peanut butter spread, and white chocolate spread.
Together with other chocolate spreads, Nutella commonly has a nutritional value low in protein but high in fat.
Unfortunately, this makes it an unhealthy choice for consumption regularly.
Considering the last paragraph, do we strongly agree to feed Nutella to our dogs?
Can dogs eat Nutella?
Yes, you can feed Nutella to your dogs. Nutella has an adequate amount of calories that dogs need, but it also contains other ingredients that may or may not suit them.
This makes Nutella a controversial topic among dog owners and veterinarians alike.
Some people argue that dogs can eat Nutella because it is a chocolate spread.
Chocolate and its derivatives contain moderate amounts of caffeine and theobromine, which can be harmful to dogs when consumed in large quantities.
Therefore, even if Nutella contains cocoa solids like other chocolate spreads, experts do not recommend feeding Nutella to our pets as much as we want them to enjoy its taste.
But it’s not the end of a tunnel yet. We formulated the best way to feed your dogs with Nutella:
Best Ways to Feed your Dogs with Nutella
Use it as a food topping.
Rather than feeding dogs Nutella by the spoonful, you can spread a small amount of it on your dog’s regular meal.
Adding this chocolatey favorite to your dog’s food will not only increase its taste but also add some variety to his daily diet.
This is probably one of the best ways for dogs to enjoy and benefit from Nutella.
Bake using Nutella.
If you consider yourself a good cook, then you can try baking your dog’s favorite chocolatey desserts using Nutella.
The best part about this option is that not only will it make your home smell heavenly delicious but also provide significant nutrients to your dogs.
You can find many recipes online where people share their ways to feed Nutella to their dogs.
Avoid giving Nutella with molds.
As mentioned earlier, Nutella contains palm oil which is a type of fat that can develop molds.
Dogs are more prone to get sick when fed with mold because they do not have the exact defense mechanism as humans against these toxins.
To be on the safe side, use clean utensils or containers in serving your dogs their food with Nutella.
Reasons Why Dogs Can Eat Nutella
Yes, Nutella can be fed to your dogs. But do you also know that this chocolate spread has its health wonders your dog can benefit from?
You can list the below as we found some reasons why dogs can eat Nutella:
Nutella enables dogs to gain weight.
Like humans, dogs can also benefit from receiving extra calories and fat when needed during the winter months or after an extensive workout routine.
This is why feeding them with Nutella will not cause any harm and even help them gain healthy muscle mass for their age and breed.
Nutella provides antioxidants that are good for your dog’s health.
Just like in humans, antioxidants also provide lots of benefits to dogs by fighting against free radicals that can damage cells and tissues in the body, such as cancer-causing agents.
Feeding Nutella to them regularly with their food will help keep them protected from these kinds of dangerous diseases.
Nutella enhances your dog’s brain health.
Antioxidants, including theobromine and caffeine — two of Nutella’s ingredients — are also very beneficial to dogs as they can stimulate their brain cells for better concentration and improved memory recall.
In addition, this will help them maintain healthy cognitive functions that are vital, especially in senior dogs who may already be starting to experience some mild brain damage.
Nutella can keep your dog’s heart healthy and strong.
Theobromine is one of the essential ingredients in Nutella, which helps regulate blood pressure levels among dogs by relaxing their blood vessels.
In this way, more oxygen-rich blood will reach their hearts to provide energy for continuous pumping motions.
With this, Nutella can help keep your dog’s heart healthy and strong.
Possible Concerns When Eating Nutella
On the contrary, your dog may also experience unfortunate health challenges after your dog eats Nutella — whether you like it or not.
So, grab your pen and take note of the following health issues your dog may encounter:
One common concern for people unaware of Nutella’s benefits to dogs is that feeding them with this chocolate spread may cause gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or diarrhea.
While it is true, incidents like these will only occur if your dog has allergies to some ingredients in Nutella, such as soy lecithin and palm oil — which are not bad for them.
Dogs, just like humans, can also get caffeine intoxication after eating Nutella, which is a concern that pet owners should address.
When left untreated, this may cause symptoms such as restlessness and tremors to show up in your dog’s body — something that is not welcome, especially if your dog is already suffering from some other health condition.
When fed with Nutella, dogs are also prone to developing cardiovascular diseases like hypertension or atherosclerosis.
This is because caffeine can increase their heartbeats, resulting in stress on this vital organ and cause it to wear out faster than regular.
Signs your dog is sick from eating Nutella
When your dog acts unusually after eating Nutella, that could be a manifestation of sickness. Don’t act too late, and bring your dog to the vet when these signs show:
Loss of appetite
Too much chocolate tantamounts to too much caffeine, which is terrible for your dog’s health.
If they don’t want to eat their food with Nutella, it means that something wrong has happened in the body and needs attention from a medical professional.
Vomiting or diarrhea
Overeating chocolate can also cause stomach problems like vomiting or diarrhea. This will be evident if your dog does not want to eat their food anymore because of the nausea they are experiencing.
Fatigue or stiffness in movement
Lethargy may also occur when overeating chocolate. This can be apparent when your dog does not want to play or move around anymore after eating Nutella, which you should note as this may also indicate some health issues.
What to do if your dog is sick from eating Nutella?
The first rule of emergency is to bring your dog to the vet.
To ascertain your dog’s particular sickness from eating Nutella, bring them all the same to a veterinarian for assessment and treatment.
Do it soon because these symptoms may escalate into something more serious that can affect their life span or overall well-being in no time at all.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giving your dog a little bit of Nutella as an occasional snack.
That’s why it’s better if you can ask for your vet’s advice for a table diet and feeding schedule for your dog.
Avoid similar foods from this family.
Like Nutella, chocolate syrup contains high amounts of caffeine, which can be very dangerous to your dog’s health.
It is best to prevent them from eating it since similar symptoms will show up and may damage their heart even more quickly that way.
Avoid giving your dog caffeine as much as possible because it is not suitable for their heart and blood vessels, leading to cardiovascular diseases that are very dangerous.
If you have been adding Nutella in your dog’s food once in a while just so they don’t feel left out from the rest of the pack eating their snacks, it is best to stop doing that.
Chocolate bars can be awful for your dog, especially if they contain lots of nuts and other ingredients that dogs are not supposed to eat.
It’s best to avoid these snacks altogether so you’ll never come close to giving them something that will cause their sickness or death in the future.
How to Make Nutella Safe To Eat
We know the pros and cons of feeding this food to our canine friends. So, it’s time to build a guide on how to make Nutella safe to eat:
Offer Nutella occasionally
We strongly recommend offering Nutella occasionally since this food contains caffeine and can be bad for your dog’s health.
Dilute with water or cream
The best way to make Nutella safe is by diluting it first before giving this food as a treat to our dogs.
You can also provide them with some peanut butter with this chocolate spread, which will cut down the amount of sugar that your dog is taking and dilute the Nutella so it wouldn’t be as bad for their health.
Small portions only
Make sure to give them small portions of this chocolate spread because if you’re giving too much at once, there’s a big chance they will get sick or may even die because of their heart not being able to take the amount of caffeine they’re getting which is very dangerous for their health.
Offer water after eating it.
It’s best if you give them some water or milk after feeding your dog Nutella because this will help flush out any harmful substances that are still in their system, especially caffeine.
However, suppose you notice something wrong with their health after feeding them this chocolate spread.
In that case, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible because their symptoms may escalate into something more serious that can damage your dog’s heart or overall well-being.
Make sure they do not overeat it by counting their daily intake of calories.
Offering Nutella to your dog should never be an excuse not to give them other healthy treats for their energy levels, etc.
Instead, you can use this opportunity to lower the amount of sugar in your diet by buying a healthier alternative that contains less or no caffeine at all.
We can never get wrong with the delight that Nutella brings. This spread is perfect with any food we can think of from the packaging, production, chocolate filling, and even the way it tastes.
We can pair it with our morning breakfast. And you may share this with your dog, too!
Going back to our question, YES, dogs can eat Nutella. This food has adequate nutrients that your dog needs, such as antioxidants that help fight against free radicals, improve concentration and memory recall, and regulate blood pressure levels through theobromine.
Yet, beyond these health benefits are possible health concerns, such as gastrointestinal issues, caffeine intoxication, and cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, when your dog acts unusually after eating Nutella, your dog may lose its appetite, vomit, or suffer from fatigue.
Ultimately, moderation is the key to safe feeding. Also, it’s best to dilute this food with water or cream, feed small portions only, and offer water to your dog after eating.
Nutella may not rank as the 1st chocolate spread, but in the end, your proper feeding of Nutella may give the 1st rank to your dog’s heart.