Protein bars are considered the perfect post-workout snack and are a rich source of nutrients. Do you tend to share a few bites of your protein bar with your four-legged furry friend?
Have you ever pondered over the benefits and risks of protein bars for your canine pets? Do you often wonder whether or not dogs can eat protein bars?
If the above queries are troubling you lately, then you have stumbled upon just the perfect place. We will detail the association between your dog’s metabolism and protein bars.
Are protein bars safe for dogs?
The most straightforward answer to this question is no; they can’t. Protein bars are considered a wholesome and nutritious snack for humans but aren’t meant for your dog’s digestive and gastrointestinal systems.
Some ingredients in protein bars are okay for your little pet in small concentrations. But most nutrients present in protein bars are toxic for your four-legged friend.
What are the risks of feeding protein bars to dogs?
It is a well-known fact that chocolate is toxic to dogs, which is the biggest concern with chocolate-flavored supplements.
Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine present in chocolates. Theobromine is a substance that gives pleasure to humans when eating chocolates. Theobromine is responsible for releasing happy chemicals in the human brain. It can prove to be fatal for your dog.
Vitamins are a power source and are genuinely essential for humans and dogs alike. However, vitamins in high amounts can be toxic for your dog.
Protein bars contain vitamins like vitamin D and ALA. These vitamins in small amounts are healthy for dogs only in small quantities. Consumption of these at human dosages can prove toxic for your dog.
- In its severity, it can lead to severe problems like:
- heart or liver damage.
An overdose of Vitamin D can cause the following:
- excessive drool
- excessive vomiting.
NOTE: Increased calcium or phosphorus levels or kidney damage are severe indicators of Vitamin D toxicity in dogs.
Caffeine can also prove to be toxic for canines. The majority of protein supplements available in the market contain caffeine. Caffeine is considered to stimulate energy and alertness in humans.
Protein bars include caffeine in the form of tea or coffee extract. Since dogs cannot process caffeine, it is not recommended.
Almost all the drool-worthy protein bars contain some sweeteners in them. While some include sugar, some include ingredients that have sugar.
Ingredients like brown rice syrup include an excessive amount of sugar. Sugar in excess isn’t healthy for your dogs, and its substitutes can prove to be even more toxic.
Xylitol is a chemical compound used in gums, chewable vitamins, and sweet tarts. It is a fact that xylitol is highly dangerous for dog consumption. Here is a list of symptoms usually observed 30 minutes after ingesting xylitol in any form:
- Rushed insulin release
- Low blood sugar
- General weakness
You might not even notice signs of xylitol poisoning in your dog for a good 2-3 days. But you must keep xylitol-based food items at bay, or it can harm your dog’s liver.
Even a bite-size of xylitol can be fatal for your little furry friend. It induces an abnormal amount of insulin in a dog’s body and reduces blood sugar levels.
NOTE: This condition is hypoglycemia which can cause coma, weakness, incoordination, and even death in dogs.
Moreover, xylitol-rich vanilla cakes or sweet tarts cause liver damage in dogs which will lead to the following symptoms:
- Excessive Vomiting
- Death in rare cases
- Loss of appetite
- Chondroitin or MSM
Chondroitin or MSM is prescribed as a joint supplement for humans and dogs. An overdose of chondroitin typically causes diarrhea.
WARNING: However in rare cases, MSM can cause liver failure too.
What to do if your dog eats a little amount of protein bars?
It’s only natural to be concerned if your dog ate a little amount of protein bars. In most cases, they shall be just fine. However, some ingredients might have higher toxicity levels.
It’s essential to know how to tackle the situation. If the protein bars contain xylitol in them, you’ve got to call your vet. You’ll need to provide the following:
- what did your dog consume
- amount of intake
- weight of your dog
On the basis of the information provided above, they’ll guide you about the action plan necessary. It’s necessary to monitor your dog at least for 12 hours and preferably 24 hours to ensure they’re sound and healthy.
NOTE: Just in case your dog is vomiting, pooping blood, facing seizures, or facing any disorientation, seek help immediately.
Q. Can you feed protein powder to your dog?
Yes. In fact, there has been a new range of protein powder introduced exclusively for dogs. Protein powder for dogs does not contain any ingredients that can prove fatal for your dog and will contain the necessary nutrients in adequate amounts.
Q. What happens when dogs consume excessive amounts of protein?
It is dose-dependent. When a dog consumes protein in excess, it is excreted through the kidneys, which in the long run can cause kidney problems.
The conclusion is plain and simple. Dogs cannot eat protein bars. Dogs can get an upset stomach or, in some cases, the condition can prove to be fatal. It all comes down to the size of your furry buddy, the concentration of ingredients like chocolate or xylitol, and the amount in which they ate.
In this article, we have explained the ingredients, risks and contingency actions in case your pooch consumes protein bars. We suggest rushing to the vet if your dog behaves abnormally after consuming a lot of protein bars.
Did this article give you a clear idea of whether or not you should feed protein bars to your dogs?
Do you want to share a story when your doggo felt miserable after gulping down a bunch of protein bars? Have you got any further doubts?
Please feel free to interact with us in the comments section below.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.