Before leaving to run errands, you grabbed your protein powder and made a tasty shake. But you were in a hurry and left the protein powder on the counter. While you were out, your dog goes over to inspect what you left on the counter. He may have seen you eat some of the powder.
Your fur baby wants to see if this stuff is any good or not. So, he jumps up and knocks the container over, and helps himself to your protein powder! Now what? Can protein powder make a dog sick?
Has your dog eaten protein powder? Are you worried the protein powder will make him sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it’s scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve gathered information about protein powder and whether it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What is Protein Powder?
Protein powders are used as a supplement to improve a person’s health. They’re made from different ingredients, with protein sourced from whey, soy, and casein. Whey is the most common ingredient in protein powders.
These powders can be added to other ingredients to make shakes that can be quite tasty.
While protein powder can be safe for humans, what about dogs? Can protein powder make a dog sick?
Protein Powder & Dogs
The good news is that plain (unflavored) protein powder is usually safe for dogs. However, if a dog eats human protein powder, he could develop digestive tract issues. These may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms should improve on their own; however, if they last longer than 12 to 24 hours, it’s best to call the vet.
The bad news is that some protein powders contain cocoa and xylitol. Both of these ingredients are highly toxic to dogs. With cocoa, the level of toxicity depends on how pure the cocoa is (for instance, baker’s chocolate is the most toxic for dogs—it contains the highest amount of chocolate).
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic for our canine friends. Just a small amount of this ingredient can kill a dog.
Symptoms of Protein Powder (with Cocoa and/or Xylitol) in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog eats protein powder that contains cocoa and/or xylitol:
- Excessive panting
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Increased heart rate
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Be sure to write down the brand name of the protein powder and the ingredients. It’s also good to write down the time your dog ate the powder. This information can help the vet.
Treatment of Protein Powder Ingestion in Dogs
Here, we’re addressing the treatment of a dog who has eaten protein powder that contains cocoa and/or xylitol.
The vet will first work to decontaminate your dog’s body by inducing vomiting, using activated charcoal, or another method. Next, they will work to treat other symptoms as they arise.
It’s possible your fur baby may require an IV for fluids and to administer medications. In some cases, your dog may also need supplemental oxygen.
Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition, your canine companion may need to be hospitalized until he’s in stable condition.
The prognosis is best for dogs that receive prompt treatment after eating protein powder. In the future, it’s best to keep all protein powder out of your dog’s reach. You’ll both be happier for it!