I love chocolate, but I know chocolate is one of the foods that dogs should never eat. Looking into dog-safe chocolate led me to do a deep dive into Carob and how it can be used as a substitute if your dog needs a small taste.
Why can’t dogs eat chocolate?
We wrote an entire article on why chocolate is dangerous for dogs and then listed it again in our “Most dangerous food for dogs” article. So we’ve done the research and can share confidently why you should not feed dogs chocolate.
If you want the details and tables of dog weight vs. the amount of chocolate (and different types of chocolate), I recommend looking at the links above.
As a short explanation, Chocolate contains Theobromine and Caffeine, things your dog should never eat.
The more problematic of the two is Theobromine, which dogs digest much more slowly than humans, and it’s toxic to dogs. So it stays in their system longer and can cause a number of health issues and even death, depending on the size of the dog and the amount (and type) of chocolate consumed.
So no chocolate for your pooch, ever. Please.
Below is a reference of how dangerous different amounts and different types of chocolate can be based on your dog’s weight.
So what is a chocolate lover and dog lover to do? Here’s where we introduce…drum roll, please…Carob.
What is Carob?
Carob is a delightful ingredient derived from the carob tree, scientifically known as Ceratonia siliqua. This evergreen produces long, dark pods with deliciously sweet pulp.
These pods are ground into a fine powder or transformed into chips, creating a canine-friendly chocolate substitute that won’t harm our four-legged friends.
Why is Carob Safe for Dogs?
The most significant advantage of carob is its lack of theobromine, the compound that makes chocolate unsafe for dogs.
Theobromine affects dogs differently than humans, as their bodies process it more slowly. Even a small amount of chocolate can lead to theobromine poisoning, causing adverse effects in dogs, ranging from digestive issues to life-threatening conditions.
The other issue, although less severe, regarding dogs and chocolate is caffeine which dogs should never ingest. Carob also has no caffeine, whereas chocolate is high in caffeine.
With no Theobromine or caffeine, carob provides a safe alternative, allowing dogs to enjoy a chocolate-like treat without the associated risks.
The benefits of Carob for dogs
Carob not only provides a safe alternative to chocolate but also offers various health benefits for dogs:
Vitamins and minerals
Carob contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients contribute to the overall well-being of our furry friends, supporting their immune systems, bone health, and more.
Fiber content for digestive health
Carob is a great source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion in dogs. Adequate fiber intake can prevent constipation and regulate bowel movements, ensuring our furry companions maintain optimal digestive health.
Carob is rich in natural antioxidants, which help combat free radicals in the body. Antioxidants are crucial in reducing inflammation and supporting a healthy immune system in dogs, just as in humans.
Carob contains natural antioxidants that combat harmful free radicals in the body. These antioxidants help reduce inflammation, support a healthy immune system, and may even have anti-aging effects in dogs.
For dogs that require a low-fat diet, carob is an excellent option. It is naturally low in fat, making it a guilt-free treat that won’t contribute to unwanted weight gain.
Carob is a low-fat alternative, making it a guilt-free treat for dogs that require a low-fat diet. It allows them to indulge in a chocolate-like flavor without compromising their waistlines.
Fun ways to incorporate Carob into your dog’s life
Now that we understand the safety and benefits of carob for our furry companions, let’s explore some creative ways to introduce this tasty treat into their lives:
Homemade Carob treats
You can create delicious and healthy homemade treats using carob powder or chips. Try making carob-infused biscuits, pupcakes, or frozen carob treats for those hot summer days. Your pup will surely thank you for the mouthwatering surprise!
Enhance the nutritional value of your dog’s favorite fruits by dipping them in melted carob. Strawberries, bananas, and apple slices can be transformed into delectable treats with a carob coating.
Mix a small amount of carob powder into plain yogurt for a nutritious and flavorful snack. Not only will it entice your dog with its sweet aroma, but it will also provide them with the probiotics present in yogurt.
Dip your dog’s favorite biscuits or homemade treats into melted carob to add a touch of sweetness. Not only will it enhance the flavor, but it’ll also make their treats visually appealing.
Frozen carob delights
Create refreshing frozen treats by blending carob powder with yogurt or mashed fruits, then freezing the mixture in molds. These icy delights will provide a perfect way to cool down your dog on hot summer days.
Carob Peanut Butter Bites – a tasty dog treat!
- – 1 cup oats (preferably rolled or old-fashioned oats)
- – 1/2 cup unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter
- – 1/4 cup carob powder
- – 1/4 cup honey (optional, for added sweetness)
- – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grind the oats in a food processor or blender until they reach a flour-like consistency.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, peanut butter, carob powder, honey (if using), and vanilla extract. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- The mixture should be slightly sticky but manageable. If it’s too dry, add a small amount of water, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough holds together easily.
- Roll the dough into small bite-sized balls using your hands. You can adjust the size of the treats based on your dog’s preference.
- Place the carob peanut butter bites on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Optional: Press the back of a fork lightly onto each treat to create a crisscross pattern or flatten them gently with your hand.
- Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the treats to firm up.
- Once the treats have hardened, they are ready to serve to your furry friend. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
These carob peanut butter bites are tasty and dog-safe chocolate alternative treats for dogs. Remember to feed them in moderation and adjust the ingredients if your dog has specific dietary requirements or allergies. Enjoy making these delicious and dog-friendly treats for your furry companion!
Carob Banana Pupcakes – tastes like dark chocolate but is safe for your pups!
- – 1 cup whole wheat flour
- – 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium-sized banana)
- – 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- – 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- – 2 tablespoons carob powder
- – 1 teaspoon baking powder
- – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- – Optional: Carob chips for decoration
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Mix the whole wheat flour, mashed banana, applesauce, yogurt, carob powder, baking powder, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined and form a smooth batter.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the cupcake liners, filling each one about 3/4 full.
- Place a few carob chips on each pupcake for decoration.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a pupcake comes out clean.
- Remove the pupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the pupcakes have cooled, they are ready to be served to your dog. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
These carob banana pupcakes are a delightful and safe treat for your furry friend. Combining carob and banana creates a naturally sweet and enjoyable flavor that dogs love. Remember to adjust the portion size based on your dog’s size and dietary needs. Enjoy baking these delicious pupcakes for your pup’s special occasions or as a surprise!
Carob Coconut Balls – like Valentine’s Day for your pooch!
- – 1 cup rolled oats
- – 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- – 1/4 cup carob powder
- – 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- – 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional for added sweetness)
- – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- – Water (as needed)
- Grind the rolled oats until they reach a fine texture in a food processor or blender.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground oats, shredded coconut, carob powder, peanut butter, honey, maple syrup (if using), and vanilla extract. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- The mixture should be slightly sticky but manageable. If it’s too dry, add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture holds together easily.
- Roll small portions of the mixture into bite-sized balls using your hands. You can adjust the size of the balls based on your dog’s preference.
- Place the carob coconut balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Optional: Roll the balls in some additional shredded coconut for extra flavor and texture.
- Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the balls to firm up.
- Once the carob coconut balls have hardened, they can be served to your furry friend. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
These carob coconut balls are a delicious and nutritious treat for your dog and offer the perfect dog safe chocolate alternative. The combination of carob, coconut, and peanut butter creates a delightful flavor that dogs will adore. Remember to adjust the ingredients based on your dog’s dietary needs and preferences. Enjoy making these homemade treats and watching your pup’s tail wag with delight!
Carob Bark Delight – chocolate treat extraordinaire
- – 1 cup carob chips
- – 1/4 cup unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter
- – 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- – 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
- – 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the carob chips and coconut oil together in short intervals, stirring in between, until smooth and fully melted.
- Stir in the peanut butter until well combined.
- Add the shredded coconut and chopped peanuts to the mixture, and mix until evenly distributed.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the carob mixture onto it, spreading it into a thin layer.
- Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the carob bark hardens.
- Once hardened, break the carob bark into small, irregular pieces for your pup to enjoy.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- – 1 ripe banana
- – 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- – 2 tablespoons carob powder
- – 1 tablespoon honey (optional, for added sweetness)
- – Popsicle molds or small disposable cups
- – Popsicle sticks
- In a blender or food processor, combine the ripe banana, Greek yogurt, carob powder, and honey (if using). Blend until smooth and well-mixed.
- Pour the mixture into popsicle molds or small disposable cups.
- Insert a popsicle stick into each mold or cup, ensuring it stands upright.
- Place the molds or cups in the freezer and let them freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely solid.
- Once frozen, remove the molds or cups from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes to make it easier to remove the pup-pops.
- Gently remove the pup-pops from the molds or cups and serve them to your dog.
- Store any remaining pup-pops in an airtight container in the freezer.
These cleverly named carob treats, “Carob Bark Delight” and “Carob Pup-pops,” offer delicious and safe options to spoil your furry friend. Remember to adjust the portion size and ingredients according to your dog’s size and dietary needs. Enjoy making these creative treats and witnessing the joy they bring to your pup!
The allure of chocolate and its hazards for dogs
In case you skipped the earlier section, I want to reiterate that chocolate is extremely dangerous for dogs. We love it, and dogs do too, but dogs should never eat any chocolate. Chocolate has an irresistible allure for many of us, with its rich and velvety texture. Unfortunately, theobromine, a substance found in chocolate, can have adverse effects on dogs.
Theobromine affects the central nervous system and cardiovascular system, leading to symptoms like increased heart rate, restlessness, tremors, and even seizures.
In severe cases, chocolate toxicity can be fatal for dogs.
That’s why finding a safe alternative like carob becomes crucial to ensure our furry friends can indulge without risk.
What does Carob look like?
Carob comes in different forms that are suitable for various purposes:
Carob Powder: Great for dog-safe chocolate-flavored cake, muffins, etc.
Carob powder is finely ground and has a brown color similar to cocoa powder. It can be used as a recipe ingredient or sprinkled on top of treats.
Carob Chips: Dog-safe chocolate-flavored cookies you can share with your pooch!
Carob chips are small, solid pieces that resemble chocolate chips. They are a convenient option for adding a touch of sweetness to baked goods or for use as training treats.
Where to buy Carob for dogs?
Carob is readily available in many pet stores, specialty health food stores, and online retailers. Look for carob products specifically made for dogs to ensure their quality and safety. You can find carob powder, chips, treats, and various carob-infused dog products. Choosing high-quality carob products without additional additives or sweeteners that may harm dogs is important.
Remember, moderation is key when introducing carob to your dog’s diet. While carob is safe for dogs, it’s still important to consider it a treat and incorporate it into a balanced diet. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate portion sizes and ensure it complements your dog’s nutritional needs.
You can, of course, find many forms of Carbo on Amazon that are suitable for your pooch:
Dog-safe chocolate – final thoughts
I must admit; even though Carob is safe for dogs to eat, I’m still not quite a fan. My concern is that even though it’s safe, it could be abused or give your dog a taste for chocolate that may lead it to look for more in the future. And find some that aren’t dog safe.
So consider this, and if you treat your pooch to some Carob, do so in moderation.
- Medical News Today
- Science Direct
- Volhard Dog Nutrition
- YouTube Carob cookie dog recipe
- May 2023 – first published