Have you ever wondered about carob vs chocolate for dogs? Is one better than the other when it comes to tasty treats for dogs?
Dogs love the sweet gooey goodness of chocolate. Unfortunately, they cannot enjoy it because every type of chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Chocolate can make your pets very sick or even kill them.
The two ingredients in chocolate that make it dangerous for dogs are caffeine and theobromine. Fortunately, Carob is a safe alternative to chocolate. Carob adds a sweet, mild, nutty flavor in addition to a dark color to dog treats.
Perhaps, you have come across fancy dog treats that contain carob when shopping, and you left them out because carob looks like chocolate.
Start buying them today because carob is safe for all dogs. Below is all the information you need on carob vs chocolate and how this chocolate alternative is different from chocolate.
Carob vs Chocolate for Dogs
Why Carob is the Best Chocolate Alternative
Origins and Flavors:
Chocolate comes from beans or seeds which come from the Theobroma cacao tree. On the other hand, carob is made from the pods of the carob tree, a Mediterranean tree is also known scientifically as Ceratonia Siliqua.
People use carob to replace chocolate in bakeries, and it has a mild sweet flavor. Both the pods of carob and Theobroma are roasted, cracked, and ground to make a fine powder used to make various recipes.
Cacao has a bitter taste and, therefore, people combine it with sugar and vanilla, which they hold together with an emulsifier, to make chocolate. Further, chocolate producers add milk to counteract the bitterness and make it creamier.
Contrarily, due to the natural sweetness of the carob, some people use it as a sugar replacement in their recipes. It also boasts a dark-roasted chocolate flavor, which is ideal for people sensitive to caffeine.
Carob powder offers a subtle roasted taste and is a low-fat substitute for cocoa powder. You can add carob powder or chips to the meal of your dogs and they will enjoy it without getting sick.
The Dangers of Chocolate for Dogs:
When it comes to carob vs chocolate a small amount of chocolate will only give your dog a stomach upset. However, it can be poisonous to dogs if they consume it in large amounts. That is for the reason that it contains theobromine and caffeine.
Humans can metabolize both caffeine and theobromine easily, but dogs do not. Dogs process the two compounds slowly, something that allows them to build up in their digestive systems and cause many health problems.
Both caffeine and theobromine stimulate the dog’s nervous system and speed up the heart rate.
Still, the toxicity differs from one type of chocolate to the other. Keep in mind that the danger will be higher if the chocolate is darker.
For example, dark chocolate is more poisonous than white chocolate. That is because baking and dark chocolates contain more theobromine than milk and white chocolates do.
Dry cocoa powder and unsweetened baker’s chocolate are among the most toxic types. The available data shows that most of the serious reactions are a result of these two types of chocolate.
The toxicity level will also depend on the amount of chocolate and consumed and the size of your dog. A large or medium-sized dog will only show a few signs related to stomach upset after consuming a little amount of chocolate.
However, if the same dog consumed a lot of chocolate or a small dog ate a little chocolate, it might develop severe signs. It only takes 1.3 grams of chocolate per kilogram of the dog’s body weight for toxic symptoms to manifest.
The signs to expect include:
- Irregular heart rate
- Heart attack
- Internal bleeding
- Increased urination
- Collapse and death
Some dogs, such as those with heart conditions and the old ones, are at a higher risk of dying from chocolate poisoning.
Carob vs Chocolate: Benefits of Carob for Dogs:
Carob is 100 percent natural and 100 percent healthy for dogs and it offers many health benefits too. It does not contain theobromine, caffeine, or other dangerous substances expected in chocolate.
It is high in calcium, iron, magnesium, niacin, Vitamin A, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2. Most of the vegetables and fruits we include in the daily diets of our dogs are nutritious and carob is not an exception.
Carob is a great source of pectin and fiber, which your dogs need to eliminate toxins from their bodies. The superfood also lowers cholesterol, improves digestion, and treats diarrhea. It also facilitates the absorption of calcium.
Using Carob as a Treat for Your Dog:
If you are looking for one to try, check out our Recipe For Dog Peanut Butter Cup (Also Tasty For People).
But if you need to substitute carob chips or carob powder for chocolate chips or cocoa powder, you have to do that in a ratio of 1:1.
In other words, substitute the chocolate with the same amount of carob. For example, if you have been giving a ½ cup of cocoa powder to your dog, replace it with ½ cup of carob powder. Do the same for the chips.
Unlike cocoa, carob has negligible oil/fat content and therefore you can add some butter/oil or anything that you use in your recipes.
Carob chips will react to heat differently from chocolate chips. So, when melting them to dip treats or make the frosting, you have to melt smaller quantities or use a double boiler.
Add some oil or warm milk to smoothen the melting process.
Alternatively, you can heat the chips in your microwave at 20-30 seconds intervals and stir at every interval.
Add some warm milk or oil to the chips while stirring for chocolate-like consistency. Keep in mind that the carob will not reheat well after melting, so you must melt a little amount at a time.
Our bottom line on carob vs chocolate for dogs is that chocolate is dangerous for dogs because it contains theobromine and caffeine.
Excessive consumption of chocolate can cause many health complications or even cause death. If your dog consumes chocolate, call a veterinarian immediately for advice.
Your veterinarian might ask you to monitor the dog for any clinical signs. On the other hand, carob does not contain caffeine or theobromine and it is, therefore, safe for your dog.