Every dog owner knows chocolate is a definite no-no to give your dog. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. Theobromine and caffeine are the main ingredients in chocolate that are unsafe for dogs to consume.1 Now that we know chocolate is off-limits, what about carob? Can dogs eat carob? Is it safe? While carob looks like chocolate, it is safe for dogs to consume.
Read on to learn more about carob and why it’s safe for your dog to eat.
What Is Carob?
Carob comes from the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) and is considered a safe and healthier alternative to chocolate.2 The tree produces fruit that looks like a dark brown pea pod. These pea pods have pulp and seeds, which have been used since ancient Greek times dating back 4,000 years for their health benefits.
Carob is naturally sweet and is an excellent substitute for chocolate because it contains no dairy. It’s also free from caffeine and theobromine, which are toxic for dogs, cats, and horses and is the reason dogs can have Carob and not chocolate.
Carob also has lots of fiber, antioxidants, and low amounts of sugar and fat, which is beneficial for dogs. It also contains vitamins A, B, and D, as well as calcium, protein, magnesium, and iron.
Can Dogs Eat All Forms of Carob?
Any form of carob is safe for dogs. However, some experts recommend not giving dogs the seeds. Most of the time, carob is broken down into a powder or chips used in treats, especially in dog bakeries, which is what gives doggie treats that sweet and yummy flavor similar to chocolate. The worry with seeds is they could be a choking hazard for your dog, making it best to avoid them.
Tips for a Healthy Diet
Doggie bakeries make cupcakes, birthday cakes, cookies, biscuits, and all sorts of sweets your dog will surely love. And the best part is that nothing in the treats is harmful to your pooch. In fact, dog bakeries use—you guessed it—carob. While these items are for special occasions you will also find carob as an ingredient in some dog foods.
Be careful not to overfeed with treats, as treats should only comprise up to 10% of your dog’s regular daily diet. Always feed your dog a complete and balanced dog food that provides all the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy and thrive. We recommend avoiding grain-free diets unless your dog has a grain allergy, as a potential link to grain-free diets causing dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in some dogs is still under investigation.
Grains are beneficial to dogs and should only be avoided for allergy reasons when recommended by your veterinarian.
Chocolate is off-limits, but that doesn’t mean your dog can’t enjoy a sweet treat that tastes like chocolate. Carob is naturally sweet and is perfectly safe to give your dog in moderation. Carob also provides health benefits for humans and dogs that include fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals without sugar and fat. Many dog treats are now available that contain carob.
Featured Image Credit: Mojpe, Pixabay