One of my favorite foods – if you can call it that – are potato chips. I love them so much that I can eat a half a bag in a single sitting. Now… I know that potato chips aren’t good for me, so I don’t bring them in the house much.
But… I also know they aren’t going to kill me (at least not very quickly) if I eat them once in a while. Because potato chips aren’t poisonous to humans.
My dog can even share a very occasional potato chip. However, there are foods that I love – like chocolate – that are VERY poisonous to dogs. And if your dog ingests chocolate, there is a short timeline to deal with it. Here’s everything you need to know about both real chocolate and fake chocolate for dogs.
What Kind of Chocolate Can Dogs Eat?
Whether we talk about dark chocolate or milk chocolate, all types of chocolates are poisonous for dogs. The amount of damage inflicted by each kind of chocolate is dependent on a number of factors. In addition to the size of your dog and the quantity of chocolate he consumed, the type of chocolate is also critical to determine the risk of toxicity.
Important: Real chocolate is always poisonous to dogs. But recipes with carob are safe – this is dog safe “fake chocolate”. If you think your dog has ingested chocolate be SURE to consult your vet.
Basically, Theobromine is the ingredient that makes chocolate inedible for dogs. The metabolism of this component is much slower in dogs (in comparison to humans) which accumulates toxic levels in their system. Similarly, Theobromine stimulates the heart rate and nervous system of dogs that can lead to tremors, internal bleeding, or even a heart attack.
The severity of suffering is dependent on the amount of chocolate consumed, small proportions may only result in vomiting or diarrhea. The very first symptom of Theobromine Poisoning, in your dog, is severe hyperactivity.
Although all types of chocolate are lethal for dogs, some of them are more dangerous than the others. For instance, cocoa powder is the most toxic one, having the highest concentration of Theobromine content. On the other hand, milk chocolate has the least amount of Theobromine in it.
How to Keep Your Dogs Safe from Chocolate Poisoning?
Given the consequences, you must prevent your dog from sneaking around chocolate. The following set of tips will help you achieve this goal.
Keep Chocolate in a “Safe” Place
The very first and obvious thing that you need to do is to preserve all chocolate items beyond the reach of your dog. This message should be clearly conveyed to all the residents of the home, including children. In case of special occasions like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, all the chocolaty gifts should be kept away from dogs.
Crate training is arguably the most effective method to ensure the safety of your dog. Not only is it an extraordinary place for the pet to retreat, but it also saves it from eating anything harmful in your absence. Make sure that you add enough comforts in the crate to create a personal den of your dog.
Use the Command of “Leave It”
It is an extremely easy command to teach (to dogs) but carries immense benefits for your pet. Dogs tend to sniff anything and everything they find on the ground. More often than not, they do like to get some taste, as well. Teaching “Leave It” is quite useful in saving your dog from a number of troubles, including Theobromine poisoning. You can get a detailed guide for teaching your dog by clicking here.
What About Fake Chocolate for Dogs?
Despite the fact that chocolate is harmful to dogs, they CAN consume carob. This sweet-tasting legume serves as a perfect chocolate-like alternative as it is completely safe for dogs. The reason for this is that carob is free from all the harmful components (caffeine and Theobromine) of chocolate. In addition to that, carob contains a variety of useful nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and calcium.
It is extracted from carob trees (a flowering shrub) and is ground into a powder to make ‘Carob Chips’. The appearance of this natural commodity is similar to chocolate and that’s the reason why it is also called the ‘Dog Chocolate’. This flexible ingredient offers an excellent substitute (for chocolate) to enjoy some chocolaty moments with your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Carob Chips?
Yes. Dogs can eat carob chips. A lot of dog bakeries use them for fake chocolate treats for dogs.
Although carob doesn’t carry any harmful components, sweets should only be given to dogs as treats. They should never take up the role of the main course because sugars are generally unhealthy for dogs. For instance, the dogs having too many treats on a daily basis develop gastrointestinal diseases. Likewise, obesity is another critical disease that can grow in such animals.
Generally, dogs should not get more than 10% of their total caloric intake from sweets. Treats made from carob are available in several different forms such as carob cookies and candies.
You can get the exact caloric needs of your dog by using a calculator.
Where to Buy Carob Products?
Amazon is a great place to purchase some quality carob products at the most competitive prices. You get a variety of products to choose from as suppliers from all over the world are listed there. Even though there are numerous products on the forum, we have chosen some of the best for you.
Carob Cookies: Baked Dog Treats from Three Dog Bakery (found on Amazon)
Carob Candies: Choc Drops from Good Boy (Found on Amazon)
Carob Ice Cream: Pooch Creamery Ice Cream from Pooch Creamery (Found on Amazon)
Is Dog Chocolate Safe For Humans?
Given the health benefits of carob, it is a really common question. Carob is absolutely safe for humans but dog treats may have some other unwanted components. Hence, do go through the entire ingredient list of a dog treat before consuming it. Even if all the ingredients are looking fine, there is a chance that you may not like the flavor because the taste of dog chocolate is substantially different from the chocolate we consume.
You can find more about the health benefits of carob (for humans) here.
The Bottom Line on Fake Chocolate for Dogs
If your dog consumes Theobromine their poison levels can rise pretty quickly. Consequently, you need to make sure that chocolate (in any form) is not near them at any cost.
On the other hand, you can safely use carob cookies and ice cream (in reasonable quantities) to make some memorable memories with our pets.