Let’s face it. Your dog stares and salivates while you eat that cookie or candy bar……. What harm could a little, bitty bite do? LOTS. There is a big difference between safe Carob and unsafe chocolate.
Carob is a naturally sweet (no sugar needed) chocolate substitute that can be ground or made into chips just like chocolate. It comes from the pod of a tree called Ceratonia siliqua that grows in the Mediterranean regions of Greece, Spain, Catalonia, and Sicily. Carob seeds, also known as locust beans, are typically processed into chips, powder, or syrup form. It can be used in baked goods such as cakes and cookies as a chocolate substitute for those who are sensitive to caffeine. Compared to dark chocolate, carob has a sweet and earthy taste, whereas chocolate has a sweet taste with bitter overtones.
Because it doesn’t have caffeine in it, humans who are sensitive to chocolate often use carob as a substitute. Dogs can also eat it because it only has trace amounts of theobromine, which is what makes chocolate so poisonous for dogs in the first place.
So what is in carob? Turns out, a lot that can be healthy for both humans and pets:
- Tons of vitamins, including A, B, B1, B2, B3, B6, D and E
- 3 times as much calcium as cocoa
- Great source of protein
- Lots of fiber
- And several other healthy minerals
Chocolate is a serious medical danger to dogs and cats because it contains theobromine, an alkaloid that functions as a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. Not only can excessive levels of chocolate lead to convulsions in dogs, it can even be fatal. Some of the symptoms associated with chocolate poisoning in dogs are frequent urination, weakness, vomiting, fever, fast breathing, shivering, panting and diarrhea. Never, ever allow your dog to eat chocolate. Also keep in mind that darker-colored chocolate is especially toxic to dogs, although all varieties are potentially harmful.