Carob: A Dog's Chocolate
Has your dog ever gotten into chocolate? You may have made an emergency trip to the vet, or just dealt with cleaning up messes for a couple of days, but it probably didn't deter your dog from wanting more. There are few things that satisfy a chocolate craving, but one comparable and significantly healthier food is carob. It is derived from an evergreen flowering shrub and belongs to the legume family, and both the pods and seeds are edible. Carob can be found in the form of powder or chips, making it easy to substitute carob for chocolate in most recipes.
Carob has a naturally sweet and pleasant flavor, and is packed with nutrients. It is rich in vitamins A, B, B1, B2, B3, B6 and D, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and protein. Carob is also rich in fiber and pectin, which helps eliminate toxins from the body. This super food improves digestion, lowers cholesterol, and can be used to treat diarrhea. The vitamin E content in carob helps to treat coughs, flu, and anemia. It can even be used to fight against osteoporosis because of it allows better absorption of calcium.
As important as what carob contains is what it does not. Unlike commercial chocolate, carob does not contain theobromine, caffeine, phenylethylamine or fromamide. These are stimulants that can cause migraines and allergic reactions in some people and are toxic to dogs and cats. People who are allergic or sensitive to chocolate can use carob powder as a chocolate substitute in any recipe. Carob also contains fewer calories than chocolate, and, because it is naturally sweet, the amount of added sugar in a recipe can be reduced when replacing carob with chocolate.
Carob is a fantastic food as it is rare to find a sweet treat that is delicious, nutritious, and can be safely enjoyed by both humans and dogs. The next time you are looking for a special and healthy treat for your pet, head to your local dog bakery and pick out something dipped in carob or made with carob powder. Your pup will love you for it!