If you're enjoying a chocolate snack, the sight of your dog staring up at you longingly may make you feel a little guilty. Since chocolate is 100 percent a "no-no" for doggies, you'll have to look elsewhere if you want to give your dog a rare sweet treat. Hello, carob.
Even if chocolate seems like the most fantastic thing on earth to you, it isn't so wonderful to your doggie. In fact, the luscious stuff is toxic to canines, and in some cases even deadly. If your pet is on the smaller side and somehow gets her paws on a lot of chocolate -- and then proceeds to eat it -- life-threatening consequences may occur. Although chocolate is especially dangerous to the little guys, it can be just as harmful to bigger breeds. Because of this serious risk, it's important to make sure your dog never, ever has access to chocolate. This also applies to felines, so take note.
Consumption of chocolate can bring upon serious -- and visible -- effects in doggies. If a dog eats chocolate, a wide array of uncomfortable effects may emerge, including diarrhea, throwing up, abnormally hyper behavior, convulsions, tremors, problems with heart rhythm and excessive panting. If you notice any of these signs in your pet, seek emergency veterinary assistance for her immediately. Chocolate poisoning is no joke, so don't waste any time.
Because of chocolate's toxicity to pets, certain types of almond bark are often used as a safe replacement for it. The main difference is that, unlike classic chocolate, some almond bark consists of vegetable fats rather than cocoa butter. It is extremely important to note the warning, however, that the name "almond bark" is occasionally used to describe a chocolate-and-almond blend candy. To avoid any confusion and danger, always look at the ingredient listings for almond bark to make sure it doesn't include chocolate or cocoa butter. If you're ever unsure about the ingredients and what they mean, contact your veterinarian just to be safe. Never, ever allow your dog to consume almond bark unless it's 100 percent devoid of chocolate and related ingredients. According to the ASPCA, chocolate-free almond bark is not toxic to canines. However, the organization notes that almond bark does contain high fat levels.
Due to the rather significant fat content in almond bark, the ASPCA recommends carob as a more suitable chocolate substitute. Like almond bark, carob is 100 percent safe for your doggie, so don't fret. However, dogs don't always react well to major changes in diet. If your dog eats a lot of carob out of nowhere, she may experience diarrhea and tummy ache -- no, thank you. Keep this unpleasant possibility low by only allowing your pet a very small amount of carob. Moderation is key.