Dogs and carob treats: Why all the hype?

Polka Dog Bakery co-owner and biscuit baker Deborah Gregg helps a customer with a treat. The boutique was created to produce all-natural gourmet dog treats for local pets. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
Polka Dog Bakery co-owner and biscuit baker Deborah Gregg helps a customer with a treat. The boutique was created to produce all-natural gourmet dog treats for local pets. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images) /

When people break open crinkly bags of chips or fry food on the stove, dogs often wander into the room to beg for a taste. They experience the world primarily through their nose and taste buds. It’s natural to want to share your delicious food, but denying them a bite of your chocolate brownie might make you feel bad. The good news is that dogs have their own version of chocolate they can enjoy — carob powder.

Read more about why it’s becoming a popular treat for dogs of all ages and how it might benefit your pup’s health.

What Is Carob?

Carob is a tree that grows in the Mediterranean basin and produces seeds. People use those seeds to make plant-powered supplements, but dogs can enjoy it too. When ground into a powder, carob seeds supercharge a dog’s diet with vitamins and nutrients. It’s one of the many reasons carob treats are safe for dogs. They’re incredibly healthy for pups of all ages.

What Are Carob Treats?

You can find these delicious treats in pet stores. Many recipes are also available online if you prefer to make your dog’s treats at home. Each bite has a similar taste to chocolate, but the plant lacks the theobromine compound that makes dogs sick if they eat anything with cocoa.

Benefits of Carob Treats

People may love giving their dogs carob treats because they can resemble the cookies and brownies you’ve always wanted to share. However, carob also provides these benefits for dogs when enjoyed regularly.

1. They Contain Protein

Research shows that the powder contains all-natural protein in small amounts. Even though each treat will only be a minor source of protein, the nutrient can aid your dog’s muscle and hair growth.

If you decide to give your dog carob treats, watch how many treats they get each day. Overfeeding them might disrupt their meal schedule and cause irregular bowel movements. Vets recommend making treats 10% of a dog’s daily diet at most to prevent these problems.

2. They Have Lots of Fiber

Digestive systems benefit from fiber because it softens stool for easy bowel movements. Carob is an excellent source of fiber without any additives.

It could help regulate your dog’s digestive system, which is why many pet owners look into the powder for their dog’s diarrhea. The solid, softened bowel movements will become easier and more frequent, potentially preventing future cancerous growths by moving potential carcinogens through their system faster.

If those carcinogens build up, dogs can develop adenocarcinomas in the colon. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy might be necessary if your vet catches the growth early.

Humans have to get routine colonoscopies after turning 45 and your dog may also get colon inspections during annual visits. However, you can add carob treats to their diet as another preventative measure against potential cancers to ensure their well-being.

3. They Include Antioxidants

Carob seeds are high in antioxidants, which are potent nutrients that eliminate harmful free radicals in the body. If left alone, free radicals cause oxidative damage and tissue disfunctoin that lead to chronic diseases.

Antioxidants will eliminate free radicals in your dog by reducing oxidative stress on their cells. The effect supports their entire body, especially inflammation that leads to periodontal issues.

Although you can find chews that clean your dog’s teeth to prevent bacterial build-up, antioxidants can be a powerful tool for dogs prone to dental disease. Adding carob treats is an easy way to do that, even if you’re on a budget.

The important thing to remember is that even healthy foods require moderation. Dogs can only eat a small amount of carob in each serving. Homemade recipes might include up to a quarter-cup of carob powder, but that splits into 30 or more small cookies. Dogs shouldn’t have free access to as much carob powder as they want or they might get sick from the intense amount of fiber and antioxidants.

4. They Provide Plenty of Vitamins

Vitamins are great for dogs but may be difficult to supplement. Store-bought treats might focus on ingredients like peanut butter and bacon, which aren’t as healthy as carob powder. Carob seeds contain vitamins C and E without any additives.

Treats featuring the powder will help your dog’s health in numerous ways, like strengthening their immune system. If your dog sneezes throughout the week or doesn’t eat their food sometimes, they may be fighting viruses often. A better immune system would help them fight those viruses and feel better throughout the year.

You might get your vitamins from vegetable soups and supplements, but your dog only eats their kibble. Add healthy carob treats to their diet and they may get the nutritional support they need to stay healthy.

5. They Are Organic

Some traditional treats include chemical or artificial ingredients like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). When tested by researchers, the synthetic antioxidant turned into a carcinogen in dogs but is technically legal to include in dog products.

Consuming BHA throughout their life could make a dog more likely to have cancer. Dog owners can reduce those odds by choosing organic or homemade treats with healthy ingredients. Carob treats are an excellent alternative because the organic powder is safe for dogs and doesn’t include chemical additives.

Consider Giving Your Dog Carob Treats

Now that you know how carob benefits dogs, consider adding the powder to your dog’s diet. They may enjoy the new ingredient and its fun flavor. Transform it into pet-safe cookies, brownie bars and more with simple recipes or purchases from organic pet treat companies.

As always, remember that dogs can eat small amounts of carob. Giving a spoonful by itself might cause an upset stomach due to the fiber and nutrient content. Always follow recipes according to the instructions or feeding directions on treat packaging.

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