Easter is fast approaching! But whilst you are chowing down on some delicious chocolatey treats, what will your pets be eating? One of the things you learn as a pet parent is what human foods are safe for your pets to eat and which ones are definitely off the dinner table. Chocolate definitely tops the list of "no's"—theobromine and caffeine are two compounds in chocolate that stimulate the nervous system, which can cause severe negative symptoms and is toxic to our four-legged friends. However, you may have noticed some pet shops selling chocolatey looking pet treats, why is this? Well, there’s no need to worry because that isn’t actually chocolate. It’s carob … which is a super tasty and totally safe alternative for our furry friends!
A carob pod. Image via Backyard Forager.
While chocolate comes from cocoa beans, carob chips are made from the pod of a carob tree. Inside the pod is sweet pulp that is dried, roasted, and ground into a powder. You’ll find both carob powder and carob chips are available to buy. Not only is carob free of the toxic compounds found in chocolate, it also contains fibre, potassium, and vitamins. Like all of life's luxuries, carob treats should be fed to your pets in moderation, if you have any concerns you should consult your vet before giving your pet new foods. So, without further ado, here are some delicious carob treat recipes for cats & dogs!
For Dogs: Carob Peanut Butter Cups
We have adapted this recipe from the wonderful Proud Dog Mom blog, these peanut butter and carob treats take inspiration from the famous Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and they are just as delicious, but totally canine friendly! *Note* When buying peanut butter for your dog, always check the ingredients carefully for no sugar, salt or most importantly sweetener as xylitol is poisonous to dogs. Ideally you want one that is made from just peanuts!
- 1 tablespoon carob chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons organic peanut butter
- Optional 1 teaspoon flaxseed to garnish
- Put a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to create a bain marie
- Melt half of the carob chips and coconut oil into the bowl to melt together. Mix continuously until they reach a smooth consistency
- Spoon the melted carob mixture into your mould (ice cube trays work if you have nothing fancy!)
- Freeze for 5 minutes or until set
- Spoon your peanut butter on top. If your peanut butter is too thick, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to get to a thinner consistency
- Freeze for 10 minutes or until set
- Repeat the carob melting process with the other half of the carob chips and coconut oil
- Spoon final layer of carob onto the peanut butter layer
- If using, sprinkle to tops of the treats with flaxseed for added nutrients and texture
- Freeze for 2 hours, or until completely set
Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer in an air-tight container and enjoy!
For Cats: Cat Carob Biscuits
This simple biscuit recipe is easy to make and is high in essential minerals for your cat whilst satisfying their sweet tooth! We love adding catnip to our homemade kitty treats, but if your cat isn't a fan feel free to leave it out of this recipe.
- 1/2 cup organic carob powder
- 3 cups organic buckwheat flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1-2 tablespoons catnip
- Mix all ingredients together to make a dough. Melt the coconut oil if you are finding it difficult to incorporate. You could do this step using a dough hook attachment on a stand mixer if you have one, or just do it by hand
- Sprinkle your surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out your dough to 1/4 inch thick
- Cut out your biscuit shapes using a cookie cutter or a sharp knife
- Place the biscuits on a baking paper lined baking tray
- Bake in the oven at 135 degrees (or the lowest temperature your oven goes to) for 55 minutes or until crisp to the touch
Store your biscuits in an air-tight container or in the fridge. These biscuits can also be frozen and fed at a later date, just be sure to thoroughly thaw them first.
We hope you have an indulgent Easter, be sure to spoil yourselves and your furry friends! Have your pets ever tried carob treats before? We hope you give these recipes a go, remember to tag us in any photos if you do try to recreate them on Instagram @hiroandwolf