Guilt-free “chocolate” Easter dog treats? Oh yeah! We’re in! These easy DIY carob Easter gummy dog treats only take a few minutes to prepare (plus set-time) and the ingredients are simple, healthy, and doggone delicious. You can make them plain or with a splash of milk to the treats slightly opaque, like a milk chocolate gummy without any of the chocolatey badness.
Chocolate vs. Carob
Real Chocolate is Toxic for Dogs
Sharing actual chocolate is a doggy no-no. Chocolate is one of the most common causes of accidental dog poisoning around the home, with human holiday sweets raising the risks. While the high sugar and/or fat content of many human treats are bad for dogs, chocolate presents the extra risk of theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. The quantity of theobromine varies and the effect on a dog will depend on quantity consumes, size of the dog, and pre-existing health issues. Contact your trusted vet for emergency advice if you are ever in doubt about something your pet has consumed.
Make sure the Easter bunny knows to be extra cautious about hiding anything that your pup might get and that human Easter baskets are kept safe from any four-legged chocolate snatchers.
Dog-Friendly “Chocolate” Treats
With those risks and issues in mind, you might then be surprised to discover that many commercial dog-friendly “chocolate” treats contain sugars, oils/fats, and some even use cocoa powder. Eek! Always check ingredient labels and choose with awareness. While very small quantities may not cause harm, why risk it when carob is a yummy dog-friendly (and healthy) alternative?
Swapping Chocolate for Carob
Carob is naturally sweet and flavoursome. It smells a lot like chocolate, but I find it tastes a little different with a slightly nutty spicy zing. Pure carob powder is pretty doggone nutritious too. It’s high in fiber and anti-oxidants, low-fat, low-calorie, and free from gluten, lactose, and caffeine. Pawesome!
Guilt-Free Healthy Carob Gummy Easter Dog Treat Recipe
Carob Powder and Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats
- 1 cup cool water or unseasoned low-sodium chicken stock
- 3 tbsp quality powdered gelatin
- 1 tbsp carob powder
Carob and gelatin are enticing enough flavours that my dogs enjoy these treats made with water (like the treats shown), but you can use stock if you’d like. We might wrinkle our noses at chocolatey soup, but dogs find the combo downright drool worthy. My go-to stock is simple unseasoned broth saved from preparing homemade dog food.
- Measure the water into a small pan.
- Sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder.
- Wait and let sit for approximately five minutes or longer for the gelatin powder to bloom / gel.
- Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Take care not to shortcut with high temperatures or overheat. Heat can reduce the setting strength of gelatin.
- Remove from heat.
- Measure your carob powder into a suitable container for mixing and pouring. I like using a coffee milk jug when I make gummies.
- Mix a small spoonful of the prepared liquefied gelatin with the powders to dissolve/mix with minimal lumps and clumps. Once mixed, add in the rest of your gelatin and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Pour into a glass pan (cut and slice) or silicone moulds (shapes).
- Chill to set.
Making a Milk "Chocolate" Version of the Gummy Treats
To make a milk chocolate version of the treats, swap a small amount of the water for milk. I used approximately 2 tbsp of lactose free trim milk in the gummies pictured below. If your dog is sensitive to dairy, an alternative milk such as goat’s milk or unsweetened coconut milk may be alternatives. The remainder of the treat prep is the same as the recipe above.
Gummy Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- See our comprehensive post on making and storing homemade gelatin gummy dog treats for additional information about making gummy treats including helpful gummy making tips, troubleshooting, and safe treat storage.
- These treats should be kept refrigerated and can be frozen for longer storage, although freezing can affect consistency.
- Depending on your carob powder and the quantity you use, some of the powder may settle. Cooling can help with a cleaner unmoulding and prettier treat. To suspend solids in a gummy, you can cool the prepared gelatin mixture down to just above its setting point so that it is thick and viscous enough to hold the floating and/or sinking pieces distributed through the gummy mixture. Slowly, stirring often, allow the mixture to cool and thicken. You can do this at room temperature, but it will be faster if you use the fridge (or an ice bath, if you prefer). When the mixture has thickened enough, spoon or pour the mixture into your moulds to set.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- In my experience, 3 tbsp of gelatin powder per cup of liquid makes firm gummies. If you prefer, you can use more gelatin for added supplementation or less for a jigglier jelly treat with lower gelatin content. Individual gelatin powders may be a little stronger / weaker. Find a ratio that works for your preferences and, of course, your dog.
🦴 Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas here from treats that we make ourselves for our pets, but different animals will have different preferences (likes or dislikes) and dietary needs. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies or intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.