Can Horses Eat Chocolate?

a brown horse with a white stripe and black mane in a green field, with a chocolate bar and the question 'Can horses eat chocolate?'

Absolutely not! Horses should never eat chocolate, and it’s important to keep all forms of chocolate away from them.Β  On this, we want to concentrate. For many people, including myself who are consuming chocolate, it appears to be a captivating tale. Feeding chocolate causes unfavorable reactions in horses.Β  Horses, however, experience it entirely differently. For a variety of reasons, horses could never consume chocolate. Why say that? Here’s the problem, though! You probably already know that Theobromine and caffeine are two chemicals found in chocolate. These substances act as stimulants and triggers for human health. In some contests, they are vehemently prohibited. When it comes to an animal’s body, they are worse.

A vintage brass gravy boat with a sea horse handle and shell spout filled with chocolate mousse on a blue-grey surfaceAdditionally, a horse has trouble processing the sugar and carbohydrates included in chocolate. These compounds are not as beneficial to human health as they are to equine bodies. They could feel completely overwhelmed by this. Some could argue that nothing horrible can happen since it’s just a piece of chocolate. This is too rash. The effect might not be immediately apparent when they take in a tiny bit of chocolate. But in excessive quantities, it can have devastating effects on horses. Animals like horses cannot distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate food. That is why the horses eat whatever you offer them ❀️. Just because something is edible doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for them. Unfortunately, some people frequently feed animals and believe that doing so is acceptable. Horses have been known to overindulge in cocoa and pass away in rare instances. This untreated chocolate is considerably riskier than the processed variety.

Risks Of Feeding Chocolate To Horses

  • Horses cannot consume chocolate due to their sensitive digestive system and Theobromine’s presence in cocoa, one of chocolate’s primary constituents, this substance can be fatal in excessive doses. A wooden plate with dark chocolate and cocoa beans on a textured tableclothMillions of people all around the world like chocolate, making it one of the most popular treats. The cocoa beans are removed from their shells, piled up, and crushed before being combined with sugars and syrups to create chocolate. All chocolate contains cocoa, even if different kinds employ different combinations of milk, cream, and other ingredients. Theobromine a substance found in cocoa can be lethal in large amounts and can cause major diseases in horses with sensitive digestive systems.
  • Internal bleeding
  • Abdominal abnormality
  • Seizures
  • Heart attacks

Types of Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Variety of chocolate candies on a dark background with bokeh lightsSince it was originally found in South America around 1900 BC, dark chocolate has grown tremendously in popularity. This chocolate has been around for over three thousand years and is used in a variety of dishes, drinks, and other things. The Aztecs and the Mayans employed it in antiquity for both ceremonial and medical purposes. This chocolate, which contains between 50 and 90 percent cacao, is sweet yet tastes considerably richer and more substantial than other varieties like milk and white chocolate. Due to Theobromine, a poisonous chemical present in chocolate, particularly cocoa, these compounds can seriously million of horses in high doses and even be lethal in tiny doses.

Milk Chocolate

Similar to dark chocolate, this also includes Theobromine chemical, but because horses have delicate digestive systems and it might be dangerous and seriously ill for them to consume these chocolates, it is crucial to avoid doing so. Even one ounce of milk chocolate might have as much as 130-150 mg of Theobromine in it. πŸ‘‰Horses may die as a result of this.

White Chocolate

Despite being significantly safer for animals, including horses, white chocolate is still not advised. Originally from Switzerland, it resembles milk chocolate. White chocolate is still chocolate and should not be consumed by animals, notably horses. Horses cannot eat white chocolate. White chocolate, while still chocolate, contains much less Theobromine than other varieties, such as milk and dark chocolate. Theobromine is present at roughly 0.25 milligrams per ounce.

Chocolate Candies

Today, a wide range of forms, sizes, favors, and distributors are available and remain in high demand. Any sort of chocolate, including those popular varieties mentioned above, may also be found in these treats. These candies could contain anything within, including cream, dried fruits, or even additional chocolate. This extensive diversity and the presence of chocolate mean that it cannot be consumed by horses because it is still a chocolate product. Of course, this varies on the type and quantity of chocolate, but overall, Theobromine levels vary.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

A wooden bowl filled with chunks of dark chocolate on a blue wooden surfaceOriginating in Massachusetts in the 1920s, chocolate chip cookies have gained widespread renown throughout the world. Ruth Wakefield, the renowned owner of the Toll House bakery, created the dish in the beginning. Overall, because they contain chocolate, chocolate chip cookies are not a good option to feed horses unless the chocolate is removed and new ingredients are used, such as specially created horse treats, recipes for which may be found online or in other publications. It is frequently not a good idea to feed horses any sort of chocolate, especially cookies due to the increased sugar content and appearance of chocolate. These cookies are mostly made of sugars and flour but also contain a component of chocolate, which can differ.

Chocolate as Horse Feed?

Don’t worry if you only allow your horse to consume one piece of chocolate. As was previously established, chocolate contains several compounds that are harmful to horses. When you allow them to consume a substantial amount, it has a surprising result. The horse is resilient. It is stressful if you allow your horse to consume a significant amount of chocolate. Your horse may react by becoming irritated, lethargic, and worn out. For additional guidance and assistance, you ought to contact a veterinarian.

Does Chocolate Have Anything To Do With Horse Races?

A woman is a riding horse in a riding dress and sitting comfortably on a horse practicing at an ideal riding natural location.As previously established, Theobromine and caffeine in chocolate can agitate and stimulate horses. Before competitions, many people give their horses chocolate to help them outperform the opposition. The match’s judges initially assumed that was merely a pet owner taking care of their animal. They later learned, however, that the ingredients in chocolate can increase a horse’s speed. As a result, they forbade providing horses with food that contains chocolate before the game. Every horse enthusiast should admit that, despite having a minimal impact on the health of horses, chocolate does affect them in some ways. Furthermore, scientists discover that these compounds cannot be absorbed into human systems, even though the negative effects of consuming chocolate look negligible with a small intake. Therefore, those materials will be retained and added daily. The horse may suffer a deadly outcome if there is not a certain quantity of those substances. This is a striking illustration of how well-intention people may make poor decisions. Therefore, please think about the negative effects before feeding your horse or other creatures in general if you truly care about them.

Theobromine in Chocolate

Chocolate ice cream dessert with chocolate shavings on a dark blue floral plateIt has been said that racehorses are given chocolate to give them an advantage. There is some truth in this even though it isn’t entirely accurate. Two main components of chocolate, Theobromine, and caffeine are both prohibited substances for racehorses. Both substances will cause a racehorse to be disqualified from the competition. Theobromine causes Unfavorable effects in horses. Although a modest dose might not be harmful to your horse’s health, larger doses might quickly make your horse ill. Even lethal doses might be possible.

Problems With Chocolate as Horse Feed

Of course, Theobromine isn’t the only component of chocolate that could be harmful to your horse. Let’s examine three additional issues that chocolate may cause for your horse.

Sugar Content

Horses already consume a significant amount of sugar from the hay they frequently eat. However, a horse might experience a variety of issues from too much sugar. Weight gain is the most fundamental problem it can lead to. A horse that is overweight won’t be as healthy as one that is balanced in terms of weight and stature. However, excessive sugar consumption can lead to much worse outcomes than simply weight gain. Additionally, it may cause metabolic problems or perhaps colic. Regular sugar over-consumption can even lead to chronic inflammation.


Due to its high-calorie content, chocolate is one food that individuals strive to avoid eating too much of. A few pieces of chocolate can significantly increase your daily calorie intake. Even if you don’t consume a lot of chocolate, this makes it quite simple to overeat and put on weight.


A stimulant, caffeine is. Humans utilize it to stay awake and aware, but just like when we take too much, it can make your horse jittery, anxious, and stressed out. Though they don’t realize it, your horse will probably want to keep eating it for the flavor alone.

Consequences of Feeding Horses Chocolate

Three slices of chocolate cake on a wooden cutting board with cocoa beans and a silver teapotAn upset stomach is the most frequent and evident issue that might arise when feeding chocolate to your horse. They can get diarrhea and problems digesting the chocolate. If you continue to consume chocolate for an extended period, more effects may happen. Soon after will come weight gain. To the sweet flavor of chocolate, your horse can develop an addiction as well. If this occurs, individuals can stop eating other things that they genuinely need in their diet because they start craving chocolate. You might make your horse quite ill if you overfeed it severely.


Even though a modest amount of chocolate is probably not going to cause your horse any immediate harm, you should still try to avoid it. Due to its high calorie and sugar content, chocolate can cause weight gain and metabolic problems. Additionally, your horse should avoid chocolate because it contains Theobromine, which can irritate their stomach or worse. Long-term feeding may lead to addiction. Therefore, it is generally recommended that horses never be given chocolate, much like dogs. Many people are fascinated by chocolate. Not everyone can resist it because of its sweetness and fattiness. The situation is different when horses eat chocolate, though.


Unless your horse has underlying health conditions, peanut butter is a safe treat to offer in moderation. In fact, peanut butter is not all empty calories – it has some nutritional benefits that can actually make it a healthy treat for horses if given sparingly.
Vegetables like garlic and onions are members of the family of plants called the β€œallium” family. (The allium family of plants also includes chives, shallots and leeks.) These plants should generally be avoided by horses because they can damage red blood cells and lead to sickness.
Types of chocolate and their theobromine amounts
Chocolate TypeAmount of theobromine
Dark chocolate1oz has about 60mg
Milk chocolate1oz has about 130-150mg
White chocolate1oz has about 0.25mg
Chocolate candies1oz about 0.25-300mg(depends on amount)
Chocolate chip cookies1 cookie is about 25-50mg(depends on amount)
The Theobromine in chocolate can cause severe colic, seizures, metabolic derangements and internal bleeding in horses.

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