Can Horses Eat Chocolate?

Can Horses Eat Chocolate social

Beware that horses can’t eat chocolate because of theobromine. Chocolate is from cocoa seeds. This cocoa has theobromine which is detrimental to the equine’s digestive system. A small amount can make a horse sick, and a large intake leads to fatality.

Chocolate has caffeine, sugar content, and calories. These substances are not good for a horse’s well-being. The Association of Racing Commissioner International categorized caffeine as a prohibited drug. Thus, trainers should not feed racehorses chocolate.

The researchers from Ohio State University have the same findings. The caffeine and theobromine in chocolate boost the performance of a horse. But it delivers a harmful consequence or even lethal effect.

It doesn’t always follow that your horses can eat the foods you like. Chocolates make humans feel better, but the effect is different for horses. Read this article to know what happens to chocolate inside a horse’s body.

Is Chocolate Safe For Horses?

As mentioned, horses can’t eat chocolate. In other words, chocolate is not safe for horses. It will give them an upset stomach for sure.

Besides theobromine and caffeine, the sugar content and calories have unpleasant effects. Know what the substances can do once they enter a horse’s body.


When a horse ingests theobromine, there’s a disturbance in its digestive system. It gets worse when the animal eats a lot of chocolate, and fatality can happen. It’s possible because of internal bleeding, heart attack, seizure, and colic. Be aware that dark chocolate has the highest amount of theobromine which is 60 grams per oz.

broken chocolate bars on wooden tray


This stimulant can make racehorses go fast because it keeps them awake and alert. But it’s not recommended and even prohibited for equine consumption. Yes, it can energize horses when performing in a race, but there are adverse effects.

You may not be able to control the caffeine when a horse eats chocolate. Excessive amounts lead to jitters, stress, and anxiety.

Sugar Content

Horses consume hay daily, and it has some sugar for energy. But too much sugar is not suitable for them. The main effect is gaining excessive weight. As you know, an overweight horse doesn’t imply good health.

The sugar content from chocolate doesn’t only cause unnecessary weight. A horse can have colic and metabolic problems too. When there’s sugar overload, chronic inflammation can happen.

This sugar content can mess up the insulin level and blood glucose of horses with laminitis. The same thing happens to those with equine metabolic syndrome.


A few pieces of chocolate contain a considerable amount of calories. You can gain weight when you only eat some; the same can happen to your horse.

dark sweet chocolate

Can Horses Have White Chocolate

Horses can’t have white chocolate as it’s still chocolate. You should know that there’s 1 oz of theobromine for 0.25 mg of white chocolate. If you look at the amount of theobromine, it’s much lower than other kinds of chocolate.

You may think that it’s safe for horses. Don’t entertain this idea, as it’s not worth it to gamble your horses’ health.

Can Horses Have Hot Chocolate?

As the name suggests, hot chocolate is the form of melted chocolate. It’s made from powdered cocoa, so there are harmful components for horses. Institute of Food Technology conducted a study about chocolate products.

The examination of chocolate products took place in High-Performance Liquid Chromatography. Hot chocolate is one of them. The result shows that hot chocolate has 65 mg of theobromine and 4 mg of caffeine for every 5 oz.

A chocolate milk drink with a sugar mixture is not an exemption. It has 58 mg theobromine and 5 mg caffeine for every 8 oz. The study looked into different products, and theobromine and caffeine are always present.

There are variations in the amount of these substances. The ratio of theobromine to caffeine ranges from 23.0 to 1 or 2.5 to 1. Thus, you can’t even feed your horse a ready-to-drink chocolate beverage.

Can Horses Eat Chocolate Cake

Again, horses can’t eat chocolate cake. This dessert contains theobromine, caffeine, and sugar. Please think of the calories it can put in your horse’s body.

Don’t forget that baked goodies like chocolate cake have eggs and dairy products. The horse’s digestive system finds it hard to digest these ingredients. Chocolate cake is a treat for you, but it’s not for horses. These animals can enjoy treats like watermelon and strawberries without harmful effects.

chocolate cupcake with icing and chocolate bar

Can Horses Eat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Horses can’t eat regular chocolate chip cookies because of the presence of cocoa. But there are cookies safe for horses by following a particular recipe. Aside from cocoa or chocolate in chocolate chip cookies, sugar and dairy are not great for horses. Baked chocolate has 450 mg of theobromine per oz.

When a horse eats these cookies, it’s easy for a sugar spike because it lacks fiber and carbohydrates. Horses can only tolerate the lactose from their mothers. Since the dairy used for chocolate cookies is from cows, they can’t digest it.

Is Chocolate Bad For Horses

Chocolate is bad for horses. It has substances that alter the regular operation of the digestive system. Hence, it will be difficult for these animals to digest this food. Even if they only eat a small amount, they can get diarrhea.

Continuous feeding leads to severe cases. It starts with weight gain and addiction to the sweet taste of chocolate. Your horse will lose interest in other foods if it craves chocolate.

When it eats a lot of chocolate, it will have colic and even anxiety due to caffeine. These things can also lead to death, so it’s best not to introduce chocolate even a tiny bit to your horses.

Are Horses Allergic to Chocolate

Horses are not allergic to chocolate. But the exact description is that a large amount of chocolate is poisonous to horses. Chocolate becomes toxic in a horse’s body. It happens because it takes longer to digest in its system compared to the human’s stomach.

There’s a high level of toxicity when a massive quantity of chocolate enters the horse’s body. Your horse won’t only have metabolic derangement and colic. It can also suffer from seizures and internal bleeding.

At some point, the situation can lead to death, so always think of the severe effects of chocolate. It happens when there’s no chance to treat the toxicity. The horse will die due to cardiac dysfunction.

melting chocolate on stove for cooking

How Much Chocolate Can a Horse Have?

I can’t suggest any amount of chocolate that your horse can have. Due to the number of substances that pose a risk, never give your horses chocolate. You don’t want them to crave it and overeat.

They won’t only suffer from the effects of a large amount of chocolate. It can break your heart when they perish because of chocolate toxicity.


Always remember that horses can’t eat chocolate. Blame it on theobromine, which becomes a toxin inside the horse’s body. It happens as the metabolism of chocolate is slow in an equine’s digestive system. Caffeine is also in chocolate and can cause stress and anxiety in horses.

The sugar and calories in chocolate can lead horses to obesity. Those with laminitis and metabolic syndrome may get worse due to sugar content. Resort to safe fruits and vegetables when giving your horses treats. Not everything that you eat is good for them, like chocolate.

Leave a Comment