Can Horses Eat Chocolate? Quick Answer

Can Horses eat chocolate? is an annoying question by horse lovers. Chocolate, the most popular sweet, is the processed form of fruit from a tree called “Food of Gods”. According to the FCIA, chocolate contains lecithin, sugar, cocoa liquor, and some vanilla and cocoa butter but they are optional. 

It’s safe for you to eat but is it safe for the other members of your family like horses, dogs, and cats. Can they join you in your little celebration?

Not everything that is safe for you to eat is safe for your horses and other pets. There are a few things that you should not let them have at any cost. But is the chocolate one of them? Here is the answer.

Can horses eat chocolate?

No, they can not. It might kill your horse. Chocolate might help humans with few issues but they are no good for horses and a few other animals. Consuming it in small quantities may bring less damage but it will still raise some serious health issues.

Feeding chocolate to the horses

As I have mentioned in the previous paragraph it can take your horse’s life. There’s no point you still think it’s okay to let it have a bit of it. 

Even an inch of it is risky. We all know we treat our pets as our family and we love feeding them what we enjoy eating. But this element called “theobromine” combined with caffeine and sugar makes it life-threatening for animals like horses.

But chocolates are being given as a treat by their masters just before race

Not as a treat actually but to give horses a competitive edge in the race. No doubt, It aids in boosting up their performance but the health risk is still there pretty much yelling “don’t do this” at their owners. Horses, dogs, and few other animals find it super hard to digest so it stays there in their stomach for a long time. 

What health issues can it raise besides death?

Death is the obvious one but your horse can face some other issues too if it’s lucky enough to survive. And they are:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Metabolic derangements
  • Seizure
  • Colic
  • Diarrhea 

This slow poison can raise countless other issues too if your horse is physically weak.

How Chocolate is dangerous for horses?

Because it is formulated using all toxic elements that are sugar, caffeine, and theobromine. This combination makes it a terrible choice for animals like horses and dogs etc. It is considered a slow death pill and who has the heart to see their beloved pets dying this way?

horse eating chocolate

How do these elements(theobromine, caffeine) do to horse body?

These elements destroy the internal system differently, eventually causing them to die a slow death.

  • Theobromine, the second it goes in the animal’s body, starts making it’s way to the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system. It affects them badly you may or may not notice any sign but it is destroying their system. 
  • Caffeine is as dangerous as theobromine. But it affects the horse’s body in a totally different way. It may raise their blood pressure and make them lose their muscle control. Caffeine can also cause cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, and tumors.
  • Sugar leads to laminitis, metabolic syndrome, and colic as it stresses the digestive tract. But it is less damaging than the above-mentioned items. Limited and balanced sugar consumption is okay but it should be avoided.

Animals like horses and dogs find it hard to digest and it stays in their bloodstream up to at least 200 hours and causes their hearts to beat faster. They may experience a heart attack, hallucinations, epileptic seizures, etc. 

Besides these extremely harmful elements, chocolate contains protein, potassium, vitamin A, C, D, B-6, magnesium, iron. No doubt, they are super beneficial for horses to have in their food. But the three toxic elements( Caffeine, Theobromine, sugar) have taken over the good side of the picture.

What to do- if your horse has eaten it by mistake?

There is nothing you can do to treat chocolate toxicity in your pet.  Get it checked by the doctor as soon as possible. Follow the doctor’s instructions and do not let it consume more. 


Other Treats that Horses Can eat

Feeding chocolate to horses is not important. There are a lot of other feeds that can help you to provide him with nutrients and supplement requirement. Horses can eat celery, oranges, tomatoes and many other treats.

Frequently Asked Questions about horses eating chocolate

Is there a way to treat chocolate toxicity in the horses?

To some extent, it can be treated if chocolate is consumed in a small quantity. This case can go out of the hands if it is consumed by the horse in large quantities.

What are the best alternative treats for horses?

Peppermint, carob, carrots, grapes, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, celery, pumpkin, snow peas, apples, and sweet potatoes can be alternatives to chocolate treats for horses.

What chocolate does to horses?

It does so much harm to their body for example:

  • It makes their heart beat faster.
  • Raises blood pressure
  • It causes internal bleeding
  • Colic, diarrhea, hallucinations, epileptic seizures are also noticed upon chocolate consumption.

What makes chocolate harmful for horses?

The presence of elements like theobromine, caffeine makes it extremely harmful for horses.

Can chocolate toxicity kill a horse?

Yes, it can. However, it is more common in other cases like dogs but that doesn’t mean it can not kill a horse. A horse may face some issues first which will eventually lead to death.

Why do the authorities ban the horse who has eaten chocolate to race?

Because it’s cruel. It raises health issues but it boosts their performance for some time. This is why they do not let the horse who has eaten chocolate enter the race.

Can I let my horse have some chocolate?

No, you should not. In fact, do not give it to any of your pets. It is extremely dangerous for them. If not “death” it can bring up some very serious health issues.


No, horses should never be allowed to have chocolates as a treat. Try giving them apples and sweet potatoes instead. A combination of Caffeine and a toxic element called theobromine makes it a deadly threat to their lives. Do you have the heart to see your pet horse dying a slow painful death? No? Avoid it at all costs.

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

Leave a Comment