Well, not so good or I wouldn’t have fed them to the pig.
Yesterday I made malted milk chocolate chip cookies. Yes, they are as good as they sound. (Or so I’ve been told. So far I have resisted their siren call. They smell like Whoppers®!) But nine of them stayed in the oven too long and were dark and crispy instead of golden and chewy.
I generally assume that pigs, being omnivores, can eat pretty much anything people can eat, but given what I’ve been told all my life about a molecule of chocolate being certain death for dogs, I thought I’d check it out.
As you may have suspected, given my sarcasm, no, chocolate is not highly toxic to dogs or pigs. The theobromine and caffeine in chocolate can poison them but they have to eat a lot of it. As a general rule, of course, it’s not wise to feed candy of any kind to pigs or dogs (or cats or rats or guinea pigs or toddlers near their bedtime . . .) but it was that or the garbage can for these cookies. This handy site tells you just how much chocolate you can get away with feeding to your dog (OK, actually the idea is that you can calculate how much damage Poochie has done to himself while rifling through the groceries or how much damage Junior did to Poochie at the BBQ). The approximately 2 ounces of chocolate chips in the cookies I threw to Black Pig present no threat. The worst that could happen – according to other, less lawyered-up websites – is he would get hyped up. (Incidentally, he did. When it started snowing he ran in circles around his hut, barking and generally acting like a nut job.) The calculator told me that it would have taken about twice that amount of semi-sweet chocolate to make Black throw up or get diarrhea and twice that amount to cause serious damage.
Now, before anyone starts drafting an angry letter, let me state firmly that I’m not going to make a habit of giving the pigs chocolate. This is, in fact, the first time I have given chocolate to them. We sometimes inherit old baked goods in a diagonal manner from a local food bank (because they, too, would rather feed my pigs than a landfill) but, oddly enough, there’s never anything chocolate. (Because they, like us, give chocolate anything the priority on their plates.)
I am also not going to start indiscriminately feeding chocolate to dogs or other pets, either. But I am pleased to know, once and for all, just how much is too much should I find a friend’s dog with his face in their birthday cake. (Which is 100% possible: it happened to us with Bucky Cat at a bachelorette party. It was a Care BearsTM cake and the little bastard was streaked with rainbow frosting from his toothless gob to the tip of his twitchy tail. We were only out of the room for five minutes.) I am also pleased to know that if Black finally tunnels out of his enclosure à la Charles Bronson in The Great Escape I can lure him back in with a cookie without hurting him in the process.