Can Goats Eat Chocolate? 5 Reasons It’s Not A Good Idea

Can goats eat chocolate? Unfortunately, it’s not a good idea to feed them this tasty treat. Chocolate is toxic to goats and can make them very sick.

Most people know chocolate is not suitable for dogs, but it’s also not good for goats. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are both toxic to goats. Ingesting large amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart problems in goats. So if you own a goat, it’s best to keep chocolate away from them.

In this post, we’ll explain why chocolate is bad for goats and offer tips on what to feed them instead.

can goats eat chocolate

Can goats eat chocolate?

Goats are notorious for eating just about anything, so it’s no surprise that someone might wonder if they can eat chocolate. After all, many people enjoy a delicious chocolate treat from time to time.

However, it’s important to remember that goats are not people. Chocolate can be toxic to goats. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be poisonous to goats in large quantities. Chocolate also contains caffeine, another substance that can be harmful to goats.

As a result, it’s best to avoid giving chocolate to goats. If you have any concerns about what your goat should or shouldn’t eat, consult a veterinarian or other animal expert.

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Symptoms of theobromine poisoning

Theobromine poisoning is a serious health concern for goats. Theobromine is found in cocoa beans and products made from them, such as chocolate. When goats consume theobromine, they can experience several symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures.

The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of theobromine consumed and the goat’s sensitivity to the chemical. If you suspect your goat has consumed theobromine, it is essential to seek veterinary care immediately. With prompt treatment, many goats make a full recovery.

What to do if your goat eats chocolate

milk chocolate bars

Chocolate is one of the most popular sweets in the world, and it’s not just humans who enjoy its rich flavor. Unfortunately, chocolate can be dangerous for goats, and even a tiny amount can cause health problems.

If your goat eats chocolate, you should first check the package to see how much cocoa is in the product. Generally speaking, the higher the cocoa content, the more dangerous the chocolate is for goats.

If it’s only a small amount, you can keep an eye on your goat and make sure they’re drinking plenty of water. However, if your goat has eaten a large amount of chocolate, it’s important to call a vet as soon as possible.

Reasons why goats can’t eat chocolate

Some foods can be downright dangerous for goats. Chocolate is one of those foods. Here’s a look at five reasons why chocolate is bad for goats.

Chocolate Contains Theobromine

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is poisonous to goats. Theobromine stimulates the nervous system and can cause an increase in heart rate, restlessness, and tremors. In large enough quantities, theobromine can be fatal.

Fortunately, it takes quite a bit of chocolate for theobromine to reach toxic levels in goats; however, it’s best to be safe and keep chocolate out of their reach altogether.

Chocolate Contains Sugar

Another reason you shouldn’t feed chocolate to goats is that it contains sugar. Goats need a diet that is high in fiber and low in sugar. Too much sugar can lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and joint problems.

Chocolate is also difficult for goats to digest due to its high sugar content. So, not only is it bad for them nutritionally speaking, but it can also give them digestive problems.

Chocolate Contains Caffeine

One of the main reasons why chocolate is poisonous to goats is because it contains caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause goats to become agitated and nervous. In large enough quantities, caffeine can even be fatal to goats.

So, if you’ve got a goat that’s getting into your chocolate stash, make sure to keep it out of reach.

Chocolate Contains Fat

Another reason why chocolate is dangerous for goats is that it contains fat. Chocolate is high in saturated fat, which can lead to health problems like obesity and heart disease in goats.

In addition, chocolate can also cause digestive problems in goats, such as diarrhea and vomiting. So, if you want to keep your goat healthy and happy, make sure they steer clear of chocolate.

Chocolate Has Very Little Nutrients

While chocolate may taste good, it has very little nutritional value. Chocolate is bad for goats since it doesn’t contain the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Chocolate is high in calories but low in essential vitamins and minerals. So, if you’re looking for a treat to give your goat, make sure it’s something that’s good for them.

Can goats eat small amounts of chocolate?

goat and kid

While it’s generally not a good idea to give goats chocolate, small amounts shouldn’t cause them any harm. Goats are curious creatures and often put anything they can find into their mouths, so it’s best to keep chocolate out of their reach.

If a goat does eat chocolate, monitor them closely for signs of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea. They should be fine if they only eat a small amount of chocolate.

Can goats eat milk chocolate?

No, goats cannot eat milk chocolate. Milk chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to goats. In humans, theobromine acts as a mild stimulant. However, in goats, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and even death.

In addition to theobromine, milk chocolate also contains sugar and fat. These ingredients can also be harmful to goats if consumed in large quantities. For these reasons, it is best to avoid giving goats milk chocolate.

Can goats eat dark chocolate?

No, goats cannot eat dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains the highest concentration of theobromine; even a small amount of dark chocolate can cause gastrointestinal upset and other symptoms.

For this reason, it is essential to keep dark chocolate away from goats at all times.

Can goats eat white chocolate?

While dark chocolate is the most dangerous type for goats, white chocolate is much less dangerous because it contains lower levels of theobromine. That said, white chocolate is still not ideal for goats.

It contains sugar and fat, leading to health problems like obesity and diabetes. In addition, white chocolate contains trace amounts of theobromine, meaning it should be avoided if possible. Ultimately, goats should stick to eating hay and grass instead of indulging in sugary treats.

What other foods are poisonous to goats?

fresh onions

Goats are curious creatures and will eat anything you put in front of them. However, along with chocolate, some foods can poison goats and even cause death. So, what are these foods? Below are four foods you should keep away from your goat.


Garlic may be a healthy food for humans, but it is poisonous to goats. Even a small amount of garlic can cause anemia in goats. If you suspect your goat has eaten garlic, watch for symptoms such as lethargy, weakness, and decreased appetite.


Onions are another food that is healthy for humans but poisonous to goats. Onions contain thiosulphate, which can cause hemolytic anemia in goats. Symptoms of onion poisoning in goats include weakness, increased heart rate, labored breathing, and collapse.


Caffeine is a stimulant and can be toxic to goats if consumed in large quantities. Symptoms of caffeine toxicity in goats include restlessness, anxiety, increased heart rate, and tremors.

Oak Leaves

Oak leaves contain a substance called tannin, which can cause digestive upset in goats if consumed in large quantities. Symptoms of oak leaf toxicity in goats include diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Small amounts of oak leaves can be beneficial for goats, but don’t let them roam where you have oak trees.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Oak Leaves?

What treats are safe for goats?

One thing goat owners must be aware of is what kind of treats their goats can eat. There are a lot of myths and misinformation out there about what goats can and can’t eat, so it’s important to do your research before feeding your goat anything other than hay, fresh vegetables, and water.


Yes, goats can eat apples. Apples are a great source of vitamins A and C for goats. However, you should remove the apple seeds before giving them to your goat, as the seeds contain cyanide, which is poisonous to goats.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Apples? 6 Fantastic Benefits


Carrots are another great treat for goats. They are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the goat’s body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, eyesight, and immunity.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Carrots? 5 Fantastic Benefits


Watermelon is a refreshing treat for goats in the summer. It is hydrating and contains important vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.


Pumpkin is an excellent treat for goats, especially in the fall. It is high in fiber, which is essential for goats’ digestive health. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamins A and C.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Pumpkin? 6 Amazing Benefits

How to give goats a healthy diet

When it comes to goat care, what you feed them is just as important as how much you feed them. A healthy diet for a goat consists of hay, fresh vegetables, and a limited amount of grain. Now we will go over the different types of food that goats can eat and how to ensure that your goats are getting the nutrition they need.

Types of Hay

The type of hay you feed your goats can greatly affect their overall health. Goats are browsers, not grazers like cows, which means they prefer to eat small amounts of many different types of plants rather than large amounts of one type of plant.

The best hay for goats is a mix of legumes and grasses. Some good options for goat hay include alfalfa, clover, and timothy hay. Avoid giving your goats hay that has been treated with pesticides or herbicides.

Fresh Vegetables

In addition to hay, fresh vegetables should be a part of your goat’s diet. Goats love to eat leafy greens such as kale, cabbage, and spinach. Root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and beets are also good options.

Avoid feeding your goats onions, garlic, or any other members of the onion family, as these can be toxic to goats.


You should only feed your goats a limited amount of grain because too much can lead to health problems such as bloat. If you choose to feed your goats grain, do so in moderation and ensure that the grain is fresh and free from mold or other contaminants.

Can goats eat chocolate – final thoughts

As tempting as it may be to give your goat a little chocolate treat, it’s not worth the risk. Chocolate is toxic to goats and can make them very sick. To protect your goat, keep any chocolate away from them. Instead, focus on feeding them healthy foods that will help them stay strong and healthy.

Jill Taylor Happy Farmyard

Jill Taylor

Jill is a full-time homesteader who enjoys learning about sustainable living and practicing self-reliance. She'll most likely be found tending to her many animals including chickens, ducks, goats, and alpacas. You find out more about her on LinkedIn.