Channel 4 primetime show Food Unwrapped visited the headquarters of pet product manufacturer Armitage, to find out how its popular Good Boy Choc Drops are made.
Exploring the issue of chocolate poisoning in dogs, the programme explained the dangers of human-grade chocolate, before finding out what makes Choc Drops different and, most importantly, safe.
Presenter Matt Tebbett introduced the feature with a trip to the Dogs Trust, where he met Freda, a Labrador-cross who had to have her stomach pumped after eating Christmas chocolates.
Chocolate is poisonous to pets because of a naturally occurring compound found in the cocoa bean. Called theobromine, it acts as a stimulant and diuretic (similar to caffeine) that cannot be filtered out quickly enough by a dog’s liver, or effectively metabolised through its body.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can include diarrhoea and vomiting, while the central nervous system, heart and kidneys can also be affected – and in some cases, this can be fatal.
Having heard about ‘doggy choc’, the Food Unwrapped team was keen to find out how Armitage can make its dog treats without using any cocoa. Armitage sales and marketing director Adam Jaggar gave co-presenter Jimmy Doherty a tour of the company’s Nottingham factory, where he watched the manufacturing process and tasted a Choc Drop, before finding out about the secret ingredient, carob.
Adam Jaggar commented: ‘We’ve been manufacturing dog safe Choc for half a century, so it was great to have Food Unwrapped approach us to share our expertise. The safety message is important to promote and we’re giving it a particular push in our anniversary year.
‘Following on from our appearance on Channel 4, we’re now working with The Community Channel on their Helping Homeless Pets programme.’