Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

The good news is that regular peanut butter is safe to give your dog as a treat. Just make sure to avoid peanut butter with Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in lower or sugar-free products. Xylitol is the only ingredient in peanut butter that’s bad for dogs.

It doesn’t matter the brand, if you give your dog peanut butter without Xylitol, then your furry friend can enjoy it. What else do you need to know? We spoke with a veterinary nutritionist to get some insight into peanut butter safety for dogs.

How Much Peanut Butter Can Dogs Eat?

Peanut butter is rich in natural fats and protein, but too much of a good thing can lead to obesity and other health complications like pancreatitis. There are two things you can do to figure out how much peanut butter to feed your dog regularly.

The first and most reliable option is to call your veterinarian and ask his or her advice. This is especially important for owners of dogs with conditions such as diabetes or food sensitivity issues.

The second option is the 10 percent rule. In general, treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet.

Simply measure how much food your dog gets daily, and remember that it might be a good idea to alternate between peanut butter and healthier treats, such as dog-friendly fruits or vegetables.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter

The Safety of Peanut Butter for Dogs

When feeding peanut butter to our canine companions, we must opt for an unsalted and natural version with no extra elements like sugars, salt, or preservatives.

Unfortunately, not all of the brands producing this type of spread have pets’ well-being in mind, so always look over the ingredients list before giving your pup any kind of peanut butter.

We should also mention here potential risks from added components as well as a sugar substitute called xylitol which can be extremely dangerous if ingested by dogs.

Top 5 Reasons Dogs Should Eat Peanut Butter:

  1. To promote healthy muscles with complete protein.
  2. To promote a healthy coat and skin with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
  3. To help balance hormones and reduce inflammation.
  4. To reduce anxiety when paired with a lick mat or toy.
  5. To make your dog happy with a delicious, nutritious treat!

How to feed peanuts to your dog

As with any human food you intend to feed your dog, simple is best. Unsalted peanuts might not be your first choice, but for dogs, that’s exactly how snacks should be: free from any seasoning and flavorings. Make sure you remove the shells as these can be a choking hazard. You can also minimize the risk of choking by crushing the peanuts instead of offering them whole.

Another good tip is to offer only a few peanuts now and then. Even if your dog loves them, daily servings are not ideal and they can quickly nudge your dog’s calorie count over the limit.

What Type of Peanut Butter is Best for Dogs?

Generally speaking, any peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol (or chocolate) should be fine for a dog. It can be a good source of protein and healthy fat for your dog in moderation, of course. However, some peanut butter is healthier than others.

A lot of peanut butter you find on the shelves has good qualities when it comes to your dog, but probably contains preservatives and extra sugar that aren’t great. Your best bet is to find peanut butter (or other nut butter) that is low on or completely free of additives.

Peanut Allergies in Dogs

Although it’s rare, some dogs can develop peanut allergies. While anaphylactic shock and difficulty breathing can occur in dogs with peanut allergies, this type of reaction is most commonly found as a result of being bitten or stung by an insect or from a reaction to medication.

Sometimes allergies will result in facial swelling or skin reactions. If you notice these symptoms after giving peanut butter to your dog, stop feeding them peanut butter immediately and consult your vet, who can help determine whether your dog is allergic to peanuts or something else.

This is also why it is always a good idea to consult your vet before feeding your dog anything. Since peanut allergies can be serious in children and adults, those individuals need to be careful to avoid contact with pets that may have consumed peanut butter.

The risk that peanut residue can end up on their fur is also another real risk for people with severe peanut allergies.

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