Peanut butter is a popular spread that many people enjoy, but can dogs eat peanut butter as well? The answer is a resounding “yes, dogs can safely eat peanut butter” BUT — and this is important — only in moderate amounts.
Not only can dogs eat peanut butter, but I’ve found that peanut butter-flavored dog treats are always a hit among most dogs. I swear, my pups just know when there is a peanut butter snack in the house. They won’t stop following me around until I give in and give them a bit. And of course, there’s the puppy eyes and begging for more that follows right after, but I digress.
Anyway, we’re going to answer all of your peanut butter questions with regard to your pup. So here goes.
How Much Peanut Butter Can Dogs Consume?
Dogs can safely consume small amounts of peanut butter as an occasional treat or supplement to their regular diet. But since this snack is high in fat and calories, it should not make up a significant portion of any pup's diet.
How much peanut butter a dog can consume depends on his weight. Don’t give more than a teaspoon of this nutty treat per 10 pounds of body weight per day. A small amount can count a lot towards your dog’s daily calories. You should also consider your dog's diet overall and adjust accordingly to avoid overfeeding and potential weight gain.
Is There A Difference Between Crunchy Peanut Butter And Smooth Peanut Butter?
In terms of safety? No, there’s none. But your dog might have a preference, and that’s what matters. Also, if your dog has dental issues, he might have a hard time chewing the crunchy option. In which case, it’s better to stick with smooth or creamy peanut butter.
Are All Nut Butters The Same?
No, not all nut butters are the same. Some nuts are toxic to dogs, such as macadamia nuts and black walnuts. Cashew butter is fine, so is almond butter, and of course, peanut butter.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? Is It Healthy?
Is peanut butter good for dogs? Oh, yes. Absolutely. But again, the keyword is moderation. To drive home the point, here are a few peanut butter facts:
1. Peanut butter treats make for a nutritious snack.
Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, which can help to maintain a healthy coat and skin.
2. Most of our furry friends love peanut butter.
Since peanut butter is a such a well-loved flavor, foods containing this ingredient can be used as treats or rewards during training, which can be a great way to motivate and encourage dogs.
3. Dogs highly anticipate snack times with peanut butter as the food.
Peanut butter snacks can be a great way to keep dogs entertained and engaged, as these can be used to stuff your dog’s toys or to be used as a treat in puzzle feeders.
4. Peanut butter is a great source of energy.
Because it is high in fat and protein, peanut butter can help sustain your pup during stretches of intense play. It can also keep him feeling full in between meals.
Important Things To Keep In Mind When Feeding Peanut Butter To Pups
While I am fine with pet parents feeding peanut butter to their pup — and I even recommend it — there are some stuff to keep in mind before giving your pup this special treat.
1. Make sure there are no ingredients in that jar that can be harmful to your dog!
Not all peanut butters are the same so it’s important that you check the label. Some peanut butter brands contain ingredients that are harmful to canines.
For example, the sweetener xylitol can be toxic to dogs. It’s a sweetener that can usually be found in sugar-free products. Although it’s a non-artificial sweetener — it occurs naturally in many fruits and veggies — it can have a devastating effect on your pet.
Some peanut butter manufacturers switched to using xylitol as a sugar substitute. While this may be good for humans who don’t want sugar in their diet, the opposite is true for dogs.
*If your pup has eaten xylitol, check for signs of xylitol poisoning: vomiting, sudden low blood sugar, weakness, uncoordination, and seizures.
Another substance that some peanut butter brands use you should stay away from is palm oil. Palm oil is normally used in low-end peanut butter products as a cheaper substitute to the more expensive types of oils. It’s not as toxic as xylitol for dogs, but it’s still best to avoid it altogether.
2. Give peanut butter treats only once in a while.
Peanut butter is high in fat, so it should be given in moderation. Too much peanut butter can lead to weight gain. There’s also the risk of your dog developing pancreatitis if you keep giving him high fat foods.
It is also worth mentioning that dogs with any kind of pancreatitis or severe allergies should avoid eating peanut butter, as it can aggravate their condition and cause more harm than good.
3. Do make sure your dog is not allergic to nuts.
Peanut allergies are quite rare in canines, but it exists. They may go years of eating the same food over and over again without showing any negative reaction to it then suddenly develop an allergy. It happens.
Make sure to watch for allergic reactions, such as itching, hives, or swelling. And contact your veterinarian immediately if this happens.
4. Keep an eye out for pups with sensitive stomachs.
Some dogs may be unable to digest or tolerate fats well, which can lead to stomach upset or diarrhea, so keep an eye on your dog after feeding.
5. Stay away from added sugar or salt.
Some peanut butter manufacturers put added salt, sugar, or other ingredients that may not be safe for dogs. The best option when you don’t know what to look for is to make your own peanut butter. Homemade peanut butter is the best but if you don’t have the time to make it, go for an all-natural peanut butter option at your grocery store instead.
6. Do consult your vet first.
It's always best to consult with a veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog's diet, especially if your dog has any health conditions or is on any medication.
Introducing Your Dog To Peanut Butter
When giving peanut butter to your dog, it is important to start with small amounts and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions. Some dogs may be allergic to peanuts, so it is important to watch for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or hives.
Remember not to go overboard. Dogs love peanut butter, that’s a given. But try not to give in to their begging. Feed peanut butter in moderation as a treat and don’t turn it into a staple of your dog's diet.
Here are some creative ways you can feed your dog peanut butter:
1. Put it on a toy or treat for them to lick off: This can keep them entertained for a while, and they'll be getting a yummy treat at the same time.
2. Give to them a small spoonful as a treat: Some dogs will love getting a small spoonful of peanut butter as a treat. This can be a great way to reward them for good behavior or for completing a task.
3. Mix it with a small amount of yogurt or cottage cheese: Some dogs will enjoy the taste of peanut butter more when it is mixed with other ingredients. Mixing it with a small amount of yogurt or cottage cheese can add some variety to their diet and also provide them with additional protein and calcium.
4. Put it inside a hollow toy (a Kong toy, for example) for them to work to get out: The Kong toy is a great way to keep your dog entertained while they work to get the peanut butter out. And in the summer, you can fill the toy with peanut butter and freeze it to make it last longer and provide a cool treat during hot days.
5. Turn them into ice cubes: Mixing peanut butter with water or a low-fat broth, pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze. These ice cubes are great for hot summer days to refresh your pup and provide added hydration.
6. Add a small amount to their kibble or wet food: Eating the same food over and over can get boring for dogs. You can try and spice mealtimes a bit by adding a small amount of peanut butter to your dog's kibble or wet food. It’s full of healthy, natural fats that are great for making your dog’s coat glossy and his skin smooth.
7. And my personal favorite, bake dog treats with peanut butter: Many dog treat recipes include peanut butter as one of the main ingredients. This way you can have a homemade treat that you can control the ingredients of.
As a pet parent myself, I have personally used peanut butter for doggy cakes I make my pups on their birthdays. I don’t think the pups have any complaints. There are no leftovers, that’s for sure. (Pro tip: Dogs love frosting made of cream cheese and peanut butter.)
You can also make dog-friendly peanut butter cookies that you can use as a treat during obedience training or agility training to reward your dog for a job well done. Some flavors I have tried before: peanut butter and banana, and peanut butter and pumpkin.
You might have been tempted to give your dog a bite out of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the past before, particularly when he’s been looking at you with that “poor me” look that all dogs seem to have perfected. Don’t fret. It’s all good. Peanut butter is a safe and tasty treat to give your pup.
Always read the label, start with small amounts, and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions. As with anything, always consult with your veterinarian to ensure that peanut butter is safe for your individual dog and his unique dietary needs. With the right approach and precautions, peanut butter can be a delicious and healthy treat for your furry friend.