If you’re looking for a healthy snack, then nuts (peanuts in particular) might be on your list.
A tasty treat for keto followers, strict vegans, and non-health-conscious individuals alike, most think that dogs might get the same benefits humans get from it. As such, dog owners ask: can dogs eat peanuts? Are peanuts safe for dogs?
Now, it’s a good thing that you clicked on our link because DogFoodGuide, your trusty website, is here to give you what you are looking for and much more.
So read on and expect to get everything you need to know about peanuts in just one page.
Must-Know Peanut Facts
If you want to be technical about it, the nutty peanuts that we love for their earthy taste are not really nuts. Unlike almonds, cashew nuts, and pecans that grow on trees, peanuts are legumes that grow underground.
Nevertheless, peanuts are generally accepted as nuts since they are so similar (so let’s just leave it at that).
When it comes to peanuts’ nutritional profile, peanuts have a lot to boast. Although it’s not as healthy as almonds, peanuts are still a great alternative if you want to satisfy your cravings for something hearty and nutty.
Not yet convinced? Well, apart from its impressive protein and healthy fat content, peanuts offer a couple more valuable nutrients that your body needs. Here are some:
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin E
Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
All the nut products out there might share many similarities, but in the world of canines, not all nuts are the same. Some nuts may be safe, but other nuts are lethal. So, are peanuts one of the nutty “people” foods your dog can eat?
The short answer is Yes. Unlike macadamia nuts which are toxic to dogs, peanuts are generally safe for dogs as long as it is given in moderation. But it doesn’t end there.
Although the answer is yes, this does not mean that you can let your pooch dig into that jar of peanut butter yet. There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind.
Dangers of Giving Your Pet Dog Peanuts
We’ve mentioned that peanuts are nutritious, and they are (even for your dog). A good source of nutrients, peanuts contain vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. But, similar to other human foods, feeding your dog peanuts comes with risks.
The risks dogs face can range from mild to severe when it comes to these protein-rich peanuts and all other peanut products out there (peanut butter included).
To avoid unwanted hiccups, check out all the possible dangers your pet might encounter from eating peanuts below.
Dog’s teeth are not made for chewing and grinding food. Instead, their pointy teeth are there so that they can quickly get a hold of their food and chow down on it whole.
Since peanuts are small, dogs (especially the smaller ones) face the risk of peanuts getting lodged in their esophagus or gastrointestinal tract.
Apart from that, feeding your dogs peanuts with the shells intact is also considered a No-no. Since peanut shells are hard and fibrous, it’s best to serve peanuts to your dog minus the covering.
Although peanuts contain “healthy” fats, these are fats that dogs can’t readily digest. Giving your dog peanuts for the first time or in large quantities can wreak havoc to your dog’s digestive system and cause diarrhea as well as vomiting.
Since peanuts’ caloric value is pretty high, overeating peanuts can cause weight gain. As such, peanuts should only be given in moderation and as an occasional treat.
Pancreatitis is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the pancreas. Eating foods high in fat is among the most common risk factors for pancreatitis in dogs.
So, if you want your pet dog to live longer, do away with your diet indiscretion and make sure to limit your dog’s fat intake.
Yes, dogs can also be allergic to peanuts. If your dog suddenly feels itchy or has difficulty breathing after eating a spoonful of peanut butter, then most probably, your dogs have peanut allergies. If this happens, make sure to get in touch with your veterinarian right away.
Xylitol – the most common type of “sugar alcohol” – is a plant-derived alcohol often found in fruits and veggies.
Commonly used as a sweetener for sugar-free food products (including peanut butters and nut butters), xylitol is considered safe for humans but deadly to dogs.
Ingesting xylitol may cause hypoglycemia – a sudden drop in your dogs’ blood sugar levels. If worse comes to worst, this can lead to liver failure and even death.
So, if your dog eats something with xylitol, watch out for these symptoms and contact your vet ASAP.
- Decreased activity
If you still want to give your dog peanut butter, you can. Just make sure that the peanut butter brands you’re using are xylitol-free.
To do this, take a quick look at its ingredients. If you see sugar alcohol or natural sweetener on the ingredients list, then keep those away from your dog.
Now, if you’re good in the kitchen, you always have the option to whip up your dog some homemade peanut butter.
This is obviously the best kind of peanut butter product you can give your dog since you can control the amount of oil and salt that goes into the mix.
How To Give Peanuts To Your Dog
Want your dogs to eat peanuts? The best way to serve this is boiled, roasted, or raw. It should also be given to your dog unsalted and without any oil and other seasonings since these can upset your pup’s stomach.
How many peanuts can dogs eat? That depends on their size. But since peanuts are treats, the amount to give your pet should not exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calories.
Peanut butter is also safe for dogs to eat (as long as it’s xylitol-free), and it can also be handy in various situations. Here are a few cases where you’ll find PB (minus the jelly) extra useful:
- Cover up the unpleasant taste of medication (pills) with peanut butter
- Add PB in their puzzle toy or feeder for mental stimulation
- Keep them busy while you’re away by stuffing their puzzle toys or any hollow, rubber toy with peanut butter
The nutrients that this humble nut has to offer and the satisfaction your dog gets from munching on some homemade peanut butter cookies might be enough reason to give your pup a few bites.
However, in this case, your pet’s health should be your utmost priority. As such, we still recommend consulting your veterinarian before introducing any new food to your pal.
What happens if a dog eats a peanut?
The good news: peanuts are not considered toxic to dogs. However, it's important to understand that while peanuts are safe to use in dog cookies and other treats, they are high in fat. Dogs have a more difficult time digesting fat. A high concentration of fat can cause an upset stomach, including diarrhea and vomiting.
Can one peanut kill a dog?
No. As they're a popular pooch treat, peanuts and peanut butter isn't toxic to dogs, but while small amounts of unsalted, unsweetened varieties are ok to use in dog cookies and other treats, they are high in fat which dogs have a hard time digesting. Again, small amounts and moderation is key!
How many peanuts can a dog eat per day?
Peanuts are a “sometimes food” and should never form a major part of your dog's diet — they're a treat, not a meal. As a general guide, 4 to 5 peanuts a couple of times a week is a safe amount to feed to your furry friend.
Why can dogs eat peanut butter but not peanuts?
Peanuts and peanut butter can be delicious and healthy snacks for dogs, but there are certain risks to avoid. The most significant risk is peanut butter that contains xylitol, which is toxic for dogs. Other than that, just try to minimize added sugar and salt in whatever peanut butter you choose.