Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
We all know dogs love to eat, and as dog parents, we must know what’s best for our dogs, especially when it comes to their food. Most pet owners give their dogs peanut butter as treats all the time, and this nutty treat does drive them nuts. Peanut butter can be spread on toys, or can merely be licked from a finger or spoon. But what most people don’t ask is the question “Is peanut butter good for dogs?”
Here are some facts about peanut butter you need to know before letting your dogs have a lick.
How much peanut butter can dogs eat?
Peanut butter for dogs isn’t all that bad. It contains protein, healthy fats, niacin, and vitamins (B and E) which are good for dogs. Dogs, just like humans, have to maintain a healthy diet for a long, and healthy life. Overfeeding them with treats like peanut butter can contribute to obesity, and other health problems, such as pancreatitis, which need painful and expensive treatment.
We need to be careful about how much peanut butter we give to our dogs – or any kind of treat for that matter. The first thing and the most reliable option you can do is consult with your veterinarian. This is particularly important for owners of dogs with health conditions like diabetes, or problems with food sensitivity.
The second option you can do is remember the 10% rule. This means that treats should be limited to 10% of your dog’s daily diet to maintain a nutritional balance. Of course, not all dogs are the same. Small dogs should be fed ½ tablespoon of peanut butter, while big dogs should be limited to only 1 tablespoon. Keep in mind that all treats should be eaten in moderation.
Which peanut butter is safe for dogs?
There are different kinds and commercial brands of peanut butter out there. There are creamy ones as well as crunchy ones. The question is, which is the better option for your dogs?
Some may have heard that crunchy peanut butter could cause choking to dogs. Although this is true, the chance of this is slim, unless you’re feeding an extremely small dog a very large amount of crunchy peanut butter. So, yes, it is safe for them to eat whichever peanut butter, whether it’s creamy, crunchy, super creamy, or super crunchy – just don’t forget the 10% rule!
The healthiest options, on the other hand, are:
- Unsalted peanut butter
- Homemade peanut butter
They don’t contain high sodium ingredients which can be bad and problematic for dogs – make sure the only listed ingredient is peanuts. Homemade peanut butter can be produced by simply grinding peanuts in a food processor. This assures you (and your dog) a sugar-free treat!
Keep in mind to use peanuts from a dependable source. Don’t trust peanuts that can be found in your surroundings as they sometimes contain fungi that can be bad for your dogs.
Health Alert: Xylitol
In picking out commercial peanut butter, it’s essential to check the label first before purchasing. While most peanut butter types are safe to eat, there are those that are dangerous for dogs. Recently, peanut butter manufacturers have added an ingredient that acts as a sweetener, or a sugar substitute in many sugar-free food, including peanut butter.
This is safe for humans of course but is potentially deadly for dogs. This extremely toxic component is called Xylitol. When consumed, it can cause a rapid release of insulin, resulting in a quick and intense decrease in blood sugar levels. This condition occurs 10 to 60 minutes after consuming peanut butter with xylitol in it, and could be the cause of death to dogs if not treated immediately.
If you’re unaware of the xylitol ingredient on your peanut butter, here are some symptoms of xylitol poisoning:
- Muscle weakness, which causes difficulty in walking
Once these symptoms occur, better contact your veterinarian immediately for treatment.
Peanut allergies in dogs
Dogs can be allergic to certain food too. Although it’s rare, some dogs are allergic to peanuts. In general, dogs do not seem to have allergic reactions to peanuts, unlike humans, although, this doesn’t make it impossible.
While it is true that anaphylactic shock and difficulty in breathing can occur in dogs having peanut allergies, this is a common type of reaction when dogs are bitten or stung by insects or as a result to medication. This is the reason why you, as a dog parent, should look after your pets as closely as you can while feeding them peanut butter.
Here are some concerning signs of a severe allergic reaction you must look out for after feeding them peanut butter:
- Swelling on the body (eyes, and/or muzzle)
- Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
- Severe itchiness
And here are the signs for mild to moderate allergic reactions:
- Chronic ear infections
- Thin fur coat
- Chronic itchiness which can result in constant chewing of paws
- Recurring problems with impacted anal glands
If it’s your first time feeding your dog peanut butter, or another nut butter, make sure to give them small amounts first before giving more. If these signs occur in your dogs, stop feeding them immediately, and consult your veterinarian for possible allergic reactions, or perhaps, something else.
Consulting your veterinarian is important not just for your dog’s wellbeing, but for people who have peanut allergies as well. Peanut residues may end up in the dog’s fur and could pose a risk to these people.
Dog treats with peanut butter
If your dogs are tired of licking peanut butter from spoons or your fingers, then dog treats filled with peanut butter is the way to go!
The most famous dog treats with peanut butter are homemade ones. What’s not to love? It’s easy, cost-effective, and made with love! The best thing about homemade treats is that you can control the ingredients and calories and regulate your dog’s healthy diet. It keeps them away from unhealthy dog treats. You can find hundreds of recipes on blog sites like Pinterest for homemade peanut butter dog treats.
Keep your dogs healthy and satisfied while being informed. Remember to feed them in moderation, fur parents!