Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
YES, dogs can eat peanut butter. In fact, it is one of the most loved things by dogs to eat!
Dogs should be given some peanut butter but it is not something you want to give them in large quantities or over an extended period of time. A couple of peanut butter treats is exactly what your dog wants and needs every week!
Problems With Dogs and Peanut Butter
Too much peanut butter can cause diarrhea in a dog. It can also cause your dog to become overweight. This is why even though dogs can eat peanut butter, I would keep the dog away from too much peanut butter unless you want to deal with stomach issues or pet obesity.
Moderation is key when it comes to safely feeding a dog peanut butter. Too much peanut butter causes obesity in dogs. On the other hand, veterinarians often suggest giving underweight dogs peanut butter as a dietary supplement and a way to pack on the necessary pounds.
Sugar is a big concern for when it comes to pet health. A serving of peanut butter, which is two tablespoons, contains up to 3 grams of sugar. Sugar causes health issues such as obesity, diabetes and dental problems within dogs. Too much salt is another concern, as most non-organic brands of peanut butter contain salt for taste.
What Type of Peanut Butter Should I Feed My Dog?
Most pet owners and veterinarians recommend an all-natural type of peanut butter for dogs. Purchase an organic brand that contains zero sugar. Organic peanut butter has fewer pesticides and other ingredients that may be harmful to a dog’s health. Make your own all-natural peanut butter by blending shelled roasted peanuts and a small amount of peanut oil in a food processor.
Peanut butter is not necessarily bad for dogs, even though I just discussed obesity being connected to it. There are many health benefits of feeding peanut butter to your dog. In fact, peanut butter is rich in oil, protein and fatty acids. These ingredients along with vitamins such as H and K give dogs a shiny coat. Vitamin E helps your dog’s immune system, which helps to fight off many diseases. Peanut butter also contains the beneficial minerals iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and calcium as well as modest amounts of dietary fiber.
How Should I Feed My Dog Peanut Butter?
There are many ways in which you can feed your dog peanut butter. I can trick them into eating cooked peas and carrots by mixing them with a tablespoon of melted organic peanut butter. I also trick them into swallowing medicine and their monthly heartworm pills by hiding them in a small amount of peanut butter. Such a food item seems so harmless and is present in every home. While it may seem like a safe and healthy snack, too much of a good thing can be very bad for your dog.
You should always separate jars of peanut butter, one for human and one for pet consumption. Your dog will not be licking peanut butter straight out of a jar, but having a designated “pet” jar minimizes potential bacteria and contamination. I do recommend that all pet owners’ keep an eye on food recall, including salmonella and other contaminants.
Aflatoxin, produced by particular fungi, contaminates grains and nuts before harvest or during storage. Pet owners can reduce the risk of an aflatoxin contamination at home by storing peanut butter in the refrigerator. Proper storage reduces rancidity of all natural peanut butter.
Another way to reduce contamination and keep the product fresh is to freeze it, or to buy the smallest jar available. Your dog should not eat peanut butter on a daily basis anyway, so a small jar will be plenty when fed as a snack.
A lot of pet owners ask if they should buy chunky or creamy style peanut butter. I always recommend the creamy kind as the safest. Chunky peanut butter can be a choking hazard, especially for puppies. Another hazard of peanut butter is that it sticks to the roof of their mouth and some dogs may struggle with that.
Food allergies are another concern when it comes to feeding dogs peanut butter. Signs of an allergic reaction to peanut butter would include itching, skin irritation, ear infection, biting and loss of hair. Avoid giving your dog peanut butter or treats containing peanut butter if the pet is experiencing any food allergies. Stop giving your dog peanut butter if there is diarrhea or vomiting.