Ever wonder if peanut butter is good or bad for dogs? While some people are under the impression that canines shouldn’t have any peanuts, dogs can eat peanut butter in moderation. In fact, when you give a dog peanut butter, it can actually be a healthy treat that is high in good proteins and fats as well as vitamins B and E. However, like with all dog food products, if you want to make sure the peanut butter your dog eats is safe, it’s important that you find brands with the highest-quality ingredients. This is because some cheap spreads use a sugar substitute called xylitol, which can be life-threatening to dogs.
With so many popular dog treats made with peanut butter, we’ll show you exactly what to look for when considering peanut butter for dogs. Furthermore, we will discuss how much your dog can have, the good and bad ingredients to watch out for and even provide you an example of a good homemade dog treat recipe.
Reasons Why Peanut Butter Is Good For Dogs
Peanut butter, in small amounts, is actually quite good for dogs. They can even have crunchy peanut butter, as peanuts are among the nuts that dogs can safely eat. You should stick with creamy peanut butter (to be on the safe side) if you have a smaller dog and you’re worried about it being a choking hazard.
Furthermore, peanut butter is rich in many of the nutrients that dogs need in order to be strong and healthy. These nutrients include vitamins B and E, niacin, protein, and healthy fats. Some peanut butter is high in sodium and sugar, so if you plan to give peanut butter to your dogs, look for an unsalted variety. Or even better, use natural or homemade peanut butter. You don’t have to make your own, but there are loads of recipes available, and it’s pretty simple to do if you were so inclined.
How Much Peanut Butter Can A Dog Have?
You may be wondering how much peanut butter can dogs eat? Although it’s loaded with healthy ingredients, too much peanut butter can increase your dog’s risk of developing obesity because it is high in fat. The first thing you should do is talk to your veterinarian about how much peanut butter you can safely add to your pup’s diet.
Generally, any treats, including peanut butter, should not end up being more than 10 percent of a dog’s daily diet. If you’re going to give peanut butter to your dogs, make sure that they are also getting other treats, including healthy fruits and vegetables. So, when you come right down to it, peanut butter might only make up about 5 percent of your dogs’ diets.
Why Peanut Butter Can Be Bad For Dogs
When it comes to peanut butter for dogs, as long as you are using the right kind of peanut butter there aren’t a lot of things to worry about. There are some peanut butters that are not safe for dogs, because they are sweetened with xylitol, which is a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs.
Make sure that you never give your dogs anything that is sweetened with xylitol. This sugar substitute can cause insulin to release too rapidly in dogs, which in turn causes their blood sugar levels to drop to unsafe levels.
This condition is known as hypoglycemia, and it is something that can be life threatening if not treated immediately. Xylitol is so toxic to dogs that hypoglycemia can occur as fast as 10 minutes after ingesting it. According to veterinary studies, xylitol ingestion can result in liver failure and symptoms can manifest as long as 8 hours after consumption. Although dependent on your dog’s breed and size, most canines only need to consume small amounts of xylitol before getting a lethal dose.
Signs of Xylitol Poisoning
Before buying any peanut butter that you intend to give to your dogs, read the ingredients to make sure that it does not contain xylitol or any other artificial sweeteners. If you think that one of your dogs may have eaten something that contains xylitol, contact your veterinarian right away, and watch for symptoms of xylitol poisoning, which can include:
- Lack of coordination
There are other ingredients to watch out for in peanut butter as well. The safest peanut butter is natural, because it basically contains only peanuts. However, the brands sold in supermarkets aren’t always the safe peanut butter products to buy.
Look for peanut butter that is low in salt and sugar, and that has no added ingredients. There are many companies that offer organic peanut butter, which is much better for dogs.
Homemade Dog Treats with Peanut Butter
In addition to being able to save money by making your own healthy dog treats, you will also know exactly what is going into them. You can be sure that these treats only contain ingredients that are healthy for dogs, and you never have to worry about additives, colorants, etc. These treats are easy to make, and your dogs are going to love them.
Here’s a peanut butter dog treat recipe your pet will love!
- 1 ¼ C whole wheat flour (you can also use rice flour if your dogs are allergic to wheat, but the consistency of the dough is going to be different)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ C peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
- ½ C water
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tbsp. raw honey
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Mix flour, baking powder, and egg, and then add peanut butter, honey, and water
- Mix until the dough is stiff and sticky. You may have to dig in and start kneading to mix it thoroughly
- Lightly flour your rolling surface, and roll out the dough to ½ inch thick
- Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. These treats don’t spread much, so you can place them close together if you want to make larger batches
- Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, and then store in an airtight container
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Peanut Butter in Moderation
Even though peanut butter is okay for dogs to eat, just like anything you give to your dogs, it should be given to them in moderation. Peanut butter is loaded with health benefits, but it can be high in calories.
If you are going to give peanut butter to your dogs, you might want to look into getting natural peanut butter, which is usually available at natural and whole food stores. These products are made with natural ingredients, and contain no preservatives, colorants, or artificial flavors which may be harmful for your pets.