Are you a peanut butter lover who would like to share some with your dog?
But – will your dog appreciate it as much as you?
And is it something that’s safe for dogs to eat?
Peanut butter is a very popular treat among people and many seem to love it! However, as we know, dogs and people aren’t the same and don’t have same nutritional needs as us. So, what’s good and tasty to us doesn’t make it good for dogs.
This is why we’re helping you discover what food is OK for you to give your dog and what food should be kept away from your pet. Today’s topic is peanut butter!
Is Peanut Butter Safe For Dogs To Eat?
Yes, peanut butter is something dogs can eat in general. Apart from tasting great according to many, it’s also rich in antioxidants, proteins, vitamins and quality fats. However, there are some cases where peanut butter should be avoided and certain things to think about when serving it.
Can Peanut Butter Be Dangerous?
Peanut butter itself isn’t dangerous. However, it should be avoided together with additives, added sugar, sweeteners, food coloring or unhealthy preservatives. Peanut butter is much healthier plain – which goes for you too – as artificial substances can cause problems for your dog.
One of the biggest dangers when it comes to peanut butter is xylitol. This is a sweetener that’s becoming more and more popular because of its dental benefits and because it can serve as sugar substitute for diabetics.
Even though these benefits are great for people, dogs on the other hand don’t respond nearly as well to this sweetener. In fact, it seems to be very dangerous for dogs.
As this sweetener is growing in popularity, more and more products contain it – peanut butter included. This is why you have to read the label before buying peanut butter and make sure xylitol isn’t one of the ingredients.
Check out this video for more information just to be on the safe side.
What Benefits Could Come From Peanut Butter?
Having said that certain dangers could come from peanut butter IF sweetened, let’s focus on the good side and the benefits peanut butter has to offer!
As mentioned, peanut butter has a lot of healthy ingredients. It contains a lot of healthy fats, vitamins B and E, niacin and protein. These are all very healthy for dogs. Now, let’s take a closer look at some practical benefits that could come from peanut butter!
Namely, the balanced level of protein and low carbohydrates provides your dog with an energy boost and stamina and makes the dog operate more efficiently. This is especially great for active dogs!
On top of that, Omega-3-fatty acids in peanut butter help in reducing high cholesterol.
Concealing Bad Breath
Peanut butter is great for concealing bad breath, so if your dog is having problems with bad breath this could be a great solution – and a treat at the same time!
The bad breath is reduced as the fatty acid composition in peanut butter coats the smell bacteria has caused in the mouth. However, this is not a treatment and it doesn’t reduce the bad breath in long haul, like celery reduces it for example.
Helping With Diabetes
If your dog is diabetic it’s vital to keep its blood sugar levels low. If the blood sugar became higher, permanent damage to the tissues, nerves and cells could happen.
This is where peanut butter comes it! Because it’s so low in carbs and high in proteins and unsaturated healthy fat at the same time it makes a perfect treat for a diabetic dog! Also, natural peanut butter is very beneficial for dogs that aren’t producing enough insulin.
Your dog may not be so thrilled with the idea of taking medication. This is why you sometimes have to tuck it in something, for instance cheese or in this case peanut butter. Put the treat on your dog’s tongue, toward the back of the mouth in case he’s on to your scheme.
Helping With Separation Anxiety
Some dogs hate being alone and suffer every time their owner is away. In these situations leaving stuffed toys could help and keep the dog occupied for a couple of hours.
If your dog is a peanut butter fan it can come in handy in these situations. Stuff some plain peanut butter with food into a toy meant for treats and leave your dog to play with it for some time. Hopefully, this will ease the anxiety.
Introducing Baby To The Family
You may not be sure what we’re meaning with this by reading the heading so let us explain. If you’ve had a baby and you’re worried how to introduce the dog and the baby peanut butter could be a great ice breaker!
By putting a little bit of peanut butter on your baby’s finger and letting your dog sniff it, the dog will associate the baby with something nice and he will want to be around the baby because he’s associating peanut butter to the baby! Smart, isn’t it? Of course, this goes only for dogs who like peanut butter!
How Do I Serve Peanut Butter?
As mentioned, the most important thing to remember when giving peanut butter to your dog is to read the label and watch out for xylitol. Make sure no other additives, sweeteners or artificial ingredients are in the peanut butter either.
Second, if you can choose between crunchy and creamy peanut butter always pick the creamy one, as crunchy food can present a choking hazard for dogs, puppies especially. Also, don’t give peanut butter on a spoon, as dogs who love peanut butter can sometimes start chewing on the spoon!
How Much Peanut Butter Should Dogs Eat?
Even though peanut butter can be beneficial and healthy, it’s also very high in calories so you shouldn’t overdo it. Ideally, you would be keep it a treat and something your dog has from time to time, not something he or she should have every day.
It’s up to you to limit the intake, as the dog won’t do it on its own for sure, but can end up with diarrhea or other problems from overdoing it. Consult your vet and see how much your dog breed should have every time, as this depend on breed and size.
Can Dogs Have Peanut Allergies?
Yes, dogs just like humans can be allergic to peanuts and other peanut products. These allergies can even develop at a later stage, so if you notice that your dog doesn’t tolerate peanuts anymore, even though he used to before, you should stop giving them to him.
These allergies are not that uncommon, although most dogs tolerate peanuts. If your dog has a bad reaction after peanuts or peanut butter contact your vet as soon as possible.
An interesting fact when it comes to peanut allergies is that some dogs are especially trained to protect children who are allergic to peanuts. These dogs can detect even the slightest presence of peanuts by sniffing and that way keep allergic kids from having peanuts.
Yes, peanut butter is safe in general, as long as it doesn’t contain xylitol – a sweetener that’s dangerous to dogs. If the butter is plain, without additives or artificial ingredients, it’s completely safe and even beneficial.
Peanut butter is rich in healthy fats and proteins, among others, and can have a lot of practical benefits mentioned above. Some of them are hiding medication and concealing bad breath.
As long as you keep it moderate and don’t make a habit out of it, peanut butter can be a great treat for your best friend and something you both can enjoy in occasionally!