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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Yes. And most dogs love it! Peanut butter is packed with protein and contains healthy fats, niacin, vitamin B, and vitamin E, all of which contribute to your dog’s overall health.
What’s the best way to serve it to your furry friend, and how much peanut butter is too much? Read on for tips and tricks as well as ingredients to avoid.
Go for pure peanuts
Your dog’s peanut butter should only contain peanuts. Most grocery store peanut butter brands will do but always read the label. Avoid big brands of peanut butter such as Jif, Peter Pan, and Skippy, which often contain added sugar. And just because the label says it’s “natural peanut butter” doesn’t mean there isn’t added sugar, so be sure to read the ingredients.
Only share peanut butter that’s raw, unsalted, and free of artificial sweeteners.
Ingredients to watch out for
Added ingredients can cause unwanted side effects, so be sure to read your peanut butter label. Xylitol, a sugar substitute, is toxic to dogs. This is a particularly tricky ingredient because xylitol can show up in peanut butter advertised as sugar-free. As a sugar alcohol, xylitol can lead to a big drop in blood sugar levels (also known as xylitol poisoning), which can be life-threatening, causing seizures, liver failure, and worse.
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include:
- decreased activity
If you suspect your dog has consumed xylitol, see a vet immediately!
Peanut butter brands that contain xylitol include Go Nuts, Co., Krush Nutrition, Nuts ‘N More and P28 Foods.
Additionally, avoid giving your dog peanut butter with unnecessary ingredients such as sugar and salt that your dog’s system just doesn’t need. Unsalted peanut butter without added sweeteners is your best bet.
Finally, watch out for macadamia nuts, which are dangerous to dog health. Fortunately, they’re not commonly found in peanut butter blends.
Some of the many ways to treat your dog with peanut butter
- Stuff a spoonful of peanut butter in a KONG toy for a delicious project that will keep your dog busy for a good while.
- Offer a few slurps of peanut butter on a spoon or your finger as an occasional treat.
- Use peanut butter to disguise medication your dog isn’t jazzed about ingesting. Peanut butter also goes well with any chewable vitamins your dog may be taking.
- Try making DIY peanut butter dog treats—it’s easier than you might think.
- Use a camping peanut butter squeeze tube for on the go and less messy treat distribution.
- Top off regular dog food with a dollop of peanut butter.
It’s okay to abstain
Though most dogs eat peanut butter, some dog owners swear their dogs don’t love it. Distaste for a commonly enjoyed food, like peanut butter, could be a sign of food allergies. Peanut allergies in dogs can range from mild to severe, and symptoms could include red and itchy skin, difficulty breathing, agitation, and in severe allergic reactions, anaphylaxis. More about food allergies in dogs here.
Other pet owners don’t love giving human food to dogs and prefer to stick to a pet food only diet. You know your dog, and there’s no rule that says you must give your dog peanut butter. If you’re concerned about your dog’s weight, for instance, skipping the extra fatty acids contained in PB might be a good idea.
Dog safe peanut butter we love
- Adams No-Stir Peanut Butter
- Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter
- Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
All of these brands have good crunchy options, too. We especially like the glass jar Adams brands come in—it’s durable and reusable.
We have tons of posts about which foods are safe or dangerous for your dog, including various cereals, fruits, and snacks.