- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Isn’t it cute the way dogs lick peanut butter off the roof of their mouths and it looks like they’re talking? If you want to see a happy dog, just open a jar of PB and grab a spoon—it’s a treat (almost) no dog can resist.
We’ve all see photos of happy dogs eating peanuts and there are a thousand varieties of peanut-based dog treats out there. But is it really ok for dogs to eat peanuts? Is it healthy?
Yes, of course they can! As long as you only share shelled peanuts that are not salted, sweetened, or seasoned with other flavorings. Peanuts are packed with protein and contain healthy fats, niacin, vitamin B, and vitamin E.
Peanuts are a good source of some nutrients that your dog needs, like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and B vitamins. Peanuts are about 50% fat and 9% dietary fiber by weight. This means they pack a punch when it comes to energy and calories from fat, and contain some fiber to keep your dog regular.
Of course, too much fat and fiber can cause problems, so it’s a good idea to follow the 10% rule when it comes to peanuts (more on that below).
There are a thousand recipes and pre-made dog treats out there that feature peanut butter as a main ingredient. That said, it’s best to only share peanuts in moderation. Check out some of our favorite recipes and use these simple tips to add some peanutty flavor to your pup’s day:
- Put some peanuts inside of a puzzle toy along with some dog kibble
- Fill a camping squeeze tube with PB to offer a high-value reward during training sessions.
- Hide your dog’s medication in a spoonful of peanut butter. Thick, creamy PB works best for this.
Absolutely, but you MUST read the ingredients! Peanut butter is just smashed peanuts, after all, but often there are additives like salt and sugar.
Buy a jar of peanut butter that is salt-free and doesn’t have sugar or other sweeter added. Added sugar isn’t good for your dog.
Worse still, the sweetener xylitol is very dangerous for dogs. Xylitol can cause a dog’s blood sugar to plummet to a dangerously low level, causing symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, and lethargy. If you think your dog has eaten xylitol, take him to the vet immediately.
These are some good brands of peanut butter for dogs—look for the salt-free version:
- Adams No-Stir Peanut Butter
- Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter
- Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
Avoid these brands that contain xylitol as a sweetener: Go Nuts, Co., Krush Nutrition, Nuts ‘N More and P28 Foods.
Dogs should avoid peanut shells for the same reason people don’t eat the shells—they don’t digest well and can cause digestive problems. If your dog gobbles down a pound of peanuts in the shell, you need not worry about the shells being toxic (they aren’t toxic) but she’ll probably have some uncomfortable tummy problems.
While peanuts are safe for dogs, other nuts might not be safe, so avoid mixed nuts and mixed nut butters.
If your dog is on a weight-gain diet (like my unusually scrawny beagle Marzipan once was), and she tolerates peanuts well, it’s ok for her to eat up to 10% of her daily calories from peanuts.
But if weight gain is not your goal, it’s a good idea to limit your dog’s peanut treats to less than 10% and mix them in with other nutrient-rich treats that are lower in calories.
Peanut butter is an indulgent treat and there are lots of recipes that taste great to dogs and humans alike! Celebrate its deliciousness with super-tasty special occasion doggy dishes, like our Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream and Peanut Butter Protein Pupcakes.
For an amazing savory treat that you’ll want to share with your best buddy, bake up a batch of Peanut Butter Bacon Bites Dog Treats.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2 Trays of cookies
- 3 Cups Oat Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 Cup Leftover Bacon
- Food Processor
- 2 Parchment-Lined Baking Sheets
- Rolling Pin
Preheat oven to 350º and adjust the racks so you can easily manipulate two baking trays.
- Blitz four cups of oats in the food processor until you get a nice flour consistency. Remove the oat flour to a large bowl and set aside.
- Place bacon in food processor and blitz to crumble.
- Add the peanut butter, applesauce, and eggs into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse lightly to combine.
- Add the flour to the wet mixture by the cupful, pulsing to incorporate. The dough should set at three cups, leaving you 1 cup extra flour for rolling out.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured board to roll in two batches.
Roll out your dough, adding flour as necessary. Cut out your cookies using your favorite small cookie cutters.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating and swapping the trays halfway through. Remove when just golden.
Let the treats cool inside the oven for a crispier cookie.
Learn more about feeding your dog a wonderfully varied diet while learning the limitations of a dog’s sensitive digestive system. We offer a collection of articles on foods that are safe, dangerous or even toxic for dogs to eat, including vegetables, dairy, bread, and junk food.