Is Peanut Butter Good for Dogs?

on November 26, 2021

is peanut butter good for dogs

The short answer is: peanut butter can be great for dogs! The truth is, some peanut butter could be harmful or even toxic to your canine family members. 

Read on to get the scoop on peanut butter.

Do Dogs Like Peanut Butter?

Most dogs love peanut butter! When you need to give Fido some medicine, you coat it in peanut butter and it goes right down. When you reach for those tasty treats, many dogs love peanut butter as much or more than bacon!

But there are a few points to consider when giving your dog peanut butter, namely:

  • The presence of xylitol
  • Allergies to peanuts
  • Calories and fat
  • Sugar content
  • Sodium content

If you handle the potential problems on this list, your dog will get to enjoy peanut butter.

The Scoop on Xylitol

Xylitol is perfectly safe for humans, and may even have health benefits! For this reason, xylitol has become increasingly more common in foods for humans, such as peanut butter.

For your dog, however, xylitol is highly toxic. 

Only a little bit of xylitol can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar in your dog. It causes muscle tremors, twitching, seizures and even death for many dogs each year. The FDA issued a consumer warning for pet owners about the dangers of xylitol for dogs. 

Is Sugar Bad for Your Dog?

What about peanut butter sweetened with good-old-fashioned sugar? Is sugar bad for your dog?

While sugar isn’t poisonous, like xylitol, sugar can cause some of the same problems in dogs that it does in humans: weight gain, health problems, teeth problems, even diabetes.

Generally, vets advise against giving dogs sugar. 

Is Salt Bad for Your Dog?

What about salt, another common peanut butter ingredient? Many people do not like peanut butter without added salt.

Your dog, however, does not need added sodium. While some amount of salt or sodium is just fine, they get enough in their regular dog food. Too much sodium can cause major health issues for dogs (just like for people!). Those health concerns include high blood pressure and health issues.

Why are Nuts Sometimes Bad for Dogs?

Peanuts aren’t inherently harmful to dogs, unless they are allergic. Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to peanuts. 

Humans with severe nut allergies can experience anaphylaxis--a dangerous allergic reaction where breathing is obstructed. Well, dogs can have this reaction also, with a severe allergy! Milder allergic reactions might include hives, itching, redness, red skin and hair falling out. 

When you first give your dog peanuts or peanut butter, be alert to these potential allergic reactions.

Another nut is inherently poisonous to dogs: macadamia nuts.

Eating macadamia nuts causes a dog to experience weakness in hind legs, vomiting, diarrhea and can even lead to death.

Dogs should never be given mixed nut butters that may contain macadamia nuts.

Can Your Dog Eat Too Much Peanut Butter?

Too much of a good thing? Yes, unfortunately, this is another way in which our pets are like us: they can eat too much of good things!

Peanuts are not actually nuts! They are a legume (like peas). They are rich in fat and calories. But too many calories or too much fat can lead to health problems, like obesity. 

If you do give your dog a safe peanut butter, just do not overdo it. Particularly for small dogs, or dogs prone to weight gain, it doesn’t take many mouthfuls of peanut butter to add extra pounds.

What Peanut Butter is Safe for Dogs?

Alright, so if you consider all of the points above, what kind of peanut butter is safe for dogs? A dog-safe peanut butter will be:

  • Xylitol-free
  • Free from macadamia nuts
  • Low or no sugar
  • No added salt
  • Given in moderation
  • Not given at all to an allergic dog.

It’s best to keep it simple: either give your dog peanut butter which contains only peanuts (and give it in moderation), or stick to peanut butter dog treats. 

The Best Peanut Butter Dog Treats for Your Pooch

Peanut butter dog treats are made specifically for your fur ball, so they won’t have any of the problematic ingredients discussed in this article. 

The best peanut butter dog treats pull double-duty: being healthy for your pooch! 

At Bad Dog CBD our Peanut Butter Crunch Delight dog treats contain healthful ingredients, including CBD. Check out our online store and give your dog a yummy, peanut butter reward.

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Hip & Joint for Dogs Tincture