Dogs love peanut butter, there's no question about that!
That said, we don't always know if the peanut butter we're giving our canine buddies is perfectly safe. While at its core, which the product usually is, there are some things that are worth understanding about it.
Here, we're taking a look into the relationship between peanut butter and dogs, how to make sure they are eating safe peanut butter and what alternatives you can try out.
Peanut Butter And Dogs
Can dogs eat peanut butter?
While the very basics of peanut butter are safe for both human and canine consumption, some types of peanut butter are made with an ingredient that isn't safe for dogs. This ingredient, known as Xylitol, is often something that is used to substitute sugars in a variety of different food types.
Xylitol is something that has been easy to miss in the ingredients for many foods, which is why Xylitol poisoning can be such a huge issue. Not only can it be more damaging than chocolate, but it's also an ingredient we aren't always aware of in the common foods we consume.
Poisoning From Xylitol - Symptoms
One of the important steps in watching out for Xylitol also comes with keeping an eye out for the symptoms of Xylitol poisoning.
In dogs, these symptoms can include:
In dogs, the ingestion of Xylitol can release in their blood sugar decreasing very quickly. This is because their bodies react by pumping out a lot of insulin very quickly. You'll often see these kinds of symptoms as early as 10 minutes after your dog has consumed something with Xylitol in it.
Whether they are showing symptoms or not, it's wise to get them to a vet if you think your dog has consumed this ingredient.
Which Peanut Butter Brands Have Xylitol?
When it comes to peanut butter specifically, not all brands will contain Xylitol as an ingredient.
Some brands that do include Xylitol are:
- Krush Nutrition
- P28 Foods
- Go Nutz, Co.
- Nuts 'N' More
- Protein Plus PB
Even if the peanut butter you keep in your home isn't listed here, it's a good idea to always check the label to make sure it doesn't include Xylitol before sharing any with your dog. You never know when the ingredients in a trusted brand may have changed!
Other Foods That Contain This Ingredient
While peanut butter is the food that is most likely to be shared with your dog, it's a good idea to be aware of other kinds of foods that may also include this ingredient.
Other foods that can contain Xylitol include the following:
- Hard candies
- Chewable breath mints
- Protein bars
- Gum labeled as sugar-free
- Throat lozenges
- Chewable vitamins
- Some medications
- Breath strips
Make sure to always check the ingredient labels on foods or other consumables like these that you think your dog may be able to get ahold of when you aren't present.
Other Considerations With Peanut Butter
Is peanut butter bad for dogs?
While Xylitol is often the biggest concern, there are a few others that may be worth noting when it comes to peanut butter. Peanuts aren't bad for dogs typically, but it's wise to be aware of some of the issues peanuts and peanut butter can present.
Peanuts can contain a fungus known as Aspergillus. This fungus is capable of creating mycotoxins called Aflatoxins. What can be troubling to note is that mycotoxins can be considered quite carcinogenic, meaning that they can result in cancer. In addition, they can cause problems for liver function and may result in liver disease.
Many of us are aware of the issues that can be caused by white sugar. In dogs, this can include things like parasites, cancer, yeast infections and more. Sugar is also connected to things like diabetes, inflammation, food-related allergies and premature aging. Brands that avoid Xylitol can often include a decent amount of sugar instead.
Peanut butter is typically made to avoid going bad too quickly. However, this does mean that it ends up containing trans-fat acids that aren't great for consumption.
Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
For the most part, dogs have no trouble eating peanuts. Consequently, dogs can have peanut butter. However, like people, dogs can also be allergic to peanuts. Knowing the symptoms of a peanut allergy can potentially save your dog's life.
Symptoms may include:
- Skin irritation
- Coat thinning
- Ear infections that are especially bad or keep returning
- Weight loss
If you notice these symptoms, make sure to talk to your vet about them.
Peanut butter is not something made for humans or dogs who are dieting. It's very high in calories, meaning it should absolutely be used in moderation.
Benefits Of Peanut Butter For Dogs
There are some positive aspects of providing peanut butter to your dog. When you choose the right brand and offer peanut butter in moderation, it can be quite useful to our canine companions. In addition, dogs typically view it as a very enjoyable treat.
The healthy fats that are in peanut butter can provide benefits to your dog's health, which can result in benefits like full, glossy coats and healthy skin. They can also help with avoiding issues like heart disease, immune system weakening and diabetes. However, keep in mind that too much fat can be a problem, so use it carefully.
Protein is an incredibly important tool for your dog. It assists with keeping muscles in top shape, as well as the tissues that surround them. Furthermore, it's key for keeping the immune system healthy and your dog filled with energy. Remember, dogs are carnivores, so they need this stuff!
Niacin is a useful vitamin for us as well as our dogs. Peanut butter is one of many foods that offers this naturally, making it a great way to help our dogs get the vitamin.
Other vitamins that occur in peanut butter include B and E vitamins that are useful in a number of ways. Peanut butter is a delicious way to keep your dog full of these vitamins.
The Ideal Peanut Butter
With all the issues that certain peanut butter brands can have, how do you find the best one? Here are some tips on getting a peanut butter that will be the most healthy for your dog.
Natural, organic products are going to avoid issues like pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals that you may find problematic.
Dogs can easily end up with problems involving too much sodium, so it's a good idea to avoid it. Unsalted peanut butter is a great way to go for keeping your pup healthy.
Having Full Control
One of the best ways to ensure that peanut butter is dog-friendly is to make it yourself. You get complete control over the ingredients and it can be a fun experience to share with your dog.
Recipe For Your Own Peanut Butter
Making your own dog peanut butter isn't a difficult process. Naturally, it's not likely to be the same kind of peanut butter you're used to buying at the store, but your dog will love it. All you need is about a cup and a half of peanuts, and some molasses or honey if you want to sweeten it up.
Making Use Of Peanut Butter For Dogs
Once you have the ideal peanut butter, it's time to decide how you're going to make use of it. The good news is, you have a variety of options! Consider the following for meeting your dog's unique preferences and needs. You're sure to find something they'll love!
Easing Medication Use
Dogs can have a rough time with pills and capsules, whether they are prescribed medications or supplements. However, a little bit of peanut butter can make the process much more appealing to them. You also don't have to worry about trying to push the pill down their throat. They're more likely to eat it without a fuss.
Using It With A Kong
When your dog needs to stay entertained for a while, some peanut butter in a Kong toy can be a great way to hold their attention without resulting in damage to your home. This is a great option for young, energetic pups or those who need something to chew on.
Homemade Treats For Dogs
Using peanut butter, you can make your own dog treats pretty easily. This is a fantastic option for those who want to know exactly what their dog is consuming, and you can even add other helpful ingredients like glucosamine, pumpkin or CBD for added benefits.
Just A Spoonful
Sometimes, you just want to give your dog a spoonful of peanut butter. As long as it is used in moderation, there's nothing wrong with that! They love it, and dog-friendly peanut butter is unlikely to harm them in small amounts. Not to mention they'll go crazy for the special treat!
Considering Some Alternatives
If you don't want to use peanut butter all the time, there are a few other healthy alternatives that you may want to make use of here and there. Each of these options can provide some great benefits to the health of your dog, as well as give them something tasty to enjoy!
For years, people have turned to rawhide bones for the sake of giving their dog something to chew on. However, these bones can result in a variety of health issues. However, carrots are natural, safe and hard enough for dogs to chew on for a while. Dogs eat carrots quite often in their dog foods, so you can even add some cooked carrots into their meals without a problem.
If you've ever wondered if dogs can have apples, then it can be helpful to know they can! There are a number of vitamins and minerals in apples that are great for dogs. However, you shouldn't just toss your dog a raw apple, as the cores and seeds can both be dangerous to them. Slicing up some apple for them can make for a good treat in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Celery?
Celery can also be an enjoyable treat for a dog to enjoy here and there. They contain helpful vitamins, help with bad breath and are allow dogs to enjoy a crunchy texture. Keep in mind that like other veggies, fruits and peanut butter, they should be given in moderation.
CBD For Dogs
One of the fantastic ingredients you can add to peanut butter is CBD. If you aren't familiar with CBD, it's essentially a powerful supplement that can help to keep healthy dogs in good shape, and assist dogs suffering from things like arthritis, anxiety, nausea or even chemotherapy side effects.
CBD Peanut Butter
Adding something like CBD oil to peanut butter for dogs can provide them with a healthy treat as well as benefits for any illnesses or conditions they may have, or just to keep them feeling great. It's a great addition to homemade or safe store-bought peanut butter, or peanut butter treats.
Top CBD Products
There are a variety of great CBD products out there, such as those offered by Innovet. It's worth keeping in mind that CBD products you purchase should be high-quality and organic to ensure the best results and avoid any unwanted reactions, or even just the effects of included chemicals over time. Be sure to check for the company's certificate of analysis. When it comes to CBD products, there's a variety to choose from, including CBD oil, hemp treats, hemp chews, hemp capsules, hemp botanical supplement chews, and CBD topicals.
CBD oil for dogs is a perfect option for adding to peanut butter or homemade peanut butter treats. All it takes is a drop or two per treat and you'll be able to make those treats even better for your dog. Even just a spoonful of peanut butter with a couple of drops added in really packs the benefits into what your dog thinks is just a small treat.
When you want an alternative to peanut butter, fruits, and veggies, CBD dog treats are a fantastic option. They come in some fantastic flavors, and even softer hemp treat option for dogs who may have trouble with crunchy treats.
Peanut Butter For Dogs: The Bottom Line
While there are things to watch out for in store-bought varieties of peanut butter out there, it's also worth keeping in mind that peanut butter is good for dogs, as long as it is made in a dog-friendly way. In addition, many find it to be quite easy to make their own and add in other healthy ingredients that their dog will love!
Sources:Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs
Xylitol toxicity in dogs
New findings on the effects of xylitol ingestion in dogs
Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs
Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade
Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books, and making salted caramel cookies.
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The Innovet Team
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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