WWho doesn’t love peanut butter? It’s a popular healthy treat among humans, but can dogs eat peanut butter like we do and is peanut butter safe for dogs to eat?
What are the benefits of feeding peanut butter to dogs and are there any side effects?
Let’s take a closer look.
In case you were wondering: “can i give my dog peanut butter,” the answer is YES – dogs can eat peanut butter and it’s not toxic to dogs, but they exist certain size portions you shall follow.
More on that later…
My dog Belle loves peanut butter. I usually stuff the inside of her Kong toy with peanut butter a few times a week.
Now I don’t know if your dog is like mine but all she cares about is food. So it’s an easy compromise for some mental stimulation while I get the job done.
She will lick her Kong toy until the inside is clean.
I realize peanut butter is high in fat, so use it in moderation.
Just like with most other human treats, you have to be very careful.
Dogs really like peanut butter and it can be one of their favorite treats.
In the past, it was easy to scoop up some natural peanut butter and leave it to them.
Today, with so many different brands of peanut butter, you should approach it with caution.
In fact, there are many homemade dog food recipes out there, including peanut butter.
Here’s a list of great recipes with videos we’ve put together for dog treats and foods with peanut butter:
The above recipes all contain natural peanut butter with no additives and are hugely popular with dogs (watch the videos for proof).
They are also healthy and nutritious for your dog.
If you didn’t know what peanut butter looks like:
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Natural peanut butter is actually healthy for dogs and is rich in many important antioxidants (Ferguson et al. 2005) as well as common vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
However, keep in mind that peanut butter is also high in calories.
If possible, it’s better to make your own peanut butter. This eliminates additives to which dogs are more sensitive.
How Much Peanut Butter Can Dogs Eat?
Usually, a spoonful of peanut butter is enough for the dog as an occasional treat, depending on your dog’s size.
However, you should be careful because giving them too much can cause an upset stomach.
Feeding your dog too much too often will result in extra calories and can lead to obesity or worse (acutely) pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is never taken lightly, which means you will spend all day or night in the vet’s office getting diagnosed and treated.
Is Peanut Butter Good for Dogs?
For humans, studies have even shown many health benefits:
- It can lower the risk of colon cancer (1)
- It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes (2)
- It lowers bad cholesterol levels (3)
However, there are things to be aware of when giving peanut butter to dogs.
Before giving peanut butter to your dog, take a look at the labels.
It has become commonplace to put artificial sweeteners in peanut butter.
This makes it more appealing to those watching their sugar intake.
Peanut butter can use almost any artificial sweetener but usually adds xylitol. This is poison for dogs and cats.
ALSO READ: Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
What is xylitol?
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener popular in candy, chewing gum, and peanut butter.
Xylitol and xanthan gum are the same chemically. Both are extremely toxic to your pet, which has been confirmed in clinical studies (Piscitelli et al. 2010). Xylitol can cause death within a short period of time if ingested.
Symptoms after a dog consumes xylitol can come on quickly 15 minutes (most common when eating peanut butter). There are sugar-free gums that delay these symptoms for up to 12 hours.
Some of the most common symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs are:
- loss of coordination
Dogs can experience large-scale bleeding through the intestines, stomach or abdomen. Your dog may have dark red spots on his gums, along with pinprick bleeding.
Liver failure can occur if the dog’s blood sugar becomes too low.
A small piece of sugar-free gum or a small spoonful of peanut butter with xylitol will cause toxicity in dogs, depending on their body weight.
The reason xylitol is toxic to dogs is because it causes a rapid release of insulin into the dog’s bloodstream.
This leads to a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, which is when the above symptoms appear.
Diagnosis of xylitol toxicity in dogs
To diagnose xylitol toxicity in dogs, you need to take your pet to the vet. The dog will have numerous blood tests.
The vet will do a complete blood count, which includes a blood chemistry profile and a complete blood count. Next it will be a urinalysis. During your dog’s exam, the vet will ask you about the symptoms you’ve observed to make sure he knows what he’s looking for. Your dog may also have bleeding disorders. Coagulation profiles and fibrinogen testing are done to confirm suspicion.
Treatment of xylitol toxicity in dogs
If you just caught your dog eating peanut butter with xylitol and have contacted your veterinarian or animal poisons help line, they may make you vomit as a first step.
The vet will suggest methods to get your dog to vomit, but this doesn’t always help. Sometimes, if successful, the dog can improve on its own. If it doesn’t, and tests show low serum potassium or blood sugar, then he puts the dog on a fluid therapy program.
He will do frequent blood tests to further assess the level of xylitol toxicity. He’ll check his liver function. The result is usually restrained to bad. This depends on how long the xylitol has been in the dog’s system and the follow-up tests the vet will do.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter: Spread the Good News
Always read labels on peanut butter
Prevention is the best solution.
Dogs enjoy peanut butter on its own or baked into their treats.
Natural peanut butter for dogs with no additives and no xylitol is completely safe.
It’s up to you to check the labels carefully to protect your dog’s health.
This isn’t limited to peanut butter either.
Store all diet products (sugar-free) out of reach in tall cabinets or counters, much like you would baby-proof your home.
Keep your purse out of the way of a prying nose when storing gum or candy in it.
It’s best to avoid all artificial sweeteners when it comes to dogs.
However, other standard sweeteners like aspartamine, saccharin, sucralose, and stevia are not as dangerous for dogs. The one thing to watch out for and never use is xylitol.
READ MORE: Can dogs eat peanuts or are peanuts bad for dogs?