Can a dog eat peanut butter? And should you give your dog some peanut butter as a treat from time to time?
You just opened a jar of peanut butter and your dog just came running towards the kitchen barking for nutty goodness, but can a dog eat peanut butter?
There is a lot of misinformation about whether a dog can eat peanut butter as some dog owners give their dogs it nearly every day.
First, of all, it depends on the brand of peanut butter, as there are some brands that contain harmful additives.
Secondly, even with the right brand, you have to be careful of the amount as peanut butter contains a lot of calories and fat.
Guide To Can a Dog Eat Peanut Butter
Many dog owners often give their dogs peanut butter, and of course, nearly every dog loves the taste of peanut butter.
You might spread some onto hollow bones and toys for a treat or give them a lick as easy gratification from a spoon.
From a wellness standpoint, you should be mindful of certain peanut butter information before having your dog clean out an entire jar.
Is Peanut Butter Recommended For a Dog?
Most peanut butter is not recommended. Peanut butter can be a decent source of protein, balanced fats, vitamins B and E, and niacin.
However, recently I found out information that peanut butter contains Aflatoxins.
Research has shown that aflatoxins are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and may be toxic to the liver. The FDA warns about this.
There was a study by the Consumers Union a few years ago, that reviewed the levels of aflatoxins in peanut butter.
They found the Lowest Levels of aflatoxins were in the Big Brands; Peter Pan, Jif, And Skippy.
Can a Dog Eat Peanut Butter If You Use One of the Three Big Brands?
Those brands at least do not have a high level of aflatoxins, but still, peanut butter is high in fat and not a recommended treat for your dog.
However, if you do want to add just a tiny amount to a dog treat, you need to read the labels and select a natural peanut butter, as some manufacturers add some artificial preservatives and sweeteners to their products.
These are not harmful to humans but can be lethal to our furry buddies, especially small-sized dogs, i.e., dachshunds.
Which Peanut Butter Additives Are Harmful to Dogs?
Following is a list of harmful additives in peanut butter:
Some of the suppliers of peanut butter have recently switched to xylitol.
Xylitol is a supplement for sugar commonly in non-sugar items such as chewing gum, toothpaste, breath-mint, and baked goods.
This is healthy for humans, but it is dangerous for pets.
Xylitol intake triggers quick insulin release by dogs, resulting in a reduction in blood sugar levels that is both swift and profound. So, if left unchecked, it may be life-endangering.
This phenomenon will develop as quickly as 10-60 minutes after swallowing xylitol, which is medically called hypoglycemia.
Artificial preservatives should be prevented for dogs as long-term use of them can cause some serious complications.
There is a high chance that the peanut butter you are getting has one of these preservatives E320 (BHA), E324 (Ethoxyquin), E321 (BHT), E202 (Potassium Sorbate), and E310 (Propyl Gallate).
These preservatives are not life-threatening, but your dog is already exposed to them from their food and other sources. It is better to find peanut butter without unnecessary added artificial preservatives.
Salt is commonly used as sodium chloride to improve the taste of dog foods. Dogs require a minimal dose of salt, which can be applied to unhealthy amounts, which may contribute to some heart problems and high blood pressure.
These are some of the major additives in our peanut butter, which can potentially harm our furriers, and these have the worst effects on small dogs.
In some peanut butter products, heaps of sugar are added to hide the taste of bad peanuts or over-roasted peanuts.
This impacts the flavor but not the toxicity of the food. But, these loads of sugar can be bad for small children and as well as dogs.
Sugar can provoke hyperactive attitudes, resulting in aggression and a face-off between the dog and the owner. Sugar can have some serious behavior issues in all dogs, especially in small ones.
Can a Dog Eat Peanut Butter With A Safe Brand?
Any peanut butter that contains xylitol (or chocolate) is dangerous for dogs.
A few peanut butter brands do not contain xylitol, however, peanut butter is still not a healthy recommended treat.
Can a Dog Eat Peanut Butter With Most Store Brands on the Shelves?
As stated earlier, the three big brands at least are somewhat safe for your dog, but make sure there are no preservatives and added sugar as that is not healthy.
You should look for natural peanut butter that is free from contaminants peanut butter (or nut butter altogether).
So, if you must decide to give any small amount of peanut butter to your dog…make sure it is raw and free from hydrogenated fat as well.
The safest peanut butter uses nothing fancy, just plain old peanuts.
How Much Peanut Butter Is Okay for Dogs?
A little bit of peanut butter might be okay for your dog but don’t overdo it.
The actual quantity of peanut butter can differ from dog to dog and the ratio of peanut butter to peanut butter.
Peanut butter is high in calories, so I would only recommend a very small amount.
Can a Dog Eat Peanut Butter if Given a Very Small Amount?
You should only give a dog no more than a quarter of a teaspoon and for bigger dogs maybe around a half teaspoon of peanut butter.
If you give your dog more than that, this could be a path to obesity, plus it is not really healthy either.
So can a dog eat peanut butter…the answer is it is not recommended.
But if you want to occasionally give a very small amount and only give the safest natural brands then that could be okay.
Why Does Your Dog Need Peanut Butter?
Of course you don’t have to offer peanut butter to your dog at all, as there are many other better foods for treats that are not so high in calories and fat.
The only reason I give my dog peanut butter was that he has a daily supplement and he won’t eat it. But just a smidgen of peanut butter on it, he gulps it right down.
It turns out that dogs are not keen on only meat the roasted scent of peanuts in peanut butter. This fusion of fats and proteins makes it smell like caramelized meat to dogs.
Many peanut butter brands have some added sugar, and this also makes a dog go crazy for the flavor because sugar tends to be a little addictive.
So, it’s just like your average doughnuts or cake, you don’t NEED it, but you feel pleasure eating them.
It is not recommended, but if you insist, then you need to read the labels for a safety check from the items mentioned earlier.
And again, you only want to give a very small amount otherwise it isn’t really healthy, plus, your dog will be getting way too many calories and they could become obese.
A better alternative is to have peanut butter-flavored treats. Below is a healthy alternative they really enjoy the peanut butter flavor.
SmartBones SmartSticks Peanut Butter Chews Dog Treats
- 96% OVERALL
- 30 Sticks Total (3 packs with 10 Sticks per pack)
- Safe, healthy alternative to rawhide
- Great for helping prevent tartar and plaque buildup
- Made with real peanut butter and fortified with vitamins and minerals
- Completely rawhide free and 99 percent digestible
- And if your dog becomes obese that could lead to other health issues.