Question: Can dogs eat peanuts? And can dogs eat peanut butter?
Answer: When it comes to your dog eating nuts, this is one of the most important and delicate subjects you can come across.
A lot of dog owners don’t really know (which is why they search for this stuff online or ask their veterinarian about it) that some nuts have the potential to be toxic and deadly to your dog, such as the macadamia nut.
But what about peanuts and peanut butter? Can dogs eat peanuts? Can dogs eat peanut butter? Are these two safe for your dog to eat or not?
Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
In principle, YES dogs can eat peanuts safely, because they are not considered toxic to be a toxic food to your dog, unlike other nuts.
However, you should know that even though peanuts are safe for your dog to eat, they contain high levels of fat, and dogs have difficulty digesting a lot of fat in their system.
When dogs eat something that contains high levels of fat, they can get stomach aches, diarrhea, start to vomit and, most dangerously of all, develop a serious condition called pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis means that your dog’s pancreas has become inflammated because of the high levels of fat they consumed, and they now require professional treatment for it. And the last thing you want to do is to have your dog develop pancreatitis, because its treatment is one of the most painful experiences they’ll ever have in their life.
You must also be aware that ANY peanuts or peanut butter you give to your dog MUST absolutely be very low in sodium. If you give your dog either of the two with significant levels of sodium inside, you’re putting your dog at risk of sodium ion toxicosis.
As long as you give your dog only a few unsalted, unspiced and unflavored peanuts (all of which can be a health disaster for your dog), you should be fine.
You should also make sure that you remove the shells from any peanuts you feed your dog, because the rough nature of the shells can lead to serious physical damage to your dog’s digestive tract.
How Much Peanuts Can Dogs Eat?
If you’re feeding your dog peanuts for the first time, start off by feeding them only 1-2 pieces and observe how your dog responds to them. When introducing your dog to foods they aren’t familiar with for the first time, if you give them too much of them at first, your dog can start to vomit and have diarrhea.
You must also give your dog only a few peanuts at first to make sure they aren’t allergic to them. If you feed them only a few pieces and find out that they’re allergic to them, the treatment is easy. But, if you feed them a whole bag of peanuts and then find out they’re allergic to peanuts, you’re in for a hard time.
You must also know that dogs don’t really chew on their food as we humans do, they just swallow whatever comes along. So, if you give your dog a whole bowl of peanuts and tell them to feel free, they can swallow them all at once, which will lead to a whole world of problems, such as stomach upset, constipation and even choking.
So, as a general rule of thumb and due to the high levels of fat contained in them (which we talked about above), feel free to give your dog a few peanuts but only on occasions. Don’t make a regular habit out of it.
Why Should Dogs Eat Peanuts?
- Are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, which are excellent for your dog’s heart and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Contain vitamin E,
- Contain niacin, which is excellent for helping keeping blood flow in optimal form
- Contain protein
- Contain folate
- Contain manganese
- Are rich in antioxidants
- Contain fiber, which helps decrease the risk of your dog getting colon cancer and helps keep their stool in tip top shape.
- Contain Coenzyme Q10, which ensures optimal oxygen flow to your dog’s heart at all times
- Contain resveratrol, which is notorious for its help in anti-aging, memory loss (Alzheimer’s) and cancer
- Contain calcium, which helps in the development, growth and maintenance of your dog’s bone health
Things To Watch Out For
As we talked about earlier in this article, peanuts can cause allergic reactions in some dogs.
You will be able to notice that your dog has an allergic reaction to the peanuts they just ate if they develop a skin rash, start to itch or have their lips or tongue abnormally swell.
Also, if your dog has any sort of kidney or gall-bladder problems, do not feed them any peanuts because of the oxalates contained inside them.
Peanuts, especially those that aren’t exactly fresh, can develop molds and fungus inside them. If your dog consumes the fungus in the peanuts, it can mean very serious problems for their health, leading all the way up to mental retardation.
This is why you should always make sure that any raw peanuts you buy have been stored in the highest-quality dry environment, which greatly minimizes the risk of the peanuts developing fungus.
Is Peanut Butter Good For Dogs Or Is Peanut Butter Bad For Dogs?
YES, dogs can eat peanut butter and peanut butter is actually good for dogs.
For normal, healthy dogs which do not have any issues with being overweight or health problems, small amounts of peanut butter every now and then (a small spoonful) is more than fine.
But, you MUST only feed your dog 100% natural, organic and raw peanut butter without any added sugar, salt and preservatives, all of which are potentially toxic for your dog.
Moreover, you have to be really careful about how you feed your dog peanut butter. It’s not unheard of among veterinarians to come across cases where the dog owner was feeding their dog peanut butter with a spoon, and their dog got overly excited and swallowed down the whole spoon without much that the dog owner could do.
Dogs love their peanut butter and when they get over-excited about them, bad things like that could happen.
Also, you’re better off giving your dog creamy varieties of all natural peanut butter instead of chunky ones, because the latter might put your dog (especially if they’re still a puppy) at a choking risk.
A very cool trick some dog owners like to use peanut butter with is when it comes to giving your dog medicine. As you may already have experience with, dogs aren’t very fond of taking medicine. So, what you can do is wrap the medicine around completely with peanut butter, give it to your dog, sit back and watch them swallow it. Problem gone! 🙂
Peanut butter may come in very handy during training sessions where your dog just isn’t being motivated by the same old treat anymore. When this happens, you can step it up a notch and use one of your most powerful weapons, peanut butter! It does the trick every time.
Peanut butter also does dog owners a huge favor when it comes to your dog’s oral health. If your dog gives you a hard time when it comes to cleaning their teeth, try using peanut butter flavored toothpaste on them. Your dog will love you for it, and so will their teeth!.
Peanut butter contains:
- Vitamin E (helps in keeping your dog’s immunity system in excellent shape, fighting sicknesses and diseases away)
- Vitamin H (aids in keeping your dog’s coat and skin healthy and glowing)
- Vitamin B3
- Dietary fiber
A Very Important Note About Xylitol In Peanut Butter
Nowadays, many peanut butter brands include the sugar substitute xylitol as part of their ingredients, which is very toxic and potentially deadly to your dog.
Sometimes these brands don’t directly mention xylitol, but the include the wording “natural sweetener” or “sugar alcohol” as part of the ingredients label, which may be enough to hint that xylitol has been used in their product.
Xylitol may be safe for humans to consume, but it’s deadly for dogs if they do so. Even the slightest amount of xylitol could give your dog a very serious drop in blood sugar levels, send them into coma, give them seizures, lead to liver failure and eventually death.
If you suspect your dog has ingested even the tiniest bit of xylitol, immediate contact your veterinarian.
Here are some signs that might suggest xylitol toxicity in your dog: