Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter

Yes, dogs can safely eat peanut butter. Plain, all-natural, and unsalted peanut butter that does not contain xylitol is safe for dogs to consume. It’s a rich source of plant proteins, fats, antioxidants, minerals such as potassium, zinc, folate, phosphorus, and vitamins B, E, and niacin. It can help boost energy, build strong muscles, support kidney and heart health, and improve skin and coat health.

Besides the health benefits, peanut butter can be used to give medication, as a high-value treat when training, and toys to keep dogs occupied in the puzzle.

However, peanut butter is high in calories and fats and should only be given in moderation as an occasional treat. 

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What are the Benefits of Peanut Butter for Dogs? 

The benefits of peanut butter for dogs are listed below.

  • Improves energy: With about 100 calories in a single tablespoon, peanut butter can give more energy to dogs.  It contains niacin, which helps break down sugars and fats into usable energy needed to boost tired and lethargic dogs.
  • Builds healthy muscles: Peanut butter provides an excellent source of proteins that’s essential for building and maintaining strong and healthy muscles in dogs. Proteins are the building blocks for new muscles and aids in preventing muscle degeneration.
  • Promotes heart health: Peanut butter is rich in unsaturated which are necessary for a healthy heart. In addition, it has minerals such as magnesium and vitamin E, and niacin that promote proper heart health and functioning.
  • Improves skin and coat health: With its protein, vitamin E, and healthy fats, peanut butter contributes to healthy skin and coat in dogs. The abundant fats in peanut butter are essential in maintaining healthy and well-balanced skin and improving dry and irritated skin in dogs.
  • Boosts digestive health: Peanut butter contains niacin, beneficial for a healthy digestive tract. It aids in the production of stomach acids and bile, which destroy harmful bacteria in a dog’s gut. Additionally, peanut butter is rich in fiber which is helpful for digestion in dogs.
  • Enhances overall health: Peanut butter is rich in antioxidants. These aid in fighting free radicals that are harmful to the body cells, reduce oxidative stress, improve immune health and contribute to overall health improvement in dogs.

What are the Harms of Peanut Butter for Dogs? 

The harms of Peanut Butter for dogs are listed below:

  • Pancreatitis: Peanut butter is very high in fats. Feeding dogs on foods containing too much fat overworks the pancreas leading to its inflammation. The pancreas is responsible for helping dogs digest fats. This puts dogs at the risk of developing pancreatitis. This is a severe condition that can be fatal if not carefully handled.
  • Obesity: Peanut butter packs too many calories, with one teaspoon containing about 100 calories. Feeding too much peanut butter to dogs gives them extra calories and puts them at risk of canine obesity. This unhealthy weight can cause other health problems such as heart and joint issues.
  • Xylitol poisoning: Some peanut butter contains an artificial sweetener called xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Consumption of xylitol leads to a rapid release of insulin in dogs and consequently a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels. 

When Should a Dog Eat Peanut Butter? 

Dogs can consume peanut butter at any time of the day and benefit from its well of nutrients. It’s rich in proteins essential for the building and maintenance of healthy muscles and tissues.

Giving dogs peanut butter can help improve the quality of sleep. This is because it is a good source of tryptophan which aids in enhancing the sleep quality in canines. Additionally, this hormone aids in the production of serotonin and melatonin, both of which are essential for regulating sleep patterns in dogs and humans alike.

Feeding peanut butter to sick dogs can help to rejuvenate them and make them feel better. This is because it provides a good source of energy which revitalizes them.  In addition, dogs with skin issues can also benefit from eating peanut butter.  It’s packed with healthy fats like omega 6, essential for skin health.

Peanut butter can also be given when training a dog. It can be fed as a high-value reward when the dog displays desired behaviors to encourage it to keep doing them. This can help foster appropriate behavior as a dog will associate those good behaviors with the reward.

Peanut butter can also be used when giving medication to dogs. It can be challenging to get dogs to take pills or capsules willingly. Using some peanut butter to cover the medicines can make it easier. The pleasant flavor and creaminess of peanut butter disguise the texture and taste of the drugs.

How Much Peanut Butter Can a Dog Eat per Day? 

Peanut butter is high in energy, with about 180-200 calories in 2 tablespoons. The majority of these calories are from fat. As such, feeding too much peanut butter can result in extra calories quickly mounting up in dogs.

These high-calorie levels can lead to issues like obesity and pancreatitis. Peanut butter should therefore be fed in moderate amounts occasionally as a treat.

Peanut butter being a treat, the 10% rule should apply while feeding peanut butter. Generally, treats should not make more than 10% of the dog’s total daily calories. 

The exact amount of peanut butter that a dog can take depends on its size, weight, and breed. Other important factors to consider are the dog’s general health and diagnosed conditions.  Consult your vet and find out how safe and how much peanut can be given if your dog is suffering from diabetes, pancreatitis, or obesity. 

However, large breeds dogs can eat more peanut butter than small breed dogs. This is because they are bigger and require and have a higher daily calorie need than the small breed dogs. An Akita, for example, a large breed dog, can eat more peanut butter than a small breed dog such as a Chihuahua. 

The table below shows the ideal amounts of peanut butter that dogs of different weights can safely eat without negatively affecting their health.

Approximate Daily Caloric Needs for Average Dogs

 

Dog’s Weight

Average Total Daily Calories inclusive of treats.

Maximum Amount of peanut Butter

Up to 10 lbs 

200-300

½  teaspoon

10 lbs- 20 lbs 

300-450

1 teaspoon

20 lbs-50 lbs 

500-900

1.5-2 teaspoon

50 lbs and above

700 + 

Up to 2 tablespoons

Which Nutrition from Peanut Butter are Beneficial for Dogs’ Health

The beneficial nutritions from peanut butter for a dog are listed below.

  • Potassium: Peanut butter is a good source of potassium. 100 grams of peanut contains up to 649 mg of potassium. Dogs have a daily potassium requirement of 0.6%. Thus, peanut butter can help meet this requirement. Potassium is important to dogs as it helps in PH management, fluid body management, blood pressure regulation, nerve impulses, digestion, muscle, and heart contractions.
  • Magnesium: With about 154 mg in 100g, peanut butter is a rich source of magnesium. This mineral aids cells to metabolize B-vitamins. It is also essential for proper heart and muscle functioning. In conjunction with calcium, it supports healthy bone development.
  • Phosphorus: Peanut butter has a good amount of phosphorus, about 120mg in two tablespoons of peanut butter. Phosphorus works with calcium to keep the bones and ligaments of dogs healthy. It also helps with muscle contractions which supports motor functions in dogs. The mineral is also necessary for the health of the kidneys and the maintenance of normal heart rhythms in dogs.
  • Zinc: A 100 g of peanut butter contains about 2.7 mg of zinc. This can help meet the daily zinc requirement of 120 mg. The nutrient is essential for dogs as it helps them accomplish various tasks. Zinc is necessary for clearer vision, faster wound healing, healthy skin, cognitive function. It can also help fight illnesses and aid in the generation of several body hormones and promote immune health. 
  • Protein: Peanut butter is high in plant-based proteins. These are necessary building blocks for organ tissues and cells in dogs. They also aid in the development and maintenance of healthy muscles. The amino acids present in proteins are responsible for various body functions, including a smooth workflow and better digestion.
  • Niacin: This is a water-soluble vitamin also known as vitamin B3. It helps the body transform nutrients into energy. If your dog requires extra energy, niacin abundant in peanut butter can meet that need. This nutrient also promotes digestive system health. It is responsible for producing bile and stomach acids, both of which are powerful antibacterial agents. Additionally, niacin is necessary for proper metabolism, cognition, and hormone synthesis.
  • Vitamin B6: Also known as pyridoxine, an essential vitamin that helps a dog’s body maintain a healthy potassium-sodium balance. It is also crucial for red blood cells production, optimal brain functioning, and protein breakdown.
  • Antioxidants: Peanut butter is rich in antioxidants such as coumaric acid and resveratrol. These help fight free radicals that cause cell oxidation in dogs. Antioxidants also aid in slowing down the aging process in dogs. It also helps reduce inflammation and boosts the immune health of dogs.
  • Copper: Peanut butter also contains copper, a mineral that supports bone health, immune system function, and blood vessel health in dogs. It can also help avoid osteoporosis and heart disease.

The nutritional profile of 100 g of peanut butter is as follows:

  • Calories: 588
  • Fat:50 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 17 mg
  • Potassium: 649 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 20 g
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Sugar 9 g

Which Nutrition from Peanut Butter are Harmful to Dogs’ Health?  

The following nutritions in peanut butter are harmful to dogs.

Too much sodium: Peanut butter is added with salt making it high in sodium. Giving too much peanut butter to dogs can lead to sodium accumulation in their bodies, causing sodium poisoning. This is a severe condition that can lead to kidney problems and even death. 

Symptoms of sodium poisoning include:

  • Extreme thirst and urination
  • Fever 
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting 
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Staggering
  • Nausea 
  • Seizures

Too much fats: Peanut butter is very high in saturated fats. Consumption of too much fat results in dogs gaining too many calories. Besides putting dogs at the risk of obesity, a high-fat content can cause pancreatitis. An unhealthy weight gain can cause other health problems, including immobility, joint pains, and heart issues. Pancreatitis, the inflammation of the pancreas, is a severe condition in dogs and can cause death. 

Toxicity: Peanut butter is often added with artificial sweeteners called xylitol. This component is highly toxic to dogs as it causes a rapid rise in insulin, leading to a sharp decrease in blood sugar levels. This condition is known as hypoglycemia which is highly life-threatening if left unaddressed. Peanut butter may also contain aflatoxins resulting from the Aspergillus fungus. These aflatoxins can cause cancer or liver damage in dogs.

Unbalanced fats: Although peanut butter is rich in monounsaturated fats, it has a poor omega 6 to omega 3 ratio. Peanut butter has too many omega 6’s and little omega 3’s. Very high amounts of omega 6 can trigger inflammation in dogs. 

What Peanut Butter is Bad for Dogs? 

Any peanut butter that contains the artificial sweetener xylitol should never be given to dogs. Xylitol is extremely deadly to dogs as it causes a quick rise in insulin which in return leads to a significant decrease in blood sugar levels, a condition otherwise referred to as hypoglycemia. This needs immediate medical attention.

What Brands of Peanut Butter can Dogs Eat? 

It is important to thoroughly go through the ingredients label to identify any harmful ingredients that may be included. Any peanut butter brand that lists xylitol in its ingredient list should be kept away from the dogs. Even in small amounts, xylitol can be fatal to dogs as it causes hypoglycemia.

When selecting peanut butter for your dog,  ensure you only go for brands that don’t include xylitol artificial sweeteners. The following four brands are renowned for peanut butter that contains xylitol and should therefore be avoided:

  • Go Nuts, Co
  • Krush Nutrition
  • P28
  • Nuts ‘N More

Can Peanut Butter Affect Dog’s Mood? 

Yes, a dog’s mood can be improved by feeding it peanut butter. This is because it contains tryptophan, which aids in creating serotonin. This hormone can boost a dog’s mood by easing tension and reducing anxiety. Serotonin aides in promoting happy feelings in dogs and humans as well.

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Peanut Butter? 

Yes, weaned puppies, regardless of their breed, can eat peanut butter in very tiny amounts without harming their health. It is rich in proteins and fats essential in building strong muscles and healthy skin in dogs. It also has other minerals and vitamins, including vitamin B6, niacin, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus, essential for optimal health.

When Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? 

From 6 weeks of age, puppies can be given peanut butter but in very tiny amounts. It should also never be used as a daily treat. This is because puppies have very sensitive stomachs, and feeding them too much can cause digestive upsets. As they grow up,  the amount can be slightly be increased.

Can Old Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? 

Yes, old dogs, regardless of their breed, can safely eat peanut butter. It provides a good source of proteins that senior dogs require to repair and maintain their muscles. It also helps give some energy boost necessary to keep old dogs active.

Peanut butter is abundant in other essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that can help boost dogs’ health. It contains potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, and some B-vitamins, all of which contribute to optimal health for aging dogs.

Additionally, old dogs can benefit from the antioxidants in peanut butter that aid in slowing down the aging process.

Can Different Dog Breeds Eat Peanut Butter with Different Amounts?  

Yes, different dog breeds can eat different amounts of peanut butter per day depending on their size. Generally, the larger the dog, the more peanut butter it can consume. Large breed dogs require more calories daily than small breed dogs and can eat more peanut butter. 

A Labrador Retriever weighing 55-80 pounds needs an average of between 700-800 calories daily. It can thus eat more peanut butter than a Pug that weighs 14-18 pounds and has a daily calorie need of 200-400. Thus, different dog breeds have variable daily calorie, vitamin, and mineral requirements and, as a result, can consume different amounts of peanut butter depending on their weight.

The following dog breeds can eat more peanut butter daily:

  • Akita: Akitas have an average weight of 70-130 pounds and require up to 2200 calories. They are allowed up to 1 tablespoon of peanut butter daily.
  • Boerboel: These are large dogs weighing between 100-200 pounds on average. They need about 2800  calories per day. These dogs can therefore take up to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter daily.

The dog Breed below can eat less peanut butter than other dog breeds daily.

  • Pugs: These small dogs weigh between 14-18 pounds and have a daily calorie requirement of 450-600 calories. They should hence take up to 1 teaspoon of peanut butter.
  • Pomeranians: These dogs have an average weight of 10 pounds and require 300-400 calories daily. They can safely consume ½ teaspoon of peanut butter daily.

Which Dog Breeds are Peanut Butter More Beneficial for?  

Peanut butter is beneficial to all dog breeds. It’s rich in proteins and other essential vitamins and minerals necessary for supporting optimal growth for dogs of different breeds. However, dogs experiencing skin-related issues can highly benefit from the abundant fats and vitamin E available in peanut butter.

Which Dog Breeds are Peanut Butter Less Beneficial for? 

Peanut butter is not less beneficial to any dog breed. It only becomes less valuable if the wrong kind is given or when moderation is not observed. Feeding too much peanut or the kind that contains artificial sweeteners can result in a host of health problems for dogs, including pancreatitis, obesity, and hypoglycemia.

What Kind of Peanut Butter can Dogs Eat?  

The healthiest option for dogs is unsalted peanut butter or homemade peanut butter. This is primarily made from peanuts only without any additives. Salt and some other additives such as chocolate can be harmful to dogs. It should not contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s highly toxic to dogs.

Which Peanut Butter Recipes and Parts Can be Eaten Safely by Dogs?

Although peanut butter is considered safe for dogs, some varieties may be harmful and should be avoided.

The following are some of the safe and unsafe peanut recipes for dogs.

  1. Peanut Butter Cookies
  2. Peanut Butter Crackers
  3. Peanut Butter Sandwich
  4.  Peanut Butter Biscuits
  5. Peanut Butter Pretzels
  6. Peanut Butter Ice-Cream

1. Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are made with flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder, and peanut butter, which are not harmful to dogs.

Dogs can safely eat peanut butter cookies as long as they do not contain chocolates which is harmful to dogs. Cookies can lead to obesity in dogs and should be fed in moderation.

2. Peanut Butter Crackers

These are crunchy and flavorful snacks perfect as occasional dog treats.

Dogs can safely eat peanut butter crackers in small quantities, either plain or homemade. Commercial crackers contain high sugar and salt content, leading to obesity or sodium poisoning.

3. Peanut Butter Sandwich

A peanut butter sandwich that does not contain xylitol is good for dogs.

Dogs can eat peanut butter sandwiches safely as long as it’s given in moderation. Feeding too much of this can lead to canine obesity.

4. Peanut Butter Biscuits

Just like cookies, peanut butter biscuits are made with flour, eggs, baking powder, and peanut butter.

Dogs can eat peanut butter biscuits safely as long as they don’t contain chocolates, preservatives, or any other added sweeteners such as xylitol which are all harmful to dogs 

5. Peanut Butter Pretzels

Pretzels are high in carbohydrates, calories, and sugars, which can be harmful to dogs.

Dogs can safely eat peanut butter pretzels as long as they are plain, unsalted, and given in moderation. However, pretzels covered in sugar and salt shouldn’t be given to dogs as they can cause obesity or sodium poisoning in dogs.

6. Peanut Butter Ice-Cream

Peanut butter ice cream is made from milk cream and peanut butter. Although this is not toxic, dogs have difficulties digesting dairy products.

Dogs cannot eat peanut butter ice cream. It is not advisable to give peanut butter ice cream to dogs as they may have difficulties digesting it. Additionally, this is high in starch and calories, which can cause obesity.

Which Dog Food Brands Do Use Peanut Butter within Dog Foods? 

The following dog food brands incorporate peanut butter in their recipes;

  • Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food

This premier dog food company utilizes high-quality real ingredients in all its formulations. It has several recipes with peanut butter, such as Hill’s Natural Soft Savories with Peanut Butter & Banana Dog Treats. It contains no corn, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives hence suitable for sensitive stomachs. Its also fortified with vitamin E and fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat.

  • Health Extension Dog Food

This dog food company makes healthy treats for dogs. Some of its recipes include peanut butter as an ingredient. This is Health Extension Grain-Free Oven Baked Peanut Butter Recipe with Banana Dog Treats is one of such recipes. It’s a tasty treat with peanut butter and banana flavor. In addition, it’s grain and gluten-free hence ideal for dogs with food sensitivities.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter When Sick?

Yes, sick dogs can eat peanut butter. This is because it has various nutrients, including essential vitamins and minerals, that can help improve their immunity and fight off the disease.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Peanut Butter? 

Yes, anemic dogs can benefit from eating peanut butter. It provides a good source of iron that’s crucial for red blood cells formation. These are essential for blood formation and transportation throughout a dog’s body. 

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Peanut Butter? 

Yes, dogs with kidney disease can eat peanut butter. Plain, unsalted peanut butter contains minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus that are great for kidney health.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter to Help With Diarrhea? 

Yes, peanut butter is rich in dietary fiber, which aids digestion and helps soothe stomach upsets in dogs. Fiber is also essential in helping to firm up a stool to relieve diarrhea in dogs.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Peanut Butter? 

Yes, peanut butter is good for nursing dogs. This is because it contains several nutrients that promote healthy bone development in both the puppy and the mother.

What Else Can Dogs Eat together with Peanut Butter? 

The following foods can be eaten together with peanut butter:

  1. Apple
  2. Honey
  3. Banana
  4. Bread

1. Apple

Apples are safe for dogs to consume. They are rich in vitamins A and C and fiber, essential for dogs’ good health. What’s more, eating apples can help maintain fresh breath and keep dogs’ teeth clean. 

However, the core and seeds of apples should be removed before feeding dogs as they contain cyanide which can harm dogs.

2. Honey

Dogs can eat small amounts of honey safely. Honey is rich in natural sugars, which form great energy sources for dogs. It also has other nutrients such as vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K plus minerals like zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and folic acid, essential for dogs’ good health.

However, it should be fed in moderation as it can lead to obesity and other health problems if given in excess.

3. Banana

Bananas are safe for dogs to consume. They make an excellent low-calorie treat for dogs when given in moderation. Bananas pack potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper, which dogs need for proper health and body functioning. However, their high sugar content should only be fed as treats and never as the main diet.

4. Bread

Plain, white, or wheat bread without any additives is safe for dogs to consume. Bread can help soothe an upset stomach, pad indigestible foreign objects swallowed by dogs for easy passage,  and can help relieve constipation. However, it should be given in small quantities as it’s high in carbs that can cause unhealthy weight gain in dogs.

What are the Peanut Butter Dog Food Recipes? 

The following are some easy peanut butter recipes that you can try for your dog:

  • Carrot and peanut butter treat

This nutritious treat requires flour, baking powder, shredded carrots, peanut butter, oats, water, and eggs.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, mix all the ingredients, make a dough, and then roll out the dough on a floured surface. Then, cut into shape and cut into shapes and bake for 20-23 minutes until lightly browned.

  • Peanut butter macaroni munchies

You’ll need milk, baking powder, cinnamon, peanut, almond milk, and strawberries to make this delicious recipe.

To make this, mix all the ingredients and stir until you form a soft dough. Roll out and cut into shapes, place on a baking sheet, and sprinkle cinnamon. Cook for 8 minutes, allow them to cool. Spread peanut butter and strawberries on the cookies and place another on top.

  • Pumpkin peanut butter frozen treats

This requires plain yogurt, pumpkin puree, milk, and peanut butter. To make this, blend milk, pumpkin, yogurt, and yogurt and blend till smooth. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and wrap in a Ziploc bag. Then place in the freezer and leave them overnight.

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.