Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? Peanut Butter’s Nutritional Value as a Dog Food

Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter. Peanut butter is packed full of protein, healthy fats, and various vitamins and nutrients that support your pet’s whole body health.

But as with all dog food, you should serve it to your dog as an occasional treat and in moderation.

A Staffordshire Terrier eating a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich
A Staffordshire Terrier enjoying a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich

This article discusses how peanut butter is beneficial for your dog’s overall health, how to feed it to your dog, and the risks of adding it to your pet’s diet.

What are the Benefits of Peanut Butter for Dogs?

Peanut butter is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. This delicious, nutritious treat has plenty of benefits for your dog.

  1. Peanut butter can help picky dogs eat better: Adding an enticing topper, like peanut butter, to your dog’s regular meals can help your picky dogs eat better. According to Dr. Susan Wynn, a vet from Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, most dogs love the smell of peanut butter. Its roasted aroma, which comes from protein and fats, makes your dog attracted to its smell.
  2. Peanut butter supplies your pup with protein: 100 grams of peanut butter contains about 25g of protein that your dog needs to support strong muscles and for his overall health and wellbeing. 
  3. Peanut butter is a good treat for your dog: Peanut butter makes a tasty treat that can readily be given out when training or rewarding your pet. Most dogs love the taste, and peanut butter can also easily be stuffed into dog toys to provide potty training rewards or keep your pet occupied when you leave the house.
  4. Peanut butter can help your dog recover from illness: Peanut butter helps make the administration of medicine easier as pills can be hidden in a dollop of peanut butter. It can also make prescription diets more exciting and flavorful, under the guidance of a vet, of course.

What nutrients in peanut butter are beneficial for dogs?

A bowl of peanut butter
A bowl of peanut butter you and your doggo can share

Peanut butter is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for dogs, including the following:

  • Vitamin E: Peanut butter contains 3 mg of Vitamin E for every 30ml or two teaspoon serving. Vitamin E helps support your dog’s immune system while assisting healthy heart and liver function and supporting the nervous system and cell membranes.
  • Vitamin B6: 100grams of peanut butter contains 0.5mg of Vitamin B6, which is vital for dogs. This essential vitamin helps with your dog’s red blood cell and nervous system functioning, hormone regulation, gene activation, and proper immune system response.
  • Calcium: Peanut butter also contains 43 mg of Calcium for every 100g or 3.5-ounce serving, which can help keep your pet’s bones and teeth strong.
  • Potassium: 100 grams of peanut butter includes 649 mg of potassium. The potassium content found in peanut butter can help keep your dog’s heart, nerves, and muscles functioning optimally.
  • Niacin: There is about 4.32 mg of niacin in two tablespoons of peanut butter. Also known as Vitamin B3, it’s an essential nutrient for supporting your dog’s digestive health while also boosting the health of your dog’s skin and nervous system.
  • Riboflavin: 100 grams of peanut butter contains between 0.112 mg and 0.06 mg of riboflavin. Also known as Vitamin B2, it’s responsible for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates into energy and is involved in producing red blood cells.

What are the Health Risks of Peanut Butter for Dogs?

There are a few health risks that peanut butter poses to dogs, especially if not served correctly.

  1. Risk of weight gain: Peanut butter does have a high calorie and fat content, which can lead to weight gain and cause digestive upset for your dog. There are about 180-200 calories per 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. If your dog consumes too much fat, you could be putting them at risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and other issues associated with excessive weight gain, such as joint disease. Too much fat in your dog’s diet could also lead to the development of pancreatitis, a possibly life-threatening condition.
  2. Difficulty with digestion: Some dogs may struggle to digest peanut butter due to its fatty content. This could result in constipation or gastrointestinal distress, lethargy, weakness, and abdominal pain. 
  3. Tooth decay: Some peanut butter has lots of sugar added to their recipes. Feeding your dog these peanut butter brands can also lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Be sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly to remove this risk.

What’s in peanut butter that is harmful to dogs?

An obese Pug lying outdoors
A Pug who needs to cut down on sugar

Peanut butter contains elements that can be harmful to dogs when consumed in large amounts, especially if they have an existing health condition, like diabetes or cancer.

These include the following:

  1. Sugar: As mentioned, specific peanut butter recipes included added sugar. This type of peanut butter can be dangerous for diabetic dogs. 
  2. Sodium: Store-bought peanut butter is generally salted and includes about 17 mg of sodium per 100g. If your dog consumes too much salt or sodium, especially for its size, it may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, lethargy, and abnormal accumulation of fluids. Too much sodium can also lead to serious illnesses such as kidney failure and seizures in dogs or even be fatal.
  3. Xylitol: Some kinds of peanut butter include artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, which can be highly toxic to your pet. It’s best to stay away from any peanut butter marketed as sugar-free.

Why is peanut butter with xylitol dangerous to dogs?

Eating xylitol can be fatal for dogs. This is because xylitol can cause a sudden, dangerous drop in your dog’s blood sugar levels.

Low blood sugar can cause confusion, lethargy, and even seizures.

If left untreated, hypoglycemia can be life-threatening. Xylitol can also cause extensive liver damage in dogs. 

How to know if peanut butter has xylitol?

Most peanut butter that is labeled as sugar-free includes artificial sweeteners like xylitol.

However, the only definitive way to know is to check the ingredients list. If xylitol is included in the peanut butter, it will be listed on the packaging.

What to do in case your dog consumed peanut butter with xylitol?

Dogs have a habit of eating what they shouldn’t.

If your pet gets into your pantry and consumes some peanut butter with xylitol in it, be sure to contact your vet or after-hours animal hospital immediately and watch him carefully for any of the above symptoms associated with low blood sugar. 

Hypoglycemia can take effect very quickly, within 10 to 60 minutes of consuming xylitol, so there is no time to waste in getting your dog to the vet.

What Brands of Peanut Butter Contain Xylitol?

Most brands that offer no sugar or low sugar peanut butter include xylitol in their formula. To ensure the ingredients in your peanut butter, just check the packaging.

Here are some brands that do contain xylitol in their peanut butter:

  • Go Nuts Co.
  • Krush Nutrition
  • Nuts ‘N More
  • P28 Foods
  • Protein Plus PB

Is There Any Dog Breed Allergic to Peanut Butter?

Portrait of confused dog
A Staffy puppy thinks he is not allergic to peanut butter

No, there’s no particular dog breed that’s allergic to peanut butter; however, certain canines do experience allergies to nuts, including peanuts and, in turn, peanut butter. 

Food allergies in pets can cause skin irritations like rashes and swelling, coughing and sneezing, and difficulty breathing.

Allergies can lead to a life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis shock in some rare instances.

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, bring him to the vet immediately. 

What Happens If My Dog Eats Too Much Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter should only be fed to your pet in moderation. A dog that overeats peanut butter could show signs of gastric distress such as vomiting or diarrhea.

If your dog consumes peanut butter in large amounts, he will likely be prone to gaining excess weight, which could lead to heart diseases and immune system complications. 

How Should Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

If you want to give your dog some peanut butter, keep it to small amounts and only occasionally.

Opt for plain, unsweetened peanut butter that doesn’t include any xylitol in the recipe.

It may be best to make the peanut butter yourself as then you’ll know exactly what was used to make it.

Peanut butter can be served to your dog plain, or you can add it to various homemade pet-friendly treat recipes.

If you are using peanut butter to hide medications, try giving your dog a dollop of plain peanut butter first so that he likes the taste before you try hiding anything inside.

Is Peanut Butter a Good Treat for Dogs?

A Parson Russell Terrier eating peanut butter
A Parson Russell Terrier who loves peanut butter – Image source

Yes, peanut butter can be used as an occasional treat when training your dog.

You can try feeding your dog small dollops of peanut butter as a reward for your pet instead of regular dog biscuits.

You can even bake peanut butter into some delicious homemade dog treats or mix it with various dog-safe fruits and vegetables to create a mixture to stuff inside your pet’s toys. 

While peanut butter is okay for your dog to eat now and again, it should rather be reserved for the occasional treat than a regular part of your dog’s diet due to the high-fat content.

What percent of a dog’s diet should peanut butter make up?

Most vets recommend sticking to the 90/10 rule for your dog’s treats.

This means that your dog’s treats, peanut butter included, should not make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

When working out your dog’s daily caloric intake, remember that 100 grams of peanut butter contain a whopping 588 calories. 

When should dogs eat peanut butter?

There’s no specific time of the day that is best to feed your dog peanut butter.

If you want to try feeding your dog peanut butter for the first time, why not turn it into a special occasion and give him peanut butter on 24 January, which is World Peanut Butter Day!

When should dogs not eat peanut butter?

As mentioned, as with humans, some dogs can experience an allergic reaction to peanut butter.

If this is the case with your dog, you should immediately stop feeding him peanut butter.

Dogs with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, should not be fed peanut butter due to the high fat and calorie content.

What are the Food Recipes made with Peanut Butter for Dogs?

A Poodle eating a homemade peanut-butter-and-banana ice cream
A Poodle enjoying a peanut-butter-and-banana pupsicle

You can try making some delicious blended peanut butter smoothies at home for a tasty topper to your dog’s daily kibble.

To do so, simply mix fresh peanut butter with yogurt and a variety of other pet-safe fruits like apples, strawberries, and bananas.

You can even freeze the mixture for a delicious pupsicle for your pet. 

What are the Two Types of Peanut Butter, and Which One is Better For Your Dog?

While the best solution for feeding your dog is to make your peanut butter, sometimes we just don’t have the time to do so.

Thus, we resort to store-bought peanut butter brands, offering either crunchy or creamy varieties.

But which one is the right pick for your pet?

Bowls of peanuts, smooth peanut butter, and crunchy peanut butter
Smooth peanut butter is definitely safer for your pup!

1. Crunchy Peanut Butter

Whether you feed your dog crunchy or creamy peanut butter is entirely your choice.

The pieces in crunchy peanut butter are small enough even for toy breeds not to present any choking hazard. 

Crunchy peanut butter can add some interesting texture to your dog’s meal, but it doesn’t clump together as nicely for hiding medication or sticking to a toy or pet playmat.

2. Creamy Peanut Butter

Smooth peanut butter is easier to spread over your dog’s toys.

However, when looking for creamy peanut butter, try and look for one that doesn’t contain a lot of extra hydrogenated vegetable oils.

These oils vary from brand to brand, but all add excess unnecessary fat to an already high-calorie treat. 

What are the Food Recipes Made with Peanut Butter for Dogs?

If your vet gives the all-clear to feed your dog peanut butter, you can consider mixing peanut butter with other foods to create some tasty homemade treats.

This can include mixing peanut butter with other proteins like chicken or turkey or baking peanut butter into tasty dog treats, including yogurt, oats, or various pet-safe fruits and veggies.

What Brands of Peanut Butter Can Dogs Eat?

A Blue Merle Border Collie licking some peanut butter off his food mat
Wanda, a Border Collie, deserves the peanut butter post-daycare treat – Image source

When it comes to choosing the perfect peanut butter brand for your dog, the fewer ingredients, the better.

Always check the label of the peanut butter you buy and make sure that it’s free from any unwanted elements.

After all, all you need to make peanut butter is peanuts and salt.

1. 365 by Whole Foods Market

The unsweetened, smooth peanut butter from 365 by Whole Foods Market doesn’t even contain salt.

It doesn’t get much purer than that. And what’s better is that the organic peanuts used in this butter are grown in the USA.

This brand also makes a crunchy version of this peanut butter, but it does contain salt. 

2. Teddie

Teddie’s All Natural Super Crunchy Peanut Butter is made in America from locally grown peanut butter.

It has a crunchy texture to provide some interest to your dog but is still of good enough consistency to stuff inside your dog’s toys.

Although it is pretty expensive, Teddie also makes an unsalted version of this peanut butter.

3. Poochie Butter

Poochie Butter is peanut butter that is specifically made for dogs.

It has a unique blend of ingredients to boost your dog’s health, including Turmeric and ginger, which have natural anti-inflammatory properties, flaxseed which is good for your dog’s skin and coat; and parsley which improves your dog’s breath.

4. Nature’s Logic

Nature’s Logic is another brand that makes peanut butter specifically for dogs.

This peanut butter doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients, artificial flavors, or preservatives and is made from just three ingredients. 

Peanuts, chia seeds, and coconut oil provide your dog with flavor and texture while supporting a healthy skin and coat, digestive and immune system.

What Foods Can or Cannot Be Mixed with Peanut Butter for Dogs?

A Brittany Spaniel eating peanut butter on apple slices
Jasper, a Brittany Spaniel, likes the peanut-butter-and-apples combo – Image source

You can also try mixing peanut butter with several other fruits and vegetables to make training exciting and engaging for your dog.

Or you can even freeze small bites of peanut butter alongside some of these other ingredients to make a summer fruity treat for your pet.

1. Strawberry Jam or Jelly

You shouldn’t let your dog eat strawberry jelly. Strawberry jams or jellies have sugars, preservatives, and sweeteners that are not recommended for diabetic dogs.

Jellies made from fruit juice contain more calories and sugar than plain fruit which are not ideal for overweight dogs.

If you’ll make a homemade strawberry jam or jelly for your dog, be sure not to add any sugar, preservatives, or pectin.

2. Bananas

Bananas are an excellent treat for dogs packed full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Magnesium.

This versatile fruit can be blended into a smoothie with other dog-safe fruits like strawberries and blueberries, frozen, or mashed up as a tasty topper.

3. Cookies

Commercially made peanut butter cookies will be full of fat and sugar and should be avoided.

If you want to give your dog peanut butter cookies, you can try to make a dog-safe recipe at home where you can control what ingredients are included.

4. Bread

Dogs can eat bread; however, dogs shouldn’t be given too much bread as their body can adversely react to the high gluten content.

In addition, many of the toppings that are typically used on bread, such as maple syrup and bacon, can be extremely unhealthy for your dog.

Are foods made with peanut butter safe for dogs?

You should be careful of feeding your pet peanut butter-flavored products made for human consumption.

These often are added with sugar and artificial flavors, colors, and chemicals. 

As mentioned, some artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, can be highly toxic to your pet.

Also, the high sugar level of peanut butter can cause tooth decay, weight gain, and even diabetes.

Are dog foods made with peanut butter healthier for dogs?

Peanut butter is loaded with plenty of benefits for your pet; however, if your dog is eating a balanced diet, there’s no reason why you have to feed him peanut butter.

If your dog doesn’t eat peanut butter, you can look for a pet treat that includes this nutritious ingredient in their formula, although even that isn’t 100% necessary for your dog to lead a healthy life.

How Much Peanut Butter Can Dogs Eat?

If you are feeding your dog peanut butter, you shouldn’t let your pet consume it in large amounts.

Smaller dogs, such as Yorkies and Shih Tzus, should consume about 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter, twice per day while larger dogs like Golden Retrievers should get about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter, twice per day.

While most canines love the texture and flavor of peanut butter, be careful not to let your dog overdo it.

Too much eating of peanut butter can cause your dog to have an upset stomach, bellyache, or diarrhea.

As mentioned, your dog’s treats should not make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

What are the Dog Treat Recipes that Contain Peanut Butter?

A Bernedoodle with a peanut butter treat
Winnie, a Bernedoodle, finds interest in a peanut butter treat – Image source

There are many delicious homemade peanut butter-based dog treats that you can try making for your pet.

Check out these recipes if you want to whip up something fun for your dog:

  1. Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
  2. Peanut Butter Dog Bone Treats
  3. Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Dog Treats

What are the best dog treats that include peanut butter?

If your dog loves the taste of peanut butter, you can consider feeding him a pet treat that has peanut butter in the recipe.

There are plenty of delicious dog-safe recipes online that contain peanut butter, and you can try out a few at home to see which ones take your pup’s fancy.

Here are three of our favorites.

  1. Merrick Oven-Baked Paw’some Peanut Butter Dog Treats
  2. Bil-Jac Gooberlicious Peanut Butter Flavor Soft Dog Treats
  3. Buddy Biscuits Grain-Free Soft & Chewy with Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Can Dogs Eat Derivatives of Peanut Butter?

Dogs have a habit of eating something that they shouldn’t.

If your dog gets into a whole tub of peanut butter, be sure to monitor your dog closely for any symptoms of blockages or gastrointestinal distress and contact your vet if necessary.

Also, keep dogs away from unshelled peanuts that can cause your dog to choke or cause a blockage. 

What Diseases in Dogs Can Peanut Butter Help?

A German Shepherd licking a peanut butter jar
Cash, a GSD, starts the weekend by licking a peanut butter jar – Image source

As mentioned, peanut butter is loaded with antioxidants which will help your dog to fight numerous diseases.

Antioxidants help ward off certain diseases like cancer by combating harmful free radicals.

Peanut butter is also a great source of calcium and thus can assist dogs that suffer from brittle bones.

You can try giving your dog a small amount of peanut butter if he is underweight or malnourished.

Dogs that need to put on weight quickly can benefit from the high protein content of peanut butter; however, this should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian. 

What Other Foods that Dogs Can Eat are Similar to Peanut Butter?

If your dog isn’t a fan of peanut butter, you can try some other delicious foods that also have a range of health benefits for canines.

Here are a few of our favorite dog-safe foods.

  • Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, fiber, vitamin C and B6, potassium, calcium, and iron which promotes healthy skin, coat, nerves, eyes, and muscles in dogs.
  • Chicken, which is considered a safe, healthy, and easily digestible form of protein is the main ingredient in many commercial dog foods. 
  • Turkey is a tasty novel protein source often included in limited ingredient diets designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Turkey is also rich in nutrients like riboflavin and phosphorous.
  • Duck is another easy-to-digest protein source that contains iron and amino acids which help keep your dog’s muscles strong. Dog foods that are formulated with duck are sometimes recommended for dogs with food allergies or food sensitivities.
  • Eggs are a great source of various vitamins and nutrients. They are also one of the great sources of complete proteins, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids. 

So, Can My Dog Eat Peanut Butter?

As you can see, there are many benefits of feeding your dog peanut butter.

Peanut butter can be used as a delicious treat in training or when attempting to medicate your pet and can supply your dog with plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. 

When adding peanut butter to your dog’s meal, it’s recommended to first consult with your vet.

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any allergies and be sure not to overdo it, as peanut butter is high in calories.

Do you feed your dog peanut butter? Does your furry family member enjoy it plain, as a tasty topper to his daily kibble, or mixed into a homemade recipe or commercial dog treat?

Let us know in the comments below!

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