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

The answer to the question of whether dogs can eat peanuts is both a yes and a no. This is due to the fact that peanuts offer a variety of nutrients that are beneficial to your dog’s health.

However, as with any food, too much of it may do more harm than good.

Shelled and unshelled peanuts on table

Peanuts are a good source of protein, healthy fats, niacin, and other vitamins and minerals that support your dog’s overall health.

However, despite their benefits, it’s important to give peanuts to your dog in moderation, as too many can lead to weight gain.

This article discusses how peanuts can be a healthy and delicious treat for your canine friend, what are the risks of feeding too many peanuts and what are the best ways to incorporate peanuts safely into your pet’s diet.

What are the Benefits of Peanuts for Dogs?

Two hungry dogs looking up
Two hungry dogs want some peanuts – Image source

Peanuts can be a healthy treat for dogs as long as they’re given to your pet in moderation. Here are some of the benefits of feeding peanuts to dogs.

1. Peanuts may help picky dogs eat better: Most dogs love the taste of peanuts.

If your pooch is picky, adding an occasional piece or two of peanuts may help him finish his meal in no time.

2. Peanuts promote heart health: Peanuts’ healthy fats may assist your dog’s heart functions.

It may also help shield your dog from the risk of cardiovascular issues. It also aids in lowering cholesterol levels. 

3. Fiber in peanuts will aid in your dog’s digestion and weight management: 100 grams of peanuts offer your dog 9 grams of fiber, helping your dog with weight management and blood sugar regulation. 

4. Peanuts are full of antioxidants that can help your dog live longer: Antioxidants in peanuts, such as coumaric acid and resveratrol, help strengthen the immune system and slow the aging process of your dog. 

These natural antioxidants can help boost your pup’s immune system and protect your dog from chronic illnesses like cancer. 

5. Essential fatty acids in peanuts keep your dog’s skin healthy: Peanuts are a great natural source of fatty acids, including oleic, linoleic, and palmitic acids.

These essential fatty acids help keep your dog’s skin healthy and their coat shiny and help boost your pet’s immune system.

What nutrients in peanuts are beneficial for dogs?

Rescued dog with peanuts
A sick dog wonders if peanuts has health benefits for him – Image source

Peanuts are healthy food for dogs, as they contain several vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial for their health.

  • Protein: A cup of peanuts has 38 g of protein. For dogs, protein is essential for maintaining a healthy coat, building muscle mass, and repairing tissue.
  • Vitamin E: A hundred grams of dry roasted peanuts has 4.93 mg of vitamin E. Vitamin E in peanuts can help to boost the immune system, improve skin and coat health, and reduce inflammation. This fat-soluble vitamin is also an antioxidant, which means it helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. 
  • Vitamin B6: You will find 0.5 mg of vitamin B6 in a cup of peanuts. It helps regulate metabolism and maintain proper nerve function. 
  • Niacin: 100 grams of raw, Spanish peanuts have 15.9 mg of niacin. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, helps support a healthy digestive system, skin and coat, and nervous system. It also helps improve blood circulation.
  • Potassium: 1,029 mg of potassium can be found in a cup of peanuts. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and heart function, as well as keep muscles and nerves functioning properly. It also aids in the absorption of other nutrients.
  • Phosphorus: A cup of raw, Spanish peanuts has 566.48 mg of Phosphorus. Phosphorus helps to build strong bones and teeth and aids in maintaining a healthy heart. It also plays a role in dogs’ energy metabolism. 

What are the Health Risks of Peanuts for Dogs?

Despite the health benefits of peanuts, you should still take caution in feeding them to your dog as they still carry a few health risks, especially when prepared and given incorrectly.

  1. Peanuts may pose a choking hazard: Giving your dog unshelled peanuts as a treat is an unsafe practice. The hard outer part of unshelled peanuts is not easily digestible and can cause choking or can lodge in your dog’s digestive tract.
  2. Peanuts may cause stomach upset in dogs: While peanuts are not toxic to dogs, they can cause stomach upset and other digestive problems. This is because of the fat content in peanuts.
  3. Peanuts may promote weight gain: This is also due to the fat content of peanuts. Also, there are 828 calories in a cup of peanuts. When given in excess, the food can do more harm than good to your dog. Hence, do not use peanuts as a training treat for your pooch.

What’s in peanuts that are harmful to dogs?

English Bulldog licking its muzzle
A hungry English Bulldog wants some peanuts

Peanuts and peanut products contain elements that can harm dogs when given in high amounts, particularly if they have a pre-existing medical condition, like cancer or diabetes. 

  • Sodium: Peanuts, especially salted ones, contain a high amount of sodium, which can be dangerous for dogs. When dogs consume too much sodium, they can experience vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive thirst. In severe cases, sodium poisoning can be life-threatening. 
  • Fat: Peanuts contain a high amount of fat, which can lead to pancreatitis. Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, and lethargy. If left untreated, this serious condition can be fatal. 
  • Aflatoxin: Peanuts that are grown in warm, humid regions are more likely to be contaminated with a toxic compound called aflatoxin. Dogs that eat contaminated peanuts can suffer from liver damage, and they may also experience loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, aflatoxin poisoning can be fatal in large doses.

Types of Peanuts That are Bad for Dogs

A close-up image of peanut shells
Peanut shells – Image source

It’s important to avoid giving your dog any peanuts that are not specifically designed for canine consumption.

Salted peanuts and flavored peanuts are particularly risky, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. 

1. Peanut Shell

Ensure you remove any shells from your peanuts before serving them to your dog.

The hard shell of peanuts is very fibrous and can cause your pet to choke. This shell can also obstruct your dog’s digestive system.

2. Salted Peanuts

If you plan to offer your dog peanuts, make sure you only opt for low salt or unsalted peanuts and peanut butter.

As mentioned, too much salt in your dog’s diet can lead to sodium iron poisoning, which can have devastating consequences.

3. Flavored Peanuts

It is best to avoid flavored peanuts or products that combine peanuts with other ingredients.

These products could include highly toxic ingredients to dogs, such as chocolate or raisins.

Is There Any Dog Breed Allergic to Peanuts?

A Yorkshire Terrier looking up
Bronx, a Yorkie, asks for peanuts – Image source

While there are no definitive studies stating that particular breeds are allergic to peanuts, there have been some anecdotal reports of dogs displaying symptoms of an allergic reaction after eating peanuts or peanut products.

Symptoms may include itching skin, bald spots, and difficulty breathing. In extreme cases, allergies can be fatal.

If your dog does have a peanut allergy, it’s important to avoid giving them any products that contain peanuts or peanut butter.

Instead, opt for hypoallergenic dog food or treats that are specifically designed for dogs with allergies.

If your pooch is new to peanuts and exhibits symptoms of peanut allergy after consumption, take him to your vet immediately.

Some pet insurance plans cover the costs of allergy tests if you want to check what your pet may be allergic to.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Too Many Peanuts?

If your dog eats too many peanuts, it may experience digestive issues. When eaten regularly, peanuts may cause your dog to gain excess weight, too.

As mentioned, peanuts contain a high amount of fat.

When consumed in large quantities, this can cause the pancreas to become inflamed, which comes with lethargy, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

In severe cases, pancreatitis can be fatal. 

In a similar way, salted peanuts can cause sodium poisoning when eaten in excess. Because of this, dogs may experience digestive problems and excessive thirst.

In extreme cases, sodium poisoning can lead to death. 

How Should Dogs Eat Peanuts?

The best way to offer peanuts to your dog is to serve shelled, raw or dry-roasted pieces that have been chopped into small pieces. This will help to prevent the possibility of choking.

Also, make it a point to give him only plain, unsalted peanuts without added flavoring. This way, you are ensured that your pooch gets the full nutritional benefit of the nut.

If you are looking for peanut butter for your dog, make sure it doesn’t contain any xylitol in the recipe.

It may be best to make homemade peanut butter as you’ll know exactly what specific ingredients are added to the recipe.

Are Peanuts a Good Treat for Dogs?

A Golden Retriever with food
Jax, a Goldie, wonders if he can have peanuts as a treat after his meal – Image source

No, peanuts cannot be given as a training treat to your dog. While it is safe and healthy for canines, these carry health risks.

Peanuts are high in fat content, so they should be given only in moderation. 

In addition, dogs with allergies or sensitivities to peanuts may experience gastrointestinal distress after eating them.

As always, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

If you are really keen about sharing it as a treat, consider doing so only occasionally so your dog will not always expect it.

Can dogs eat peanut butter?

Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter, provided it’s also unsalted and xylitol-free.

Peanut butter helps make medicine administration easier as pills can be hidden in a dollop of peanut butter, and a dog toy stuffed with peanut butter can provide hours of entertainment for your pet.

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.

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

While there is no definitive answer to this question, for most dogs, peanuts can safely make up less than 10% of their diet.

While peanuts are a relatively healthy treat, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian before adding them to your dog’s diet.

When should dogs eat peanuts?

There is no particular time that is best for your dog to eat peanuts, but it’s not a necessary part of his diet. Nevertheless, you can give it to your fur baby as an occasional treat.

And if you want to share it with him for the first time, offer it to him on his birthday or on the 13th of September, which is World Peanut Day!

When should dogs not eat peanuts?

Although peanut allergies are not as common in dogs as in humans, avoid giving them to your dog if he is allergic to peanuts or shows symptoms of the condition.

Canines vulnerable to certain health issues, including pancreatitis and obesity, should avoid peanuts, too.

A dog with any type of dietary restriction should not be given peanuts. For instance, if he is on a low-fat diet, peanuts should not be added to his diet.

Furthermore, it can also be a choking hazard for small dogs, so it’s important to monitor their intake.

What Kinds of Peanuts are Safe for Your Dog to Eat?

Boiled peanuts on table
Boiled peanuts

Not all types of peanuts are safe for your dog to eat.

While you don’t have to rush your dog off to the vet should he gobble up a stray peanut that fell on the floor, you need to be careful about what peanuts you choose if you plan to share them with your pet.

1. Unshelled Peanuts

Just as you wouldn’t eat peanut shells, so you shouldn’t feed them to your pet.

The hard outer shells of peanuts are challenging for your dog to digest and can cause your dog to choke or form a blockage in its digestive tract. 

2. Dry-Roasted or Raw Unsalted Peanuts

As mentioned, raw peanuts can develop a fungus. Known as Aflatoxin, this fungus develops in the hot, moist environments in which peanuts grow.

Feeding your dog raw peanuts puts them at risk of aflatoxin ingestion which can cause acute liver failure.

Dry-roasting peanuts significantly reduce the risk of aflatoxin poisoning.

3. Plain and Unsalted Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a Southern favorite. Once again, these peanuts are only safe to feed your dog if they are plain and unsalted.

Many boiled peanuts contain additional salts or spices such as cayenne pepper or Cajun price, which can upset your pet’s tummy.

Can Dogs Eat Japanese Peanuts?

Japanese peanuts in bowl
Japanese peanuts

Japanese peanuts or cracker nuts are a type of snack food made from peanuts that are coated in flour and then deep-fried.

As with all deep-fried foods, Japanese peanuts have a high-fat content and thus shouldn’t be fed to your dog.

Too much fat in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity, pancreatitis, or a range of other health problems.

What are the Food Recipes Made with Peanuts for Dogs?

One simple way to incorporate peanuts into your dog’s diet is to add a small amount of homemade, xylitol-free peanut butter to their food.

This can provide a boost of protein and healthy fats. Plus, most dogs enjoy the taste. 

Other recipes that make use of peanuts include miniature pupcakes for dogs, peanut butter bones, and doggy-friendly peanut butter cookies.

No matter which recipe you choose, your dog will surely enjoy the added flavor of peanuts. Just ensure your vet approves of the nut.

What Foods Can or Cannot Be Mixed with Peanuts for Dogs?

A Shih Tzu Bichon Frise mix looking up
Bella, a hungry Shichon, wants some peanuts – Image source

Are you wondering if you can share peanuts with your dog the same way you consume them?

Take a look at the various kinds of food that are often mixed with peanuts and see if they work for your fur baby.

1. Cookies

While there are a few specialty brands that make dog-safe cookies, most commercial cookies contain ingredients that can be harmful to your dog and should be kept away from him.

Potential hazards include chocolate as well as sweeteners like xylitol.

If you wish to share peanut cookies with your dog, consider making a homemade batch of cookies that features only dog-friendly ingredients.

2. Chocolate Peanuts

Dogs cannot eat chocolate peanuts. That is because most chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two toxic chemicals for pets.

These identical chemicals belong to a group known as methylxanthines.

Methylxanthines work to inhibit the activation of adenosine receptors responsible for making us feel sleepy and less active.

3. Honey Roasted Peanuts

Dogs should not eat honey-roasted peanuts. The problem is that the honey-roasted peanuts you buy at the store have been coated with sugar and honey.

These are very unhealthy for dogs due to the high fat, sugar, and salt content. Always look for plain roasted peanuts when picking out nuts for your pooch.

4. Raisins

Raisins, currants, and grapes can poison your dog.

While raisins have many benefits for humans, they don’t offer your pet the same benefits. In fact, eating raisins can lead to kidney failure and death in a matter of fewer than 72 hours.

Are foods made with peanuts safe for dogs?

Take caution with giving your dog peanut-flavored food or those that incorporate the nut, especially if these are meant for human consumption.

These are often prepared without consideration for dogs’ nutritional needs and may contain ingredients, such as sugar and artificial flavors, that are harmful to them.

How Many Peanuts Can Dogs Eat?

When giving peanuts to your dog, you shouldn’t allow him more than a few peanuts each day.

While he may love the taste, it will be best for your dog to receive a maximum of 4 or 5 pieces of peanuts.

Let him miss it for at least two or three days before sharing it with him again.

What are the Dog Treat Recipes that Contain Peanuts?

A Pitbull mix with a peanut butter treat
Max, a Pitbull mix, happily receives a peanut butter treat – Image source

There are a variety of dog treat recipes that contain peanuts that you can try at home. Below, we have lined up a few for when you want something healthy yet yummy for your pet!

  1. Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
  2. Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats
  3. Peanut and Carrot Dog Treats

What are the best dog food products that include peanuts?

You may also consider getting commercial peanut-based dog treats for your pooch.

We have looked up for products that earned paws up from many furry friends and found the following:

  1. True Acre Foods Homestyle Desserts, Peanut Butter Banana Pie Flavor Dessert Cup, Dog Treats
  2. Bark Bistro Company Buddy Budder Superberry Snoot Peanut Butter Lickable Dog Treat

Can Dogs Eat Derivatives of Peanuts?

There are some peanut products that you should avoid feeding your dog. An example of this is peanut butter which contains sugar or other sweeteners that can be harmful to him.

In general, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving your dog any products only because they contain peanuts. Instead, make sure every ingredient on the list is dog-friendly.

If your dog happens to eat peanuts mixed with raisins or peanuts coated in chocolate, get in touch with your veterinarian right away.

Both chocolate and raisins are toxic to dogs, and ingesting these can have fatal consequences for your pet.

What are the Other Nuts that Can Dogs Eat?

There are wide varieties of nuts, some of which are safe for your dog and others that dogs can’t eat. Here are some nut varieties that you can add to your dog’s diet.

  • Pistachios: Feeding a healthy dog a small number of pistachios now and again should be ok. Just be careful, as pistachios can contain aspergillus mold, leading to pistachio poisoning, particularly in dogs with an already compromised immune system. 
  • Walnuts: Dogs can eat walnuts if they are plain, unsalted, and removed from their shells. That said, black walnuts contain an allopathic toxin known as Juglone. Black walnuts infected with mold can also cause serious health issues for your dog’s digestive system. Due to the high moisture content of walnuts, they are also prone to becoming infested with fungi, especially if they are stored for a long time in damp conditions. 
  • Cashews: As with peanuts, dogs can eat plain, unsalted roasted cashews or xylitol-free cashew butter. Cashews also have a high-fat content and are packed with calories, so be sure not to let your pet overindulge in these delicious nuts.

Conclusion: So, Can My Dog Eat Peanuts?

As discussed above, peanuts offer plenty of benefits to your pet if served correctly. But as with any food, overconsumption may outperform these advantages.

Hence, you should share peanuts with your dog only occasionally and moderately.

Before adding peanuts to your dog’s diet, consider getting your vet’s advice first to ensure your pet is not allergic to them.

Once you get an all-clear, your dog can enjoy peanuts every once in a while!

Does your dog wag his tail when you add peanuts to his food? How does he like it? Share your techniques or recipes in the comments below!

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