You’ve likely seen a lot of Hollywood movies featuring a family dog provided as a treat a spoonful of peanut butter. Nowadays it has become quite prevalent, and if you have a dog, you’ve likely also thought about offering your dog some peanut butter.
Hopefully, before you’ve gone and done that, you’ve asked yourself first a very important question:
“Is it safe to give peanut butter to my dog?”
This article will answer that very controversial and timely topic for you with very extensive details that you’ve probably never even thought of considering, so be sure to stick around!
First things first!
So, is it safe to give peanut butter to your dog?
Yes, BUT there are a lot of other factors to consider…
First and foremost, if you’re looking for an exciting treat for your dog, there are plenty of other options you can consider, not just peanut butter. In fact, giving your furry buddy peanut butter is quite an old school.
If you really prefer that, then you should know which peanut butter is good for your dog and which is bad.
What type of peanut butter can I give my dog?
Your worst enemy is Xylitol.
Please, if you see Xylitol on the label of your peanut butter, DO NOT give any to your dog at any cost! Xylitol is incredibly poisonous to dogs. Each year, thousands upon thousands of dogs are reportedly accidentally poisoned by peanut butters just because they contain Xylitol.
What exactly is Xylitol?
Xylitol quickly gained popularity in the market due to its function – an effective sugar alternative. That’s basically what Xylitol is, it acts as a substitute for sugar, and it is said to be fine for us humans. Research suggests that Xylitol can do the following for humans:
- Xylitol prevents tooth decay and fights cavities
- Xylitol is ideal for people with diabetes as it is classified as a low-calorie sugar alternative
- Xylitol can help people with metabolic syndrome
- Xylitol can help maintain low blood sugar and insulin levels
- Xylitol helps prevent ear infections by suppressing S. mutans.
- Xylitol helps prevent respiratory infections
- Xylitol induces the remineralization of bones which can lead to bone strengthening
Xylitol may sound extremely helpful to humans but don’t let that blind you from the fact that this artificial sweetener is dangerous to the health of our dogs.
Hundreds of veterinarians and animal clinics join forces to increase consciousness regarding xylitol. The said group encouraged various businesses, not just peanut butter firms, to properly specify on their labels if they use Xylitol to prevent accidental poisoning poor dogs.
To avoid accidentally poisoning your dog, it’s better to have peanut butter in the house that doesn’t have Xylitol on it. Here’s a shortlist of peanut butter companies that are known to have Xylitol in their products:
The type of peanut butter that your dog can enjoy is the one that doesn’t have Xylitol or anything else that can harm your dog, like chocolate.
Generally speaking, the best type of peanut butter you can give to your dog is the one produced solely from peanuts! Yes, peanut butter produced entirely from peanuts is possible, and a handful of products offering this product are available. A very good instance would be the 100% creamy peanut butter from Crazy Richard.
I personally tried to feed Crazy Richard’s 100% creamy peanut butter to my furballs, and they enjoy it! I’ve got a few tricks about feeding peanut butter to your pets that can add more thrill and fun to your dog’s feeding experience, and I’ll clarify it in more detail later.
Peanut butter is an excellent source of fat and protein for your dog. If you find a brand that doesn’t have Xylitol and one that your dogs love, I recommend you stick to that brand. If you’re a perfectionist like me, you might want to try to make your peanut butter to make sure that what your pet has is 100% secure for you and your dog.
Pro tip: Don’t let the labels “100% natural” or “purely natural” fool you, check the ingredients at the back and make sure that they did not use Xylitol to create that peanut butter.
Advantages of Peanut Butter for your dog
Besides being a really fun treat for you and your pup, peanut butter has a lot to offer when it comes to helping the health of your dog improve.
Here are the health benefits that your dog can get from eating peanut butter:
- High protein content – helps develop your dog’s fur and skin, strengthen muscles, and improve tissue repair.
- Heart-healthy fat – necessary for the proper growth and development of your dog
- Keeps your dog’s fur shiny
- Keeps your dog’s fur resistant to dust and dirt
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B
Pro tip: if you have difficulty giving your furry friend any medicine he or she wants, stick the medicine is a spoonful of peanut butter and let your dog lick it to their heart’s content. They’re not even going to notice it, but they’re most likely to swallow the medicine as well.
How much peanut butter is enough for my dog?
Much like anything else in life, too much of anything is not good as well. The same applies to peanut butter for dogs.
Always remember that peanut butter should be considered as a treat for dogs and treats alone, NOT MEAL SUBSTITUTES. Peanut butter, although healthy for dogs, don’t have all the necessary nutrients that a dog requires daily.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to dog food and treats is that your dog meals should cover 85% of your dog’s daily nutrient needs while the dog treats must only cover 15% or even less.
To serve as a quick guide for you, the appropriate amount of peanut butter that you can give a healthy, active, middle-aged dog weighing 20 to 50 pounds is just half to a whole tablespoon of peanut butter and not more.
Now, if your dogs are like mine, they will be begging for more peanut butter from you.
LEARN TO RESIST AND SAY NO. Just think of the health consequences it can have on your dog if you suddenly decided to give in to your dog’s puppy eyes and overfeed him or her with peanut butter – let me tell you right now, it’s not going to be good.
One of the most prevalent impacts of overfeeding peanut butter to your dog is that your dog begins to shed a lot. This is because of the high protein content of peanut butter. While it’s good to have a lot of protein for your dog, having too much can trigger excessive shedding and, worse, diseases and allergies.
The right way to give your dog peanut butter
There are a number of ways to give peanut butter to your dog. The most important part that you need to look out for when giving peanut butter to your dog is the amount of peanut butter that you are feeding.
As the owner, you need to be in control of how much peanut butter your dog gets. At the same time, you should know how much peanut butter your pet has on the basis of weight, size and sometimes even age (young puppies need a lot of protein to grow and develop rapidly).
The most common mistake people make is just getting a handful of peanut butter, putting their hand in the peanut butter jar and taking everything they can from inside the jar, putting their hand somewhere their dog can reach, and just enabling their dog to suck and have peanut butter-free. Please, as a responsible pet owner, you should not do this.
If you don’t have a toy like a Kong specializing in the playful feeding of peanut butter to your dog, you can use a spoon. Depending on the correct quantity of peanut butter for your dog (generally one tablespoon), put the right quantity of peanut butter on a spoon and let the dog lick and eat peanut butter off the spoon. This way, your dog will still get its tasty treat while not getting too much, which can lead to unhealthful outcomes for them.
If you don’t feel comfortable using a spoon, using your fingers would also work just as fine.
If you already have a Kong toy, I highly recommend that you use it. Kong toys are great exercise feeders for dogs. It gets them the food that they want while having to work for it accordingly. This makes the treat-eating experience more interactive, challenging, and fun for your dog.
Dog Favorites: Peanut Butter recipe
If you’re interested in making the Peanut Butter yourself to ensure that the Peanut Butter that your dog consumes is safe, you’ll need the following:
- A cup and a half of roasted peanuts (unsalted)
- A tablespoon of brown sugar or honey
- A tablespoon more of peanut if you want more (optional)
Once you’ve prepared all the necessary ingredients, follow the following steps to creating your very own safe and dog-friendly peanut butter:
- Place all of the peanuts that you prepared in a blender.
- Turn on the blender.
- Observe the peanuts and wait until the texture and consistency of the peanut is what you want your peanut butter to be. This usually takes around 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the speed of the blender.
- Stop the blender if it gets too hot and resumes when the blender has returned to normal operating temperatures.
- Once you get the texture that you like, add the brown sugar or honey in the mix.
- Blend everything once again until you have the desired texture of the peanut butter.
- For a crunchy finish, crush the additional tablespoon of peanuts and add them into the mix.
- Blend everything for a couple of minutes and the peanut butter should be nice and ready.
Don’t forget to refrigerate the peanut butter to preserve it.
What other common household food can dog safely eat?
Don’t be alarmed if your dog isn’t the biggest fan of peanut butter. There’s a lot of other household food that your dog can appreciate. Here are a few instances of this:
- Chicken (cooked)
- Green beans