“Americans are nuts about peanut butter”, says Spoon University. We knew that all along. Even the shelves in pet stores are filled with all kinds of peanut butter treats for dogs.
But Is it safe for your dog to eat peanut butter?
The short answer is no. The regular peanut butter that can be found on every supermarket shelf is not safe for your dog since it is packed with sugar, salt, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives.
BUT there are exceptions and workarounds that can make peanut butter treats for your dog to an ‘ok to feed’ as an occasional special treat.
In the end, all that matters are the health of our loved ones and your dog relies completely on you in this regard.
So, what type of peanut butter is ok for your dog?
Peanuts, in general, are a good source of protein. They are rich in natural fats, fibre, magnesium, and vitamin B. But they also contain aflatoxin which, in high doses, can damage the liver. Therefore, peanuts and thus peanut butter are only ok in small quantities for your dog.
The best type of peanut butter is homemade peanut butter that is made without added sugars, salt, preservatives, and hydrogenated oils. You can make your own peanut butter containing nothing but 100% peanuts, but if you’d rather buy a ready-made jar without concern, we recommend this peanut butter by Crazy Richard’s.
At the end of this article, we’ll share our all-natural pumpkin peanut butter dog treats recipe with you.
Warning for Xylitol
If you buy other brands of peanut butter, please be aware of the serious danger of xylitol for your dog,
Xylitol is a popular sugar substitute. This ‘sugar-free’ sweetener can be found in many foods, such as candies, gums, protein bars, flavoured waters, jams and peanut butter. Xylitol is extremely poisonous to dogs. Sadly, the number of dogs poisoned accidentally by xylitol is sharply on the rise. If your dog eats even a small amount of xylitol, it can lead to liver failure, seizures, coma and even death.
Please don’t risk it, and always carefully read the ingredients label on the back of anything that you feed your dog, even if it says ‘no artificial sweeteners’ or ‘all-natural’ on the front of the package. You might still find xylitol and other bad stuff listed on the ingredients label at the back.
How much peanut butter is ok for your dog?
Principally, dogs shouldn’t have more than 10% of their daily calory intake in dog treats, which includes peanut butter treats as well.
As a rule of thumb, you could say that small dogs should have no more than half a teaspoon per day, while big dogs shouldn’t have more than 1 teaspoon.
Please speak to your veterinarian to determine the exact amount that is ok for your dog to have as this varies from dog to dog.
Peanut allergies in dogs
Considering so many people are allergic to peanuts, the question whether dogs can be allergic to peanuts as well might come to mind, given other nuts like almonds, macadamia, pistachios, pecans and walnuts are considered to be even toxic to dogs.
However, even though we call them ‘nuts’, peanuts belong to the legumes food group. They don’t grow on trees, like their namesake, but rather in the ground, like beans, lentils and peas, and are not poisonous to dogs.
However, like humans, some dogs can have allergic reactions to peanuts. Symptoms include excessive scratching, red skin, bald patches, and more. If you notice any of these, you need to bring your dog immediately to your vet.
If you decide you want to feed your dog peanut butter and you are doing so for the first time, you should only give your dog a very small amount. You can dip your fingertip into the peanut butter jar and let your dog lick it off. Keep a close eye on your dog for any signs of change.
Homemade peanut butter pumpkin dog treats recipe that is ok for your dog
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Yield (depending on cookie cutter size): 30 cookies
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp peanut butter (100% peanuts, nothing else added)
1 ripe banana (mashed up)
¼ cup pumpkin (grated finely)
¼ tsp cinnamon
Cookie-cutter (preferred shape)
If you fear your dog might be allergic to peanuts simply omit the peanut butter or test it on your dog like described above. This recipe also tastes great without peanut butter.
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