Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? Everything You Need to Know
Dogs seem to have a magical power to know whenever you are opening the peanut butter jar. And if you are eating it, then your pet will not accept no for an answer. While some people do not give a second thought to giving their pet a little bit, it is perfectly natural to wonder, “Is skippy peanut butter safe for dogs?“
It is important to remember that such products were designed for human consumption and not for your four-legged friend. So while the answer to the question can dogs eat peanuts and peanut butter is yes, it is important to watch what your pet is eating before actually giving it to them.
The Benefits Of Peanut Butter
Most peanut butter products out there are actually safe to eat and when consumed in moderation, they can be a great source of protein and healthy fats. These food products also contain Vitamin B, E, and niacin.
First of all, as a source of protein, peanut butter helps build and repair your pet’s tissues and muscles. Moreover, along with carbohydrates, protein is highly vital in producing energy and keeping the immune system strong. Second, healthy fats will keep away conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and a weak immune system. If your dog has a dry coat or skin problems, it might be due to a lack of healthy fats. Lastly, these vitamins are important for your pup’s overall health and peanut butter can be a good source of these nutrients.
The Risks Of Peanut Butter
Before you ask yourself, “Can dogs eat peanut butter cookies?“, you might want to educate yourself on the possible risks and dangers of eating peanut butter. This means, while not every product out there is dangerous for your pup, ones that have these specific ingredients may be.
- Xylitol Or Sugar
Sugar is very bad for your dog because it can lead to a long list of conditions from parasites, yeast infections, to bacteria, and also cancer. These ailments use sugar as food so when your pet eats more sugar, the more likely it will develop these conditions. Of course, high sugar consumption will also lead to diabetes, low-level inflammation, premature aging, and food allergies.
Unfortunately, products that do not contain sugar have xylitol instead. While this might be a good substitute for sugar, it is actually toxic to dogs. Consumption of this ingredient will lead to a rapid insulin release in your pup and lead to a similarly quick decrease in blood sugar levels. If your pet is not treated, it may even be life-threatening. This reaction which is called hypoglycemia, may happen as quickly as 10 minutes after ingesting xylitol.
These are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by Aspergillus, a fungus. Peanuts are full of these and the tough thing is, Aspergillus is one of the biggest cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds out there. They are also toxic to your pet’s liver and may cause cancer.
Your pup might also be allergic to peanut butter, like humans, although they may be less common. It is important to keep your eye out for allergy symptoms like skin irritation, itching, thinning coat, diarrhea, chronic or recurring ear infections, weight loss, or vomiting.
- Fats And Calories
While peanut butter has a long shelf life, it might result in an increase of trans-fatty acids, which is very toxic. Beyond that, it is not a low-calorie food so dogs that are overweight or have to manage their eating are not advised to eat peanut butter.
The Best Way To Give Your Dog Peanut Butter
The answer to the question, “Can dogs eat peanut butter crackers“ is yes. However, it might not be the healthiest way to give your pup its share. This is especially the case when you use a product that has a lot of unnatural ingredients.
The best one to give your dog is raw unsalted peanut butter. Not many people realize it, but making your own is not that complicated. With some roasted peanuts and honey or molasses to sweeten it up, you can create your own using the blender.
The best thing about creating your own is the knowledge that there are no other (and possibly dangerous) ingredients included, plus it will have low to almost no salt. But if you prefer buying something, make sure you consider the product that has the following characteristics:
- It Is Unsalted
Sodium might also be dangerous to your pup and many products out there have tons of salt in them. Though it will require effort on your part to comb through the ingredients list, you will be able to find one that is unsalted.
- It Should Be All-Natural
Organic and all-natural products benefit not just you, but your dog as well. It is the easiest way to be sure that there were no pesticides or herbicides during the cultivation of the product. After all, you do not want to harm your dogie unknowingly by choosing the wrong product.
Once you find the right peanut butter for you and your beloved pet, you can serve it in different ways other than just letting it lick from the spoon. For example, if you have to be out of the house often, you can invest in a kong toy and stuff it with peanut butter. This will not just give it a yummy treat but it will keep it stimulated and happy for a long time.
Another interesting way to add peanut butter to your dog’s diet is using it to help you administer medication. Some dog owners have learned that coating pills with peanut butter is an effective way to get their pets back to being healthy. Plus, no more drama with forcing the pup to take its pills.
Feeding your pup with peanut butter should not cause you any worries, so long as you educate yourself on identifying products that are actually safe for your dog’s consumption. Beyond that, it is always a good idea to keep an eye out for signs that your pet might be allergic to it or have other reactions to ingredients like xylitol. When in doubt, go to your vet and have your beloved four-legged companion checked out.