Does your dog come wandering into the kitchen anytime you open the peanut butter jar? Well, you're not the only one confused about dogs and peanut butter.
Dogs love this nutty snack, and most dog owners are guilty of letting their pets have some every now and then. But before you give in to those puppy dog eyes and let your dog empty the peanut butter jar, you should probably stop to consider - is it even safe? Clearly Loved Pets has some answers and recommendations.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Generally speaking, peanut butter is excellent for dogs, and most dogs adore it. Therefore, anything produced with peanuts that isn't artificially sweetened or flavored is acceptable, whether creamy or crunchy.
Peanut butter is also a great way to conceal pills and divert your dog while bathing. Remember that about a half a tablespoon for little dogs and a maximum of one tablespoon for big dogs is in the safe range.
Which Peanut Butters are Safe for Dogs?
Most peanut butter is acceptable for dogs to consume and it is an excellent source of protein, good fats, vitamin B, vitamin E, and niacin. But not all peanut butters are the same. High sodium levels can harm dogs, so the safest choices are unsalted peanut butter, dog-specific peanut butter, or homemade peanut butter. As an added benefit, homemade peanut butter is also completely free of excessive sugar and other additives.
It is especially important to check your peanut butter for the ingredient xylitol before giving it to your dog. Due to its suitability as a sugar alternative for people with diabetes, xylitol is a sweetener that is rapidly growing in popularity. And many products, including some peanut butters, use it as a sugar substitute. But while xylitol is a safe sugar alternative for humans, it can be deadly to dogs and kills hundreds of them every year. When dogs consume peanut butter with xylitol, they get a quick insulin release, which causes their blood sugar levels to drop rapidly and significantly. The resulting condition can be fatal if left untreated. To know if your favorite peanut butter brand has xylitol, sometimes called birch sugar, be sure to check the ingredient list.
Benefits of Peanut Butter for Dogs
Even though you shouldn't feed your dog any old human food, when given in moderation, peanut butter is excellent for your dog's physical and mental well-being.
The following are some benefits of peanut butter for dogs:
1. Lots of Protein
Dogs need a lot of protein in their diet, and peanut butter is a fantastic source. The protein content in peanut butter is typically around 25%, which is significant for a plant-based food. Protein benefits your dog by supplying amino acids that boost the immune system, help build hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
2. Abundant Fiber
Peanut butter is abundant in fiber, which makes it very advantageous for dogs when used in moderation. Like humans, your dog's digestive system also needs fiber to function properly. Fiber adds bulk to the diet, encouraging normal bowel movements and lowering your dog’s risk of diarrhea and constipation.
3. Healthy Fatty Acids
It's no secret that peanut butter contains a lot of fat. What's fortunate is that most of this is good fat like Omega-6, which helps with growth, immunity, and healthy skin, amongst other things.
Vitamin E is a crucial nutrient for both humans and dogs, and peanut butter is a surprisingly rich source. Dogs need vitamin E to maintain healthy muscles, eyes, and skin. The vitamin also controls fat metabolism and supports healthy cells, with studies even suggesting that it may aid in the prevention of arthritis.
5. Important Minerals
Peanut butter contains manganese, which is necessary to produce energy and metabolize proteins and carbohydrates. The nutty treat is also abundant in phosphorus, which interacts with calcium to strengthen bones and teeth.
Another important mineral found in peanut butter that dogs require for cellular energy synthesis and mitigating the effect of free radicals is magnesium. Dogs with hypomagnesemia, a magnesium deficit, experience muscle soreness, convulsions, and trouble walking.
Easy Peanut Butter Dog Treats
Now that you know all about dogs and peanut butter, you might be looking for some easy peanut butter dog treats you can make using kitchen staples. We've got you covered.
2-Ingredient Peanut Butter Dog Treats
First on this list is the easiest peanut butter treat you will ever make. All you need is half a cup of your favorite dog-friendly peanut butter, 4 bananas, and some plastic mini cups. To make this 2-ingredient peanut butter and banana dog treat, start by peeling and slicing your bananas and freezing the resulting slices. Once frozen, transfer the fruit slices to a food processor and blend. Make sure to scrape down the sides as the mixture thickens, and keep blending until you get a nice soft-serve banana ice cream. Then add in the peanut butter, mix well, separate into 3-4 cups, and freeze.
3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Dog Treats
For people looking for something a little different, this 3-ingredient peanut butter dog treat is sure to hit the spot. To make this easy treat, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lining a cookie sheet with some parchment paper. Mix a cup of 100% pure canned pumpkin purée with half a cup of peanut butter and add in some whole wheat flour 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture is no longer sticky. Roll the resulting dough out between two sheets of parchment paper till it's about a quarter inch thick, and cut using a cookie cutter of your choice. Bake at 350 °F for 8-10 minutes and cool before storing.
Which Peanut Butter Brands are Safe for Dogs?
Some brands that offer safe peanut butter free of xylitol are Dog Lab, Trader Joe’s, and Teddie Super Chunky Peanut Butter. Opt for one of these if you want the best peanut butter for your dog.
Can Dogs have Crunchy Peanut Butter?
Yes, absolutely. As long as it’s a peanut butter without Xylitol, it doesn’t really matter if it’s crunchy or smooth. Both can be safely given to your dog as a treat.
How Many Calories are There in a Serving of Peanut Butter?
A 1-tbsp serving of peanut butter has 90–100 calories, most of which are from fat. With such a high caloric content, it’s clear you shouldn’t offer your dog any more peanut butter than is necessary for administering meds or getting your dog to cooperate during bath time.
While many dogs enjoy the taste of peanut butter, it's essential to consider their health and safety when incorporating it into their diet. Hope this article helps! Be sure to share it with your fellow dog lovers to spread the joy of peanut butter, and let us know your experience with dogs and peanut butter in the comments section below!