Peanut butter is widely accepted as a safe, yummy treat for dogs, but not all peanut butter is the same. Some peanut butter includes dangerous ingredients that can present a real risk to your pet’s health. So before you crack open that jar of peanut butter for dogs as a special snack, make sure you’re giving Fido the safest product possible.
Risks and Considerations with Peanut Butter for Dogs
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best peanut butter for dogs. This includes:
- The presence of xylitol
- Calorie density
- Sodium content
Many Peanut Butters Contain Xylitol
The most important thing to remember about peanut butter for your dogs is that canines should never eat anything that contains xylitol. You might never have heard of xylitol, but it appears in many peanut butter products as a sugar substitute.
While it’s perfectly safe for humans to consume, xylitol is highly poisonous for dogs and kills many pets every year. It takes very little xylitol to send your dog into hypoglycemia (when their blood sugar drops suddenly). This can cause muscle tremors, twitching, seizures, and ultimately death.
Some Dogs May Be Allergic to Peanut Butter
Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to peanut butter, too! Some canines might have a severe allergic reaction that causes anaphylaxis and can be very dangerous. Other pets will just have a skin reaction like hives or itchy, red skin. Keep a close eye on your pet for any uncomfortable symptoms after you’ve first given them peanut butter to make sure your dog doesn’t have a peanut allergy.
Peanut Butter Is Rich in Calories
Peanut butter is made from peanuts, a legume that is rich in calories and fat. The caloric density of peanut butter means you need to be careful with portions when giving it to your dog, especially if you have a smaller pooch. Giving your dog too many calories each day can cause canine obesity, which is related to a world of other health problems. Peanut butter should be a special snack, not one that’s given every day.
Peanut Butter Can Be High in Sodium
Peanuts and salt go together really well – in fact, most people find unsalted peanut butter to be disappointing. But your dog won’t! Many peanut butter products – even those advertised as totally natural – contain added salt.
The added salt is superfluous to your pet. She will enjoy unsalted peanut butter just as much, and you won’t have to worry about the health concerns (like heart issues and high blood pressure) that come with a diet that’s too high in sodium.
The Best and Safest Peanut Butter for Dogs
Now that you know the risks of peanut butter for dogs, you’ll understand what makes a really good peanut butter for your pooch. The best nutty buttery product for your dog will be simple:
- Just peanuts
- Given in moderation
Only Give Your Dog Xylitol-Free Peanut Butter
We’ve explained the danger of xylitol, so it’s very important to keep a close eye on the ingredient list and ensure xylitol isn’t present in the peanut butter you plan to give to your canine. Xylitol is technically considered natural, so even peanut butter listed as “all-natural” or containing “no artificial sweeteners” might contain xylitol and be unsafe for your dog! Always, always read the ingredient list.
Peanut Butter Should Just Be Peanuts
In addition to xylitol, many peanut butter products have added sugar and salt. It might seem like a simple list of ingredients – peanuts, salt, and sugar – but those last two are totally unnecessary and unhealthy for your pooch. Make sure the peanut butter you feed to your dog is made only of peanuts!
Use Portion Control
Peanut butter is a special snack, not a part of a healthy daily routine for your pet. Be careful with the amount and regularity with which you give peanut butter to your dog – no matter how many puppy eyes they turn your way!
How to Give Peanut Butter to Your Dog
Peanut butter is a versatile snack that can be given to your dog in a lot of ways. Because it’s so special and yummy for your pooch, it can be used to administer medicine or wellness support like CBD, or even used as a distraction during a stressful experience like bath time. Some fun ways to use peanut butter for dogs include:
- Homemade peanut butter dog treats
- Adding your dog’s daily CBD to peanut butter
- Smearing it on the tub for bath time
Bake It into a Homemade Treat
Peanut butter is an awesome ingredient in homemade pet snacks. Whether you want to make crunchy peanut butter cookies for your pooch or some frozen peanut butter balls for them to enjoy in the summer, you can always add peanut butter to your homemade dog snacks!
Use It for Your Dog’s Daily Serving of CBD
CBD peanut butter is a wonderful one-two punch of wellness support for your pooch. You can add CBD oil to your chosen peanut butter for dogs, or get a CBD-infused peanut butter for your pooch. The same rules apply – look for a peanut butter product that only contains peanuts, CBD, and a delivery oil like MCT oil. No added salt and no sweeteners!
Use It as a Distraction
For bath time or when you need to give your dog a pill, they aren’t too fond of, peanut butter can be a great solution. Some people will smear a little bit of peanut butter on the side of the bathtub (or on a lickimat) to keep their pooch occupied while they’re being bathed. It can be a little harder to sneak a pill into peanut butter, but if your dog is a quick eater, it might work!
Always Check the Ingredient List in Peanut Butter for Dogs
When it comes to the safest peanut butter for dogs, it’s pretty simple: the ingredient list should just say “peanuts.” No salt, no added sugar, and definitely no xylitol. Some dog-friendly products will be branded as xylitol-free peanut butter, but the best way to be sure is to simply read the ingredient list. If it has anything other than peanuts, it’s probably not a good idea for your pooch!