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Can dogs eat peanut butter?

Heed these takeaways:
  • Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter.
  • Dogs should NOT be given peanut butter that contains a sugar substitute known as Xylitol.
  • Peanut butter with added sugar or other extras should also be avoided.
  • Peanut butter also makes a great boredom-busting treat when spread on the inside of a Kong.

Mmm peanut butter. Even the mere mention of this delicious spread is enough to have many of us licking our lips. Whether it’s a PB&J sandwich or you just love spooning it straight from the jar, peanut butter is one of the nation’s favorite snack foods.

But what about our fur-babies? Can dogs eat peanut butter? Should they?
The answer is yes, dogs can eat peanut butter — but there are a few caveats.


Image by Lauren Rathbone from Pixabay.

What types of peanut butter can dogs eat?

Most types of peanut butter are perfectly safe to give to your dog, but some should be avoided at all costs.

Peanut butter that contains Xylitol, a sweetener used as a sugar substitute, should never be given to dogs. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can potentially have life-threatening consequences. Check the ingredients label closely and if you see Xylitol mentioned, find something else to give to your dog as a treat.

While you’re examining the ingredients, make sure the peanut butter contains peanuts and nothing else. Many major brands include added sugar in their peanut butter and others are loaded with salt, so steer clear of them as well.

If you decide to make your own peanut butter at home, be careful where you source your peanuts. Peanuts can have a fungus on them called Aspergillus, which produces cancer-causing substances known as aflatoxins. However, the FDA inspects peanuts and peanut butter in the USA to ensure that they’re safe for human consumption.

Is peanut butter healthy for dogs?

Peanut butter makes a delicious treat for dogs, but please remember that it should only ever be given in moderation. 

Peanut butter does have some nutritional benefits — it’s loaded with protein and has plenty of healthy fats, while it also contains vitamins B and E.

But be careful not to over-do it when treating your dog to a peanut butter snack. Too much peanut butter can be a contributing factor to weight gain and even obesity, while it can also lead to other serious health issues like pancreatitis.

Peanut butter is a treat, and treats should never form more than 10% of your dog’s diet. If you’re in any doubt about whether your dog should have peanut butter or how much they can eat, ask your vet for advice.

How to give your dog peanut butter

With all the serious stuff out of the way, now we can get to the fun part: the best ways to give your dog a tasty peanut butter treat. Happily, there are plenty of options to choose from:

  • Add a little bit to their bowl of regular food at dinner time.
  • Spread it inside a hollow toy (such as a Kong) for a boredom-busting treat your dog can enjoy when home alone.
  • Let your pup lick some peanut butter off a spoon or even your finger.
  • Make your own DIY peanut butter at home, or look up a recipe for homemade peanut butter dog treats.
  • Use peanut butter to secretly slip your pup whatever medication she hates taking.
Now you know that Xylitol-free peanut butter is safe for your dog, why not crack open a jar and share a tasty treat with your precious pup?
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