Dogs, being dogs, never make the distinction between dog food and human food. However, you being the responsible parent should know better. DogAppy tells you if peanut butter is actually safe for your pet or not.
Do you feed your dog scraps off the table?
Admittedly, most of us do, but you’d be surprised to know how many “human” food items can be toxic to dogs. These include chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic. Ensure that you never feed them any of these.
Can dogs eat peanut butter? Yes, it happens to be one of those few “human” food items that are considered safe for dogs as well. Having said that, excess of anything is detrimental to health, so no matter what, avoid feeding peanut butter in large amounts regardless of the pestering you may face.
Peanuts aren’t technically nuts; they’re legumes. They are also rich in protein and contain healthy fats, along with vitamins E and H. Regulated intake of peanut butter improves the texture of the dog’s coat and makes his skin healthy. And if you’re feeding it as a treat, it also makes for a rather happy dog, of course.
Let’s go on to answer a few questions about the points to keep in mind while feeding peanut butter to your dog.
Crunchy or creamy?
Creamy wins hands down since the crunchy version contains hard bits of peanuts that can result in choking. As with every treat, some dogs may love it, whereas some might just prefer something else over it. If your dog is fond of peanut butter and consumes it frequently, it’s best to buy the organic version, considering the obvious benefits. If your dog is a moody eater, commercial, non-organic brands will do just fine.
Salted or unsalted?
Definitely unsalted, and we’ve highlighted this because excessive salt is very harmful to dogs. It doesn’t matter if your dog eats this frequently; always ensure that you never feed him the salted version.
How much is too much?
A teaspoonful per day should be it, no matter how much your dog may pester you for more. Peanut butter is loaded with fats, so keep the portions under control in order to avoid piling on unhealthy calories.
Also, note that you need to be a little careful when you’re feeding them that coveted teaspoonful. Larger dogs have been occasionally known to swallow it entirely, along with the spoon as well. In such cases, you can transfer the contents to a bowl, and have your dog lick it off as patiently as possible.
Look out for allergies!
Just like humans, some dogs suffer from peanut allergy; and like humans, they may also develop it later in life. Therefore, if this is your first time you are feeding your dog with peanut butter, look out for the usual signs of an allergic reaction―vomiting, nausea, rash, uneasiness, fever, etc. Consult the vet immediately.
Versatile Uses of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter acts as a medium to feed medicinal pills to your dog, in case he is finicky about it. Place the pill in a blob of butter, and place this at the back of your dog’s tongue―this is so that he doesn’t lick it off and leave the pill out.
If your pooch seems a little anxious and shifty, you may want to divert his attention to some activity. Stuff a bit of peanut butter mixed with dry food into your dog’s toy (non-toxic, hollow, rubber toys are suitable), and allow him to extract it. This exercise keeps him occupied and takes his mind off the anxiety.
Not exactly connected to peanut butter, but there are some dogs specifically trained to sniff peanuts in order to alert their humans if they find traces of it in food. This has helped save many lives of those who suffer from intense cases of peanut allergy.