Can dogs eat peanut butter?

In most cases, dogs can eat peanut butter. There are however some considerations to bear in mind before feeding it to your pet. Peanut butter is not specifically designed for dogs and therefore should not be given to them in excess.

When given sparingly, in moderation and fed in conjunction with a balanced diet, peanut butter makes a great treat or reward and can be inserted into a treat toy or used for training. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and has a high calorie count so it can be good for dogs that are underweight.

Warning – Please read the label. There are some risk factors to consider when feeding peanut butter to your dog. Some brands of peanut butter contain xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs and therefore brands containing this should be avoided all together. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener harmful to dogs and even if a small amount is consumed, this can lead to permanent liver damage and in some cases can be fatal.

In addition, any peanut butter containing palm oil should also be avoided for the same reasons. Palm oil can lead to upset stomachs as it can be too rich for a dog’s digestive system. Any peanut butter or other nut butter product that contains xylitol or palm oil in any amount, is best avoided and should not be fed to dogs.

Some dogs should not eat peanut butter at all. As previously mentioned, peanut butter is high in calories, so it therefore makes sense not to feed it to overweight dogs. Also, dogs with kidney problems should avoid peanut butter due to the high sodium content. If your dog is currently being fed a special or veterinary diet, then it would be advisable to avoid peanut butter also.

Having said all that, if it is safe for your dog to eat peanut butter then there are some practical tips for including it in their diet. Peanut butter is best given as a treat or reward. Because of its texture, it can be smeared on the inside of a chew toy or can be used as a tasty distraction to make your dog feel more comfortable during an experience that they don’t normally enjoy.

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