Can My Dog Eat Too Much Peanut Butter?
Smooth or crunchy? 🥜
Peanut butter is one of the most popular foods to share with a dog, and it seems like all pups are obsessed with the taste and texture.
But can you ever give your dog too much peanut butter? And are there types you should avoid altogether?
The Dodo reached out to Dace Lace, an animal behavior specialist and co-founder of Pet Food Site, and Dr. Sara Ochoa, a small- and exotic-animal veterinarian in Texas and a veterinary consultant for DogLab, to find out more about dogs and peanut butter.
What is xylitol in peanut butter?
“You can give peanut butter to dogs as long as it does not contain xylitol,” Dr. Ochoa told The Dodo.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener. “You will see this added to [diet] peanut butter … or [in] some exclusive brands,” Lace told The Dodo. “This ingredient is safe for people but very toxic to dogs. Xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, seizures and liver failure.”
When choosing a peanut butter to give to your pup, always steer clear of any that contain xylitol, but also try to avoid any that contain tons of added ingredients, like sugar, oil or salt.
Can dogs have crunchy peanut butter?
In general, crunchy peanut butter is totally safe for your dog, but some dogs might dislike the crunch, just like some humans do. If you want to, it's a good idea to test both out and see if your pup’s Team Creamy or Team Crunchy.
“Best [to] provide smooth peanut butter for some miniature breeds, [because] crunchy bits can present [a] choking hazard,” Lace said.
Can dogs have peanut butter and jelly?
Although there is no immediate harm with your dog trying jelly, jelly does contain sugar, which can cause inflammation, diabetes, obesity and oral health problems if your dog has too much.
But giving your pup a small piece of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every now and then as a treat should be just fine. “Just make sure that it is not grape jelly since grapes can be toxic to dogs,” Dr. Ochoa said. “Grapes can cause kidney damage and kidney failure.”
How much peanut butter can dogs eat?
Peanuts, just like all nuts, are high in fats, which can lead to your dog gaining some extra weight. Because of this, it’s best to give your pup peanut butter as an occasional treat, with no more than one spoonful per day, according to Dr. Ochoa.
You can always check in with your vet to see if your dog can have more or less peanut butter, depending on her as an individual.
“I would urge dog owners to stick to a balanced main meal and occasional treat to support dogs' overall health,” Lace said.
While you can just let your pup lick peanut butter right off a spoon, you can also put it in a dog puzzle or KONG so that it can double as a game or form of enrichment. “Put the puzzle and peanut butter in the freezer to entertain your [dog] for longer,” Lace said.
So while peanut butter’s typically safe for your dog to have as a treat, just make sure to avoid any brands that contain xylitol.
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