Did you know that TV producers got the infamous horse Mr. Ed to “talk” by putting peanut butter on the roof of his mouth? If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’ve surely given them a glob of peanut butter and giggled as they desperately tried to swallow it. While it’s quite funny to watch, you might have wondered if it’s actually okay for a dog to eat peanut butter. Before you make this a staple in your dog’s diet, keep some of the following things in mind.
Is It OK For Dogs to Have Peanut Butter?
Yes, peanut butter is quite safe for dogs. It’s filled with lots of protein, an essential nutrient for dogs. Of course, protein is always best served in the form of meat, but peanut butter is a safe treat if you’re looking for something naturally filled with protein. Peanut butter is universally high in fat, but it’s the good kind of fat.
Good fats are great for their skin, coat, and brain development. The combination of fats, carbohydrates, and protein are excellent sources of energy. If you have a dog that practically bursts with energy, peanut butter is a great snack. When you go on a long hike, you can give your dog peanut butter if he seems like he’s beginning to lack energy. Just make sure you have plenty of water available.
Choosing the Right Peanut Butter Before Feeding Your Dogs
You should read the labels carefully on peanut butter before you start treating your dog. A lot of peanut butters are filled with additives that significantly lower its health factor. One of the most common additives is sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Sugar isn’t all that good for dogs, especially HFCS.
The “all natural” brands of peanut butter are much better for everyone involved, especially if you’re enjoying this snack with them. Because of the sugar found in some brands, you should talk to your veterinarian if your dog has diabetes.
You shouldn’t give your pup chunky peanut butter for a couple of reasons. It’s a choking hazard, mostly, especially for smaller dogs and enthusiastic eaters. Secondly, dogs don’t digest whole nuts that well, so it can lead to some minor digestive upset.
The Key Is In Moderation:
Foods that aren’t natural in a dog’s diet should be given in moderation. Dogs in the wild don’t typically eat nuts and their main diet is mostly carnivorous. If you decide to give your dog peanut butter, this shouldn’t be a treat that’s given liberally.
As stated above, peanut butter is high in fat, and too much fat can be harmful to a dog’s health. Overweight dogs absolutely shouldn’t be given peanut butter. Moderation is almost important in regards to the amount you’re giving at one time. A huge glob can be a choking hazard.
You’ve probably seen how desperate a dog is to swallow when you give them a mound of peanut butter, and this can be dangerous if they manage to swallow it all at once. Small amounts are much safer.
Peanut Butter Treats For Dogs
Do you have a super spoiled dog? Maybe you want to take it to the next level and bake some peanut butter treats for them. These cookies are easy to make and all natural.
- 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour (use coconut or rice flour if your dog is allergic to wheat)
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 cup of natural, smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of natural honey
- 1 egg
Combine the ingredients in a bowl. The batter will be very sticky, so you might want to mix it with your hands or with a paddle attachment on your electric mixer. Lightly flour a surface and roll the dough out until it’s 1/2 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes until the cookies are golden in color.
For hot summer weather, you can mix a cup of peanut butter with a bit of water and put the mixture into an ice cube tray. Silicone trays are better because you can pop the treats out easily. You can also fill rubber toys with peanut butter and freeze them. This will keep your dog entertained for hours!
A Final Word of Caution
Dogs can have food allergies just like humans do. While it’s unlikely, it is possible for your dog to have or develop a peanut allergy. Talk to your veterinarian about the signs of an allergic reactions or sensitivity.