Is Peanut Butter Good for Dogs?

by Vivian Gomez
Peanut butter is safe for most dogs to eat, as long as it's in moderation.

Peanut butter is safe for most dogs to eat, as long as it's in moderation.

Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Peanut butter is among the “people” foods that are generally safe for dogs to eat. Peanuts are a type of legume, rather than a nut, and are therefore rich in protein and contain healthy fats and vitamins E and H, which will help keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.

Common Sense

Because crunchy peanut butter has bits of peanuts that can be choking hazards, it’s best to stick to giving your four-legged pal creamy peanut butter. If you give your dog peanut butter very rarely, the commercial non-organic creamy brands will be fine. However, if your pooch eats peanut butter regularly, it is best to give him organic, unsalted peanut butter. Too much salt can be harmful to your dog's health. Peanut butter is also high in calories and fat, so even if you feed some to your dog every day, keep it to about 1 teaspoon a day. Speak to your dog's veterinarian to determine a recommended daily allowance that will keep your pooch's diet healthy and balanced.

Good for Your Dog, Good for You

Peanut butter can help contribute to your dog's healthy, shiny coat, and it can also contribute to your peace of mind, if you have to give your four-legged pal medication. Tuck your dog's medication into a bit of peanut butter, and place it onto his tongue toward the back of his mouth. Doing so will prevent cleverer pooches from getting wise to your scheme and eating the peanut butter around the medication and leaving the pill behind.

Keeping Him Occupied

Peanut butter might also benefit your dog if he suffers from separation anxiety. Stuff about 1 teaspoon of unsalted peanut butter into your pup's toy, such as a non-toxic, rubber, cone-shaped toy, mixing it with some dry food. Your dog will be preoccupied for a few hours, which will help ease his anxiety. Because the recommended daily allowance varies by your dog's weight, talk to your dog's veterinarian to determine what amount works best for your furry pal's daily, balanced diet.

Allergic Reactions

While peanut butter is generally safe for dogs to eat, some dogs may have peanut allergies. Signs of peanut allergies in your pooch may vary, and include gastric distress, skin irritation or hair loss. If your dog presents any of these or other signs of possible intoxication after eating peanut butter, stop feeding him peanut butter and take him to the veterinarian, who will be able to diagnose a peanut allergy.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Vivian Gomez contributes to Retailing Today, the Daily Puppy, Paw Nation and other websites. She's covered the New York Comic Con for NonProductive since 2009 and writes about everything from responsible pet ownership to comic books to the manner in which smart phones are changing the way people shop. Gomez received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Pace University.

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