Should Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

peanut butter on a spoon

Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

peanut butter on a spoon

So, you asked your human to make some peanut butter dog treats for you. After all, you deserve it don’t you? And peanut butter is healthy right? What human wouldn’t want to make you treats? So, you show them this tasty recipe and they gather all the ingredients and then they wonder, should dogs eat peanut butter? My owner decided to conduct some research first. (Oh no! Will I still get my tasty peanut butter treat?) As they are reading they think, I can’t give peanut butter to my dog. It can kill them! But my vet made some delicious peanut butter dog treats for their customer appreciation day. Shelley finally got the recipe and here it is for you.  They can’t be too harmful if the vet made them, right? Shelley read a few things that she thought you should know as well. Read on to discover what she learned.


The Dangers of Aflatoxins

clipart image of a skull and crossbonesThis is a poisonous carcinogen produced by certain molds that grow in soil, hay and grain. When certain foods such as corn, peanuts, rice and wheat are improperly stored, aflatoxin can be created. Aflatoxins can be found in human and pet foods. If you read the ingredients in almost all, cheap, dry dog food, corn is almost always listed. Corn is the #1 producer of aflatoxins and peanuts are second. But, there are many other ingredients in cheap dog food that are also worrisome such as meat by products, grains, preservatives and coloring. You shouldn’t feed your dog any of these. The savings on vet bills from feeding your dog a healthy dog food will far outweigh the savings you will have when you feed your dog bad dog food and they have health issues.


How to Avoid Aflatoxins

young child eating a sandwichThough many people cannot afford to feed their dogs a raw diet or human grade canned food, many affordable, grain free dog foods are available for around $2 a pound. One way to save is to sign up for subscribe & save from Amazon and save 5% on your shipped order, plus shipping is free. You can also sign up to receive coupons from your favorite brand. Just visit their website. Check out one of my favorite resources I frequently use to compare dog food brands, Dog Food Advisor. They provide an unbiased review of many dog foods that is easy to understand and provides a list of all the ingredients and why they are or are not good for your dog.

Back to the peanuts. Dogs can be exposed to aflatoxins when they eat peanuts their humans are eating, in peanut butter treats and in meat and dairy products from animals whose feed was contaminated and then used in dog food. What will happen to our loving pets if they are exposed to aflatoxins? They could get liver cancer.


Sugar or Sugar Free (Xylitol)?

bowl of sugar cubesSugar is harmful to both humans and dogs and can cause diabetes and other health issues. So, you decide you will purchase sugar free peanut butter since it should be healthier, right? Don’t buy it. Don’t even have it in the house. A child or a dog sitter may inadvertently give your dog peanut butter from the wrong jar.

In order to get the sweetness back in, xylitol is added. It is a sugar alcohol and will have very dire consequences for dogs. Even a small amount can cause low blood sugar, liver failure, seizures and death. Regular peanut butter doesn’t have this, but check the label just to be sure. The creamy, Jif Peanut Butter, we used does not have xylitol. It still has sugar which isn’t good for a dog or humans, but as long as you aren’t eating the entire batch of treats or jar of peanut butter in one sitting, you and your dog will be fine.


Harmful Fats

Hydrogenation is a process that converts liquid vegetable oil into solid fat. Partially hydrogenated oils, such as shortening and soft margarine, are semi-soft. Also, known as trans fats. You have heard of that term right? All the places that serve french fries and onion rings and other fried foods used to use oils that were high in trans fats. Those aren’t very good for anyone, so the government made them use other oils such as peanut or other vegetable oils.

Oils that are fully hydrogenated don’t contain any of the dangerous artery-inflaming trans fat found in partially hydrogenated oils. So what does all that mean? Products with fully hydrogenated oils are better for you and your dog than those with trans fats. Where will you find fully hydrogenated oils? In baked goods, sweets and Jif Peaut Butter, which we all know isn’t good for us, but tastes oh so good. Just eat them in moderation.


To Eat or Not to Eat?

Aflatoxins in peanut butter have not caused liver cancer in humans in the United States, only in lab animals. It is unknown whether aflatoxins cause liver cancer in dogs and although it is a risk, it is a slight risk. It may be less risky to buy peanut butter and dog food made by commercial brands as the FDA tests these items, than from a natural food store. So, go ahead and enjoy! Just remember to enjoy in moderation.

To see your dog smile as big as I do after eating peanut butter, click below to make this peanut butter treat that he can enjoy.  It is simple to make and only uses a few ingredients.

click button for peanut butter dog treat recipe



dog wtih a happy face
My happy peanut butter face

Do you have a favorite peanut butter recipe you make for your fur friend that you would like to share?  Comment below.


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