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For pet owners, it can be difficult trying to find a healthy yet varied diet for their furry friend. Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? Yes, they can. For the vast majority, there is no harm as long as you feed it in moderation and check the ingredients list. If you’ve found yourself looking through your pantry for a tasty treat, it’s best to do some research beforehand. If you happen across a jar of peanut butter, make sure to check its ingredient list beforehand.
What Ingredients Should I Look Out For?
The number one ingredient you should be on the lookout for is an artificial sweetener known as “Xylitol”. According to the ASPCA, they received nearly 4000 calls in 2014 alone due to uninformed pet owners feeding their pup something with this ingredient. For pets that ingest Xylitol, the results can be disastrous.
According to PetMD, dogs that have ingested Xylitol can undergo a rapid drop in blood sugar, this causes a condition known as hypoglycemia. This can cause your dog to experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms, like seizures, confusion, or loss of consciousness. Following this, your first course of action should be rushing them to a vet, and if possible, feeding them something with a large amount of sugar to raise their blood glucose level during transit.
How Do I Tell if There is Xylitol in My Peanut butter?
Unfortunately, some companies will use fancy chemical names instead of directly stating that they contain Xylitol, so be wary of any ingredient that contains the letters “Xyl”. Another common indicator that the product you purchased may contain this pet-toxic additive is a “Sugar-free” label, as this almost always means that a sugar alternative is in the product. When in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so it may be best to find the companies helpline and ask them directly.
Ok, There’s No Xylitol in My Peanut Butter, Can He Have Some?
If you’re 100% sure that the peanut butter you have contains no Xylitol, then it should be safe to give to your pup. That doesn’t mean you should give them an overabundance though. Whether as a treat, or an incentive to get them to take important medication, you should stick to half a teaspoon for small or medium-sized dogs, and a full teaspoon for larger breeds.
What Else Should I Know About Giving My Dog Peanut Butter?
So, can dogs eat peanut butter? For the vast majority, the answer is yes, in moderation. But why is this? What about peanut butter makes it a bad choice as a dietary staple?
Peanut Butter, Calorically Dense, Nutritionally Deficient
Like humans, dogs enjoy the taste of peanut butter due to its high fat and sugar content. And most people have learned over the last decade that sugary foods are an unhealthy addition to our diets, as they can cause both intestinal issues and help fatten you up. The same goes for our furry friends.
Another commonality between us and our pets is allergic reactions. Luckily, in our canine companions, it’s incredibly rare for them to have a lethal reaction due to a nut allergy. But in dogs with nut allergies, itchy skin, hair loss, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur.
So if you’re not interested in cleaning up a big mess, it’s probably for the best that you use peanut butter as a treat sparingly, and make sure to monitor any possible reaction your dog might have to it.