If you’ve noticed that your pup seems to act extra sweet when peanut butter is around, you’re not wrong. Peanut butter has been used in numerous ways over the years for dogs, especially as a cover up aid when administering medication and a means to provide entertainment or distraction. Most pet parents agree that their pup, time and time again, loves this creamy (or crunchy) treat.
We know that peanut butter has its benefits, but is it safe for your doggo? There are important facts that you, as a paw parent, must know and understand before giving your pup another spoonful of sticky goodness. In fact, knowing all there is to know about this delicious peanut butter could save your dog’s life.
Let’s get to snackin’!
Keeping up with the latest in the news? Most likely if you do, you’ve heard of xylitol. Accidental dog poisoning is on the rise in the US and this xylitol is one of the main culprits. You’ve likely consumed the product before, without even knowing it. So what is it? It’s a sugar substitute found in many sugar free gums, mints, chewable vitamins, baked goods, candies, and toothpaste. This ingredient is safe for paw parent consumption, but can be extremely toxic to your pup.
There has been a large increase in xylitol-related cases over the last 10 years, but why? Pet owners clearly aren’t giving their fur babies vitamins or toothpaste. In some instances, peanut butter may be the one to point the finger at. With the health craze and trend to cut back on your sugar intake, several brands of peanut butter has switched to using xylitol as their sugar substitute. While this is fine for human consumption, the switch is responsible for xylitol poisoning and the death of too many four-legged doggos.
However, avoiding xylitol poisoning can be easy peezy, lemon squeezy. Check the label of your peanut butter (and other favorite treats you commonly feed fido). Having a home free of this xylitol poison is a great way to prevent your pup from accidentally ingesting this dangerous culprit ingredient.
Xylitol poisoning causes a rapid insulin release, quickly leading to a massive reduction in blood sugar. This condition is referred to as hypoglycemia and can be life-threatening without immediate treatment. Signs of xylitol poisoning will typically onset within 10 - 60 minutes after ingestion and often include:
If for any reason, you think your pup may have ate xylitol, it is crucial that you take them to the veterinarian right away. This is not something you should take lightly or get better with time. Even in minute amounts, xylitol can be seriously and deadly for dogs.
With all of the harmful and deadly reports about xylitol and the threats it poses to our beloved paw children, many brands of peanut butter that originally switched from sugar to xylitol have decided to switch back to the natural ingredients. But, nonetheless, there are still some popular brands of peanut butter out there that still contain the deadly ingredient.
We can’t stress this enough, please check the label on your peanut butter jar before giving it to your pup. Unfortunately, ingredients in your staple products change all too frequently. A brand name that you love and trust may have been safe just a year or two ago, but may now pose a threat to your pup. A quick scan of your peanut butter jar could deter the difference between a yummy experience of goodness and a hospital visit.
It’s not only found in peanut butter, so we’re going to cover the other places it may be hiding. It’s important to keep certain foods, medications, and items out of your dog’s accessibility like:
Keep products out of harm's way is an easy way to prevent your pup from getting xylitol poisoning.
It’s important to always check your peanut butter labels, especially for xylitol. Luckily, a number of peanut butter brands do not have any trace of xylitol. But, there are some potential dangers associated with peanut butter that paw parents should know about.
Now that we’ve established that xylitol is a common sugar substitute that is extremely toxic for dogs, there’s other sugars we should mentioned too. White sugar, for example, poses potential issues as well. Sugar is a leading substance for a slew of issues, like yeast infections, bacteria, parasites, and possible cancer. All of these illnesses feed off of sugar, so the more that your pup ingests, the more likely an issue may arise. In addition, sugar consumption is linked directly to premature aging, diabetes, food allergies, and inflammation. The worst part? Many peanut butter brands that do not have xylitol, often contain white sugar.
Aflatoxins are naturally-occurring mycotoxins that are produced by fungi and can be present in peanuts. Mycotoxins are well-known to be cancer-causing substances. Lovely. Mycotoxins have shown to be toxic to the liver and may even cause liver cancer.
People and dogs alike can be allergic to peanut butter. However, peanut allergies in dogs are much less common than in us humans. They can still exist in dogs, so pet owners take note.
Signs of pup allergies:
It’s no secret that most peanut butter is not considered low in fat, or even a low-calorie food. If your pup is suffering from weight loss complications, your vet may advise for you to skip out on the peanut butter spoonfuls, even if you have the best of the best in your cabinet.
With that said and done, peanut butter isn’t all that horrible. Peanut butter actually has some amazing benefits for humans and doggos. The most critical thing to know is the product you are purchasing and ensuring that you feed your pup appropriate servings of this sticky goodness. In moderation, of course, peanut butter can be a great addition to your pup’s diet.
Peanut butter is known for being a great source of protein (win). Protein is an essential element of your doggo’s diet. It plays numerous roles in the body including repairing and building muscle and tissue. More so, protein (+ carbs) are essential for energy production and immune system support. Without the necessary amount of daily protein, your pup won’t be able to function properly.
Peanut butter provides a killer source of healthy fats that are necessary to maintain optimal health too. Without healthy fats, problems can arise, such as heart disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system. Your pup may experience skin issues and dry coats if they’re lacking healthy fats in their daily diet.
Peanut butter contains Vitamin E and B, along with niacin. Niacin is just one of the B vitamins, essential for both dogs and us humans. It occurs naturally in numerous foods, but many pups still lack this important vitamin.
We’ve gotten this far, so by now you’re probably wondering which peanut butter you choose pick for fido.
Many pet parents have found that making their own peanut butter is a great way to ensure that they know exactly all the ingredients and where they are coming from. Homemade peanut butter doesn’t contain any secret ingredients, additives you don’t know about, or sugars you aren’t sure of that could harm your pup.
Now that you’ve got the scoop on peanut butter, how can you incorporate it into your dog’s diet? Here’s some easy and fun ways to get the goodies to your pup for pure enjoyment:
If you choose to seek out a healthy, store-bought peanut butter, that’s fine! Paw parents, a simple spoonful of peanut butter will have your pup licking like crazy for this yummy treat.
Speaking of goodies, some fruits and vegetables are great options for switching up the health benefits that your pup receives from treats.
Apples contain vitamin C, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus. But, do note, be careful not to feed your dog any apple seeds or the apple core. Apple seeds contain a toxic substance harmful to dogs.
Raw carrots are a great chew that will keep them busy for hours!
Very low in fat and cholesterol, is a great source of fiber, contains vitamins A, C, and K, and is packed with potassium and folate.
Many paw parents are incorporating CBD oil into their dog’s food or their doggy treats, which their pups craze over!
We encourage you to spoil your pup in love, cuddles, and treats! However, treats in moderation are key. Knowing exactly what’s in your dog’s treats is crucial and paramount to their health. Do your homework, read the labels, and ask questions. Your pup’s health and treats depend on it.