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The Right Way To Feed Peanut Butter To Your Dog

Christin Perry LitteThings writer by Christin Perry
Christin is a mom and editor specializing in lifestyle content. She also hides cookies like a boss.

Do dogs like peanut butter? Asking this question is like asking if the sky is blue. Yes, of course they do!

Peanut butter is one of your dog’s very favorite human treats, and there are so many different ways you can share it with your furry friend! I’ve never met a dog that didn’t go… well, nuts for peanut butter.

But as is the case with all food we enjoy, it’s important to research if it’s safe to feed your pup, and if so, how to do it properly. Vets don’t recommend feeding dogs peanuts regularly, but what about peanut butter? Although peanut butter is something pups clearly enjoy, it is no exception to this rule.

So is it good for dogs? Is it safe for dogs? Here, we’ll talk about that and much more, including a recipe for some homemade peanut butter dog treats, and which peanut butter is bad for dogs. So get comfy with your pet and get ready for some dog-friendly facts.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

Feeding dog treats

Peanut butter is a good source of protein and has several vitamins and minerals that are good for dogs. Just remember, even though your pup loves it and it makes him super happy, peanut butter is still a high-fat food, so use it sparingly.

Dogs who suffer from excessive weight gain get less exercise, which could lead to a shorter life. So to keep your dog in tip-top shape, just use peanut butter as an occasional, special treat.

How Much Is Good For Them?

Ten percent of dog food
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you’d like to try peanut butter for dogs in the form of treats, you may be wondering how much they can eat. The American Kennel Club has a fantastic rule of thumb you can follow: “The 10-percent rule. In general, treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet. Simply measure how much food your dog gets daily, and remember that it might be a good idea to alternate between peanut butter and healthier treats.”

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Following those guidelines, you can try these homemade peanut butter dog treats — with only four ingredients, they’re super simple to make and your pup will love the banana and peanut butter flavor!

You can also use it to administer medication.

“Peanut butter is a great high-protein snack for dogs. It’s also a great way to hide any medications your pup may need,” says Catherine Cowman, a well-known American pit bull breeder and trainer with Ocean State Working Dogs in Rhode Island. “Every dog owner has surely faced the pill challenge with their family companion at one time or another. Peanut butter is an easy way to sneak in those not-so-canine-friendly pills or liquids. It’s as simple as adding the powder or liquid into a small spoonful and letting your dog do the rest.”

The Best Peanut Butter For Dogs

Dog and owner looking at peanut butter with no added ingredients
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The best kinds of peanut butters for dogs are the purest ones — made with little to no added salt and sugar, and no added ingredients.

Here are some of the healthiest peanut butters for dogs:

Worst Peanut Butter for Dogs

Looking at peanut butter with xylitol
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The addition of xylitol to peanut butter is a recent health trend that reduces or eliminates sugar in peanut butter. Xylitol is a natural, sugar-free sweetener that’s risen to fame in the health-food world. While this was intended to make peanut butter healthier for humans, xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, even in very small amounts.

Here’s what the AKC has to say about keeping xylitol out of peanut butter for dogs: “Liver failure (and death) can result from xylitol ingestion, and symptoms can take as much as eight hours to show up. A dog only needs to consume a very little amount of xylitol to receive a deadly dose.”

Some of the peanut butter brands that contain xylitol are listed below.

Can Dogs Eat Crunchy Peanut Butter

Dog happy to see crunchy peanut butter
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you happen to be wondering if dogs can eat crunchy peanut butter, the answer is yes. There doesn’t seem to be much difference in nutrition or fat content, and the nuts are small enough to not pose a choking hazard, even in the smallest breeds. According to the Daily Puppy, “Crunchy peanut butter has a texture and taste that makes for a delicious treat when mixed with kibble or offered from a spoon.”

So feel free to share some peanut butter with your furry friend. Just remember — as with anything, attention to detail (read those ingredients!) and moderation is key. And don’t forget to take pictures of all those funny faces your pup makes while she enjoys her peanut butter!

If you think peanut butter makes a great treat to enjoy with your dog, please SHARE this article with your dog-loving friends!