Dogs love peanut butter - in a biscuit, off a spoon, wherever. Most of us have hidden our dog’s medicine in peanut butter before, and a rubber toy stuffed with peanut butter is a great way to entertain your dog while you’re not home.
Peanut butter is a great snack in moderation, but be sure to read the label. Not all peanut butters are safe for dogs. Some of them can be downright deadly. If you know what to look for, you can avoid the additives that turn peanut butter from a wholesome treat to poison in disguise.
If you’re overwhelmed at the abundance of peanut butter options on the shelf, and you aren’t sure if you should reach for your childhood favorite or if natural is best, we’re here to help. We’ll tell you why peanut butter makes a great snack for dogs, what to look for on the label, and even share a few of our favorite treat recipes!
Let’s get nutty and get into the details on dog-friendly peanut butter.
Why Is Peanut Butter A Good Treat For Dogs (In Moderation)
Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. It also contains important nutrients like niacin and vitamins B and E. Stuffed in a marrow bone, served with some veggies like carrots, or plopped onto a spoon, peanut butter is a satisfying and healthy treat.
But beware; peanut butter is extremely high in calories, so a little dab will do when it comes to giving it to your dog. Too much can lead to weight gain and in extreme cases, pancreatitis from the high fat content.
As long as peanut butter is alternated with other treats like fruits and veggies or used as an ingredient, peanut butter is a perfectly acceptable way to spoil your dog a little.
The Dangers of Xylitol
If you are hoping to share a jar of peanut butter with your dog, think twice before you pick up the sugar-free option. Even though these make a claim to being a healthier option, this is only true in humans. Instead of using sugar, an additive called xylitol is frequently substituted. This ingredient is also found in sugar-free gum, baked goods, and toothpaste.
Xylitol is extremely dangerous to dogs. If a dog consumes xylitol it causes a rapid spike in insulin levels, accompanied by a steep drop in blood sugar levels. This is known as hypoglycemia. This condition is accompanied by vomiting, stumbling, confusion, lethargy, and even, seizures. Hypoglycemia needs to be treated immediately or it can result in death. A dog who has suffered from xylitol poisoning may suffer long-term effects such as severe liver damage.
The Best Peanut Butter For Your Dog
Look for a peanut butter with just one, simple ingredient: peanuts. Most grocery stores offer this option. Some natural food stores even have stations where you can grind your own peanut butter, so you know your dog is getting nothing but delicious peanuts.
Peanut Butter Dog Treats
If you want to whip up something special for your dog, these dog treats with peanut butter are a hit with the canine crowd.
4 Ingredient DIY Dog Treats
These crunchy biscuits from Staying Close To Home are a breeze even for novice treat bakers. Get some cute cookie cutters and you’re all set!
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana
¼ cup vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Combine flour, peanut butter, and apple sauce or mashed banana in a large mixing bowl.
Add the stock and mix it until combined thoroughly. The dough will be the consistency of sugar cookie dough.
Press the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough evenly with a rolling pin, until it’s about ½ inch thick.
Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough. Place the dough on a lined baking sheet.
Bake treats for 18 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
Store them in an airtight container.
Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
These wholesome treats from Allrecipes combine the healthy fats of peanut butter with the fiber and vitamin A of pumpkin. Make these as a tasty fall treat for your pup.
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Combine flour, eggs, peanut butter, pumpkin, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add water to make it workable, making sure the dough stays dry and stiff.
Roll the dough into a ½ inch log, and cut it into half-inch thick pieces.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until hard.
Soft Peanut Butter and Carrot Treats
For senior dogs with only a few teeth, dogs with sensitive mouths, or even just because, these soft treats from Sally’s Baking Addiction will become one of your dog’s new favorites.
1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup skim milk
1 large egg (or ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce)
1 large carrot, shredded, about ⅔ cup
2 and 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
⅓ cup oats
Preheat your oven to 325°F.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the peanut butter, milk, egg, and carrot.
Add the flour and baking powder.
Mix in the oats. If the dough is extremely thick and heavy, you may need to use your hands to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough until it is ¼ inch thick.
Cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters or the bottom of a glass.
Arrange them on the baking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the bottom.
Remove from the oven, and flip the treats.
Bake the other side for 10 more minutes. You can bake them for 15 minutes for crunchier treats.
Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
We hope this helps you navigate the grocery store shelves just a little bit easier. If you make some yummy peanut butter treats for your pup, don’t forget to share some pictures with us!