Everyone knows that dogs love peanut butter! Okay, well, most dogs do. It seems like you can’t crack open a jar of peanut butter without your furry canine rushing over to beg for a lick (or two, or three). I know my dogs definitely expect some kind of offering whenever I try to make a peanut butter sandwich. It’s not always convenient to feed your dog peanut butter, though. Somehow, it always gets everywhere. So, if you want to give your dog a tasty treat without the mess, are peanuts a safe and suitable alternative? Can dogs eat peanuts?
The Pros and Cons of Peanuts
Yes, dogs can eat peanuts, but not every kind of peanut is safe. Technically, the peanuts that are healthy for your dog are the raw, boiled, or dry-roasted and unsalted kind. The salty peanuts that we usually like to eat aren’t so great for our dogs. They have too much salt, and excessive consumption of salt can lead to salt poisoning. This can actually cause your dog to become dehydrated, which can lead to many other health problems.
Let’s circle back to peanuts being healthy, though. While they contain a lot of nutrients, like healthy fats, vitamin E, and protein, they’re not healthy enough to be fed in large quantities. In fact, you probably shouldn’t even feed your dog peanuts on a daily basis. Why is this? Well, even though peanuts contain healthy fats, they contain a lot of fat. Too much fat in your dog’s diet creates the possibility of multiple health issues, such as pancreatitis. So, even though your dog may love peanuts, only feed them to your pup in moderation.
What if my dog can’t eat a lot of peanuts…
Yep, you guessed it. If you shouldn’t feed your dog too many peanuts, then you also shouldn’t feed your dog a lot of peanut butter. Though there are health benefits to feeding your dog peanut butter (and your dog probably loves it), as with everything, peanut butter should only be fed in moderation. Otherwise, your dog might end up ingesting an unhealthy amount of fat.
When choosing peanut butter to give your dog, look for unsalted peanut butter. More importantly, look for peanut butter without xylitol, which can be used to sweeten peanut butter and other foods. Xylitol is very toxic to dogs, so even a small amount could cause problems. If you’re kitchen-savvy, you can even consider making your own peanut butter. Doing so would give you the ability to know exactly what’s going into the peanut butter you’re feeding your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Seasoned Peanuts?
So, dogs can eat peanuts, but they shouldn’t eat salted peanuts. What about different types of peanut products, like honey-roasted or seasoned peanuts? You might’ve guessed it, but even these delicious variations aren’t good for your dog. If your pup ends up eating one or two of them, it probably won’t be an issue. But, you shouldn’t try to feed your dog flavored peanuts, and if your pup happens to eat a lot of them, it could cause health problems.
The main issue with honey-roasted peanuts is the high sugar content from the honey. Too much sugar in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity, tooth decay, or other health issues. If you tend to buy honey-roasted peanuts for yourself, feel free to eat them without sharing and without guilt. Your dog is better off without them.
Can Dogs Eat Peanuts in the Shell?
No, you shouldn’t give your dog peanuts that are still in the shell. Dogs tend to not chew their food much or at all, so feeding them peanuts in the shell increases the risk of choking. Peanut shells are also pretty rough, so they’d probably be hard on your dog’s mouth and digestive tract. Also, some peanuts come with salt on the shells, and as mentioned before, salt poisoning is something to watch out for.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Peanuts?
Yes, dogs can definitely be allergic to peanuts. Even if your dog isn’t strictly allergic to peanuts, there could still be a food sensitivity issue. In either case, if your dog presents symptoms of an allergy or sensitivity to peanuts, it would be best to avoid feeding peanuts (or peanut butter) to your pup in the future. Also, in the event that you feed your dog peanuts or peanut butter and spot an allergic reaction, contact a vet immediately.
What symptoms should you be looking out for, though? There are a number of them, but some of them include vomiting, diarrhea, swelling, sneezing, or even itchiness. These symptoms could also be indicative of a health problem unrelated to peanuts, though, so again, if you see any of these signs, be sure to contact a vet as quickly as possible.
Feeding Peanuts to Your Dog
You know that your dog isn’t allergic to peanuts, you’ve found some unsalted and unflavored peanuts that are out of the shell, and you want to give your pup a tasty treat. Now what? You could just give your dog the peanuts like you would any other dog treat. But, if you’re concerned about the minor choking hazard that even unshelled peanuts pose, you may not want to do that.
To avoid that, you could crush the peanuts and add them to your dog’s regular food. You could also add the crushed bits to some plain yogurt if your pup can tolerate lactose and also likes yogurt. You could even add the crushed peanuts to some peanut butter, but keep in mind that that’s going to increase the amount of fat your dog is consuming at one time.
Dogs can eat peanuts, and peanuts can even be a healthy and yummy snack for your pup. However, they should be fed to your pup in moderation, and you should only feed your dog peanuts that are raw, boiled, or dry-roasted and unsalted. Otherwise, there’s an increased risk of your dog getting salt poisoning. You should also feed your dog peanuts that aren’t in the shell, as the shell can be even more of a choking risk, and you should avoid giving your dog flavored peanuts, as well.
But so long as you’re only feeding your dog some peanuts on an occasional basis, there shouldn’t be any problem (and your dog would probably be happy to hear that, too).