Peanut butter is a favorite snack for many of us. It’s certainly no surprise, therefore, that we often find out pets instantly glued to our side as soon as the jar is opened.
But why do dogs love peanut butter so much?
Well, peanut butter tastes good! This is the most obvious reason, and more than likely, the only factor dogs care about. The combination of sweet and sticky is highly appealing, and this texture also means it can be made to last longer inside a chew toy.
On top of that, it’s simply good for him. While your dog probably doesn’t outwardly care about nutrition, some research suggests that a dog’s highly developed sense of smell is geared to find foods that are rich in nutrients.
Specifically, peanut butter provides a great deal of nutritional value, including healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Below, we will discuss some of the best peanut butter options for dogs.
What’s the Best Peanut Butter for Dogs?
1. 365 Everyday Value Peanut Butter
This creamy, organic product is sodium-free and made from peanuts that were grown in the US. Plus, not only is there no xylitol or added sugar to worry about, but it’s also GMO-free, completely vegan, and even kosher.
This means you don’t have to worry about your dog ingesting anything artificial, yet the taste is just as good as anything else. Since it can be a bit oily, be sure to stir the oil into the peanut butter to mix it together.
- Peanuts are grown in the US
- No xylitol or sugar
2. Bark Bistro Buddy Butter
Specifically designed with your peanut butter-loving dog in mind, this product is made from 100% natural roasted peanuts, right here in the US. This eliminates any potential hazards like hydrogenated oil, corn syrup, and xylitol.
However, it tends to keep better and maintain a thicker consistency if you keep it in the fridge. That way, you can also roll it into little balls to hide Fido’s pills.
- 100% roasted peanuts
- Made in the US
- No corn syrup or xylitol
3. Dog for Dog Dogbutter
This is another product that’s specifically tailored to meet your dog’s individual needs. Made in the US, it’s free of hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, and potential allergens, such as corn, wheat, or soy.
It comes in three different varieties: Original, Skin and Coat, and Digestive Health. Each one contains all-natural ingredients to create a delicious treat that’s also nutritious. That said, it does contain palm oil.
- Made in the US
- No artificial sweeteners
- Different varieties
4. Green Coast Pawnut Butter
Made for the canine companion in our lives, this product only has two ingredients: peanuts and flaxseed. It’s grown and manufactured in the US, and like many, works best if you stir it with a spoon first to thicken it.
Flaxseed has the added benefit of being good for the coat and skin, while the peanuts provide a pleasing taste. It also helps to increase your dog’s daily intake of protein and Omega-3, which may help to reduce joint pain and inflammation.
- Only two ingredients
- Manufactured in the US
- Contains flaxseed
5. PB&Me Powdered Peanut Butter
Unlike the more traditional peanut butter you might be used to, this powdered product has no oils, so it’s significantly lower in fat and calories, which is ideal for dogs who deal with weight issues.
It’s also completely all-natural, protein-rich, and sugar-free, with only one ingredient: organic peanuts. This makes it a perfect addition to mixing in with your dog’s dry food. But be aware that it lacks some of the beloved taste.
- Significantly lower in fat
- Just organic peanuts
6. Dog Treats Bully Stick Peanut Butter
This product combines two tried and true dog treats: peanut butter and bully sticks, which also makes it a bit pricier than other options. Made from US-sourced, non-GMO ingredients, it’s completely natural, and even BPA-free.
This not only gives your pup the nutritional boost from the peanuts, but he also gets a double dose of protein and good fat from the ingredients contained in the bully sticks.
- Only two ingredients
- Made from US-sourced ingredients
- Contains bully sticks
Can Dogs be Allergic to Peanut Butter?
While it’s true that peanuts and peanut butter can trigger severe reactions in some people, the fact is that dogs don’t seem to experience this effect. This is, however, not something that should be treated as a certainty.
If your dog experiences symptoms of an allergic reaction after eating peanut butter, such as trouble breathing or severely itchy skin, be sure to get him to a vet as soon as possible, and don’t expose him to it again.
Xylitol in Peanut Butter
Generally speaking, snacking on peanut butter has a lot of health benefits for dogs. It’s high in protein, good fats, and highly filling. If you’re going to share peanut butter with your dog though, it’s absolutely vital that you pay attention to the ingredients.
There’s a big difference between peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol and the ones that do, and the effect of using the latter can cause serious health problems for your dog.
Xylitol is an alternative sweetener that doesn’t seem to cause harm to humans, but is highly toxic to dogs, even more so than chocolate! It can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, seizures, and in worst-case scenarios, fatal liver damage.
If you’re going to give your dog any amount of peanut butter at all, you need to be sure to select a one that doesn’t contain this substance. Needless to say, all of our best peanut butter picks for dogs are xylitol-free.
What Type of Peanut Butter is Good for Dogs?
As mentioned above, the most important factor in giving your dog peanut butter lies in the dangers of ingesting xylitol. This should never be given to pets, even in a small, infrequent amount.
It’s always a good idea to look for a product that’s made from all-natural ingredients, and the fewer, the better. Peanut butter, with real peanuts listed as the first ingredient, and that doesn’t contain a ton of added sugar and salt is invariably a healthier choice.
Tip: Be sure to stay away from ‘lite’ peanut butter spreads, as they’re likely to contain artificial sweeteners.
Also, is there a difference between giving your dog smooth peanut butter vs chunky?
The fact is, not really. In some cases, very small dogs might find the chunks harder to ingest, but most of the time, either is fine, and you should stick to your own personal preference. Your dog probably won’t mind anyway.
Are Skippy and Jiff Ok to Give My Dog?
While these popular brands don’t contain xylitol, they do have added sugar, hydrogenated oil, and salt. So even though they may be considered pet-safe, they aren’t ideal for your dog’s (or your) diet.
How Do I Give My Dog Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter isn’t like a normal dog treat where they can swallow it up in one gulp. It takes a little bit longer to enjoy, so it makes a great way to distract dogs from things that they find unpleasant.
You can feed it to your dog out of a spoon as a special treat or put it inside a kong or on a lick mat before you leave the house.
Tip: For dogs that don’t like to take pills, simply hiding the medicine in a spoonful of peanut butter usually works wonders.
Another good idea is to use it the shower or bathtub, where you can smear some PB on the tile and let your pooch happily lick it away while you bathe him or trim his nails.
How Much Peanut Butter Can I Give My Dog?
The biggest thing you need to keep in mind when giving your dog peanut butter is that it’s meant to be used as a treat, not as an everyday dietary staple. Too much peanut butter can contribute to weight issues, and can also trigger pancreatitis.
As a general rule, smaller breeds should only take in a teaspoon or so a day, while larger dogs can have up to a tablespoon.
The main thing to keep in mind if you’re going to give your dog peanut butter is that you need to be safe and smart about it.
Be sure to thoroughly check the ingredients in every jar you buy, and always opt for options with fewer ingredients, preferably organic. Additionally, you want to be sure there’s no added sugar or salt, and above all else, absolutely no xylitol.