Dogs are really good at begging for a taste of human foods! Most dogs will readily eat any food their pet parent gives them - but that doesn't mean that all foods are good and safe for dogs to eat. You may wonder if feeding peanuts to your dog is a good idea. Are peanuts safe for dogs to eat? We'll answer this question below!
Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
Yes, dogs can eat peanuts! Peanuts are completely safe for dogs to eat - with some exceptions. It's important that there are no peanut allergies, that the right type of peanut is used, and that the peanuts are eaten in moderation.
Health Benefits Of Eating Peanuts
Peanuts are not only safe for dogs to eat, but they actually have many health benefits!
Peanuts are high in fat, it's true. However, the fats in peanuts are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Dogs can readily digest these types of fats, and they have been proven to lead to a healthy heart and overall cardiovascular system in humans and dogs alike.
Peanuts are a vital source of many valuable vitamins, particularly Vitamin E and multiple types of Vitamin B. Vitamin E is important for eye health, cardiovascular health, and reproductive health. Vitamin B7 promotes healthy skin and coat, while Vitamin B3 lowers high cholesterol.
High Protein Levels
We tend to think of meat as the main source of protein, but peanuts are incredibly high in protein! A quarter cup of peanuts takes care of nearly 20% of a dog's daily required protein intake.
The Downside Of Dogs Eating Peanuts
In small quantities, peanuts are good for dogs. However, there are a few considerations you may want to keep in mind.
Most dogs aren't allergic to peanuts, but some dogs do have an allergic reaction to them. Every time you introduce a new food to your four-legged friend, particularly if it's human food, you should watch for symptoms of allergic reactions. Thankfully, peanut allergy symptoms are more uncomfortable than painful or dangerous, including excessive itching and redness or irritation around the eyes and mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog in for veterinary attention.
Too Much Fat
Peanuts' fats may be healthy, but it's still fat. Your dog may struggle to digest the fats in peanuts and show this through upset stomach and diarrhea after eating them. A diet that is too high in fat can also tax your dog's pancreas, leading to chronic pancreatitis.
High In Calories
Because peanuts are so high in protein and fat, they are a very calorie-dense food. Some dog breeds have a tendency towards being overweight, and it's best to avoid feeding these dogs peanuts.
What Is The Best Way For Dogs To Eat Peanuts?
Always remember that it is not at all necessary for your dog's health to feed them peanuts. A healthy dog's diet is not lacking anything if it doesn't include peanuts. When it comes to knowing the "best way" to feed peanuts or peanut butter to your dog, it's not so much how you offer peanuts as how frequently you offer peanuts that is most important. Peanuts should only be used as a healthy snack.
When feeding your dog peanuts, stick to raw, boiled, or dry roasted peanuts. And always remove the peanut shells! Depending on the size of your dog, you can feed peanuts to your dog just as they are. However, peanuts may pose a choking hazard if your dog is a small breed or lead to an intestinal blockage. Many pet owners add peanuts to dog treats! Peanut butter treats are popular with dogs. You can buy them ready-made, but making your own is very simple!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type Of Peanuts Can Dogs Eat?
Not all peanuts are dog safe. Only feed your dog fresh peanuts that are unsalted, and avoid any that contain any spice, added flavoring, or artificial additives.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Dogs can eat some peanut butter, yes, but not all. Many dog owners use peanut butter to hide pills in or to spread on stimulating toys. However, not all peanut butters are healthy for your dog. Many peanut butters have added sugar and artificial sweeteners or use sugar alcohol (which is incredibly dangerous to dogs). They also have added ingredients to help keep the peanut oil from separating from the peanut butter. All of these should be avoided. You can find natural peanut butters on store shelves but always double-check the label. Xylitol poisoning is deadly to dogs and is sometimes simply listed on labels as "artificial sweeteners" or even "natural sweeteners." If in doubt, make a batch of homemade peanut butter! It's easier than you think!
Ways to use peanut butter for dogs
There are a few ways you can use peanut butter. You can give peanut butter as is, hide a pill inside peanut butter, spread it on stimulating toys, or bake them into a dog treat. Peanuts and peanut butter treats make a tasty treat, and you can start making peanut butter dog treats right at home.
Can Dogs Eat Salted Peanuts?
Roasted, salted peanuts are a variety of choices for human snacking. Since peanuts are safe for dogs, you may be tempted to give your dog a handful while you're munching on them yourself. However, hold off! Salted peanuts are often quite heavily salted, and it is rough on your dog's kidneys to process too much sodium. Dogs should only be fed plain, unsalted peanuts with the shells removed.
Can Dogs Eat Honey Roasted Peanuts?
Technically, dogs can eat honey-roasted peanuts - but that doesn't mean that they should. Peanuts already have a high-fat content, and with honey (learn about dogs & honey), the peanuts now have added sugar as well. Peanuts should always be used as an occasional treat, but this sugar addition really makes them an unhealthy option. Again, dogs should only be fed plain, unsalted peanuts with the shells removed.
What Other Nuts Can Dogs Eat?
Most nuts are toxic to dogs, including almonds, black walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and pecans. Cashews and English walnuts are generally considered safe for dogs to eat.