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October 21, 2020 3 min read

Here at Cooper's Treats, we love peanuts, peanut butter, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and peanut brittle. There's something about the flavor of a peanut that's just so satisfying and makes it go perfectly with everything from chocolate to jelly. Our dogs would always love to get a lick of that peanut butter or a peanut or two from the floor, so today we're going to ask if that's safe - can dogs eat peanuts?

CAN DOGS EAT PEANUTS (AND PEANUT BUTTER)?

For the most part, yes, dogs can eat peanuts. As you might guess, dogs can also eat peanut butter. But it's nonetheless important to understand that while peanut butter is a common snack, it (along with peanuts themselves) does come with some risks and should be given to dogs responsibly. Unlike many other nuts, though, peanuts are not directly toxic to dogs.

ARE PEANUTS GOOD FOR DOGS?

Peanuts have a number of health benefits for dogs. First of all, they're high in protein. Beyond that, they have both vitamin B-6 and vitament E, along with niacin and healthy fats.

Peanut butter is much of the same - it's definitely a snack that packs a serious nutritional punch for your dog (though of course as with all snacks, it should only be a small part of your dog's diet and should be accompanied by nutritious meals).

peanuts

RISKS OF GIVING PEANUTS TO DOGS

We mentioned above that peanuts have healthy fats, which are good. Unfortunately, even those good fats can turn bad if you overdo it. Too much fat can lead to pancreatitis, which is a serious condition for dogs. It bears repeating that just because peanuts and peanut butter make great snacks for dogs doesn't mean they replace a healthy, balanced diet.

The other thing to be aware of when feeding your dog peanuts or peanut butter is what else they're prepared with. When it comes to peanuts, while most of us love ours salted, you probably know that salt isn't good for dogs (or humans, but we can handle it better than our pups), so make sure you go for plain peanuts. And of course things like honey roasted peanuts are definitely out of the question.

Checking the ingredients is doubly important when it comes to peanut butter. The biggest thing to look out for on the label is an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Even small amounts of xylitol can be very dangerous for dogs, so stay far away from it. Beyond that, you should avoid anything that's labeled with "natural sweeteners" or "sugar alcohol" as these can both refer to xylitol. 

And of course beyond xylitol, you should be looking out for the usual suspects - don't get peanut butter with salt or sugar in it. Flavored peanut butters are always going to be questionable, and naturally you should avoid anything involving peanut butter paired with chocolate.

SO CAN DOGS EAT PEANUTS?

Dogs can definitely eat peanuts, and they can definitely eat peanut butter. The key is to make sure that you keep it simple. Peanuts should be plain - they can be raw or roasted, but no salt, no honey, no sugar, just peanuts. The same goes for peanut butter - it should just be peanuts ground up without anything added to it (especially xylitol - we can't stress that enough).

Just remember that even though peanuts are perfectly fine for your dog, they are very high in fat, so make sure you serve them in moderation.