Can I Feed My Dog Peanuts? Peanuts: Are they safe for dogs?
July 28th, 2022
Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
Peanuts have to be one of the most delicious nuts on the planet. For humans, at least.
So many of us munch on a handful of peanuts almost every day.
- But what about your pooch?
- Can you give your dog peanuts along with his meal?
- Should peanuts be included in the diet of the puppy you brought home recently?
- Can your fur baby indulge her sweet tooth with the occasional spoon of peanut butter?
We answer all these questions and more in this article. So, let’s get started.
Can I Feed My Dog Peanuts?
If you’ve been wondering, “Can dogs eat peanuts?" you’re not alone.
Nuts are delicious and chockful of nutrients, making them ideal for any diet.
But as with a lot of things, not everything that people find tasty and healthy might be good for their pets.
Peanuts straddle the boundary between what pets can and can’t eat, making it a little confusing for pet parents to know if they should give their dogs peanuts or skip them altogether.
The reality is that peanut-flavored treats are quite a popular choice for dogs. In fact, you might have given your pooch some yourself.
The reason for peanuts' being so popular amongst pooch parents is simple – they’re nutritious.
They’re a type of nut that's rich in fiber, fat, and protein. Eating foods rich in fiber can help your dog’s digestive tract function efficiently.
A dog who has digestive trouble can experience intense drooling, constipation, vomiting, cramps, internal bleeding, dehydration, and physical shock – all of which peanuts can help prevent to an extent.
The fats in peanuts are considered to be “good/healthy fats” that lower blood cholesterol levels.
This can, in turn, reduce your furry friend’s vulnerability to heart disease.
Protein in peanuts contains essential amino acids, which are super important for your pup and adult dog’s fur and skin health, not to mention musculoskeletal development and tissue repair and regeneration.
Peanuts are also very rich in magnesium, which can be very helpful for your dog’s cardiovascular health.
So, technically, peanuts are fed to dogs and are considered safe for your dog to eat.
But, it’s important to know what types of peanuts your dogs can safely consume and which types you should never feed them.
Which Peanuts Are Safe For My Dog To Eat?
When you asked “Can dogs eat peanuts?" and found out that they can, you might have assumed that all types of peanuts are safe to eat. But that’s not the case.
Peanuts come in different forms and preparations, and each has a different impact on your furry friend’s body.
So, let’s find out which types of peanuts your pet can eat.
Can dogs eat raw peanuts in the shell?
No, they can’t.
Even if they're good, raw peanuts contain a lot of fat, which can be difficult for your pet to digest properly.
The fat content should be reduced by cooking the peanuts first.
Speaking of shells, never give your adult dog or puppy peanuts that are still in their shell.
These shells can quickly become a choking hazard and may even cut your dog’s tongue or mouth when they’re chewing on the shell.
Plus, the shells sometimes cause intense irritation in dogs, which can lead to allergies, pain, discomfort, and inflammation.
Additionally, since peanuts are grown in a moist environment, they often become home to two types of fungus called Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.
While the Flavus is found on the peanuts themselves, the Parasiticus can be observed in the soil rich in decayed plant matter or poorly-maintained nut storage facilities.
Both of them produce a family of toxins called the Aflatoxin, which can be deadly for your pooch.
By giving your pet raw peanuts, you put them at risk of falling ill.
Can dogs eat boiled peanuts?
Yes, they can. Boiling peanuts can help reduce the Aflatoxin content and any other chemicals that may otherwise affect your dog’s health.
Plus, boiled peanuts are soft and easy to chew and swallow for dogs of all ages, including young puppies over the age of 6 weeks.
(A way to completely get rid of Aflatoxin, is to dry roast the peanuts in the microwave on medium-to-high heat. Cool the peanuts down before giving them to your pet.)
Can dogs eat flavored peanuts?
No, they shouldn’t. Artificial flavors contain chemicals that can be toxic to your pet.
These artificial agents can inflame your dog’s internal organs while also causing allergies.
“Can dogs eat honey-roasted peanuts?"
Always give your fur baby boiled peanuts that are completely plain.
Make sure they are unsalted because the high sodium content in salted peanuts can be unhealthy for your pet’s wellbeing.
Peanut Butter Vs. Peanuts
Peanut treats for dogs often include peanut butter.
Even if you don’t buy these treats, you may have a bottle of peanut butter at home.
So, you might be asking yourself, can dogs eat peanut butter?
The answer is, yes, they can.
Peanut butter is especially easy for puppies and older dogs to consume because it doesn’t involve as much chewing.
You can shell and boil peanuts and mash them up into a soft buttery paste.
Keep small chunks in if you want to work your dog’s teeth and gums.
Now how about store-bought peanut butter?
It’s easier for you to give pre-processed store-bought peanut butter to your furry friend because you don’t have to spend time shelling or boiling them.
But is it safe to do so?
Always look out for Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sugar that is added to different types of food during processing in order to sweeten them.
It is a substitute for traditional sugar that allows brands to lower the calorie content of the food while also retaining a rich sweet taste
Many pre-processed store-bought peanut butter brands have xylitol in them.
A few of these brands include - Hanks Protein Plus Peanut Butter, P28, Krush Nutrition, Go Nuts, and Nuts'n More.
The problem with xylitol is that it isn’t restricted to peanut butter.
It can also be found in certain brands of dog/pet gum and pet mouthwash.
But peanut butter has one of the highest concentrations of xylitol (in some brands).
While xylitol enhances the flavor profile of peanut butter, it isn’t actually very safe for pets to consume.
In fact, xylitol can be fatal for your puppy or adult dog.
When dogs eat peanut butter that contains xylitol, the chemical is absorbed very quickly into their bloodstream.
From the blood, the xylitol makes its way to the pancreas, where it stimulates the release of insulin.
While a small amount of insulin is fine, xylitol forces the body to produce very high doses of insulin, which can cause very serious hypoglycemia in your pet.
Hypoglycemia refers to a blood glucose level that is lower than 3.3 mmol/L (60 mg/dL).
It can give rise to a variety of symptoms in your pet, including:
- Sudden and severe lethargy
- Loss of appetite
- Muscular twitching, trembling, and/or weakness
- Problems with limb coordination
- Discoloration of skin and gums
In some cases, hypoglycemia might be mild, but in others, it can be fatal for your pet.
You might begin to notice symptoms anywhere between 12-48 hours after your pooch has ingested xylitol-laden peanut butter.
If immediate veterinary treatment is not given, your puppy or adult dog can go into serious shock, which can cause death in as little as 30 minutes sometimes.
So, when buying peanut butter from the store, check the ingredients and nutrition label for xylitol.
This natural sweetener can also appear under the names of birch sugar, birch bark extract, and Zylatol. 1,4-anhydro-d-xylitol, d-xylitol, xylitylglucoside, anhydroxylitol, or xylite.
Related Read: A List Of Safe Food That You Can Feed Your Dog
What Is an Appropriate Amount of Peanuts to Feed My Dog?
Now that you know what type of peanuts and peanut butter you can feed your dog without harming him/her, it's time for the next question.
“How much peanut butter can I feed my dog?”
“How many peanuts can my dog eat in a day?”
The ideal amount is to give your pet 4-5 individual peanuts just 1-2 times a week.
If you choose to give your fur baby peanut butter, then puppies can be given half a teaspoon once or twice a week.
Small dogs can get one full teaspoon and large dogs can get one full tablespoon once or twice a week.
While peanuts aren’t very unsafe, they aren’t a natural meal for your dogs. So, it's best to restrict the quantity you give them.
Plus, remember that dogs can get diarrhea after eating too much peanut butter.
Be sure to keep a compostable dog poop bag and dispenser with you for easy clean-up.
What Other Kinds of Nuts Are Safe for Dogs?
Apart from peanuts, your dog can also consume other types of nuts, such as:
- Pine nuts
Just remember that all of the above-listed nuts (and others) need to be consumed boiled or dry roasted and in moderation.
So, now that you know the answer to the question – can dogs eat peanuts - what else do you want to know?
If you have any more questions about what types of nuts dogs can eat or you have any other doggy-diet questions, check out our post on the 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs.
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