At some point, you will hear a fellow dog owner say “dogs love peanut butter”. It is indeed true that peanut butter is one of the most popular and favorite of all dog treats. The pet aisle in the grocery stores has always been stocked with treats made of peanut butter for dogs. There is, in fact, a recent trend in manufacturers using various other types of nut butter for dogs. Therefore, the variety of treats and nut butters for dogs has been expanding as well.
The times have changed, the variety of nut butters being manufactured in the food industry has diversified from almond or cashew butter to pecan and macadamia butter and many more. This begs the question, are all of these nut butters suitable for your dog? And what should you check in your dog’s nut butter to make sure it is healthy for them?
Are Nut Butters Safe for Dogs?
Not all nut butters are safe for dogs, which is why you have to be so careful. While grocery shopping for your dogs, you tend to believe that if the nut butter is in the pet aisle, it must be safe and healthy for a dog to consume. Dogs are a sucker for tasty treats. They love peanut butter treats and other varieties. But, have you wondered what is the recommended amount? Or, can dogs eat cashew butter? Or worse, whether a particular nut butter can lead to illness?
Nut butters are high in fat content, hence you need to feed your dog these treats in moderation. Excessive consumption can lead to obesity. At its worst, it can lead to a case of pancreatitis. If you are one of those dog lovers who share their food with their dogs, you need to be cautious! Some nut butters are safe for dogs but others can be toxic. Dogs are dependent on us humans for their safety and health. Therefore, make sure you only share food with your dog that is safe. If your dog appears uneasy after eating some nut butter, take them to the vet immediately.
Nut Butters that Your Dog Can Have
Nut butters like peanut butter or cashew butter are all safe for your dog. They can be given by filing a kong, applying it to a licking mat, baking it in treats or simply as a spoonful. Consider hiding your dog’s medicine in nut butter as it is a very effective tactic. Moreover, you can distract your dog with such treats while cutting their nails or trimming their hair. Your dog will be busy devouring the treats and you will perform tasks in a hassle-free way.
A frequently asked question is “can dog eat peanut butter?”
Fortunately, the ever-famous peanut butter is completely safe for your dog. But, as with everything else, too much peanut butter for dogs is bad. The key is moderation! A teaspoon for smaller dogs and tablespoon for a bigger hound should be sufficient. Dogs love PB treats and peanut butter cookies are perhaps the most popular treat.
While peanut butter is safe, always read labels when buying packaged food for dogs! Some brands these days contain a natural sweetener called xylitol that can be extremely poisonous to dogs. Alternatively, you can easily make peanut butter at home if a clean-ingredients brand is not available in stores near you.
Pet parents often have questions such as “Can dogs eat peanut butter cookies or crunchy peanut butter?” The answer is yes. In fact, peanut butter mixed with kibble is a tasty combo for dogs!
Almond butter has become more popular in recent years. Just like peanut butter, it’s safe to feed to your dog as well. Almond butter, like any other nut butter, must be fed in moderation to your dog. While it’s not toxic, some dogs find it hard to digest almond butter. Keep an eye out for upset tummies if you choose to include this butter in your dog’s diet. Almond butter can lead to indigestion, which is not necessarily caused by allergies. It’s just that almond butter consists of a high-fat content, which makes digestion difficult.
This kidney-shaped nut is also edible for dogs, but only in small amounts. Cashew butter for dogs must be made using roasted or cooked cashews. If your dog ate a raw cashew nut, it can suffer from a toxic reaction. Raw nuts contain a toxin that is removed after exposing them to high temperatures through roasting. Although a cashew poisoning is rare, keep an eye out for symptoms in case your dog ingests these nuts in raw form.
All nuts are high in fat. While these are safe for dog consumption, keep in mind that the high-fat content can lead to upset tummies in dogs. A treat of nut butter here and there is fine, but don’t go overboard. Additionally, you can give nuts as a snack as well, just make sure that there are no shells attached and nuts are preferably crushed. If swallowed as a whole, the shells can cause intestinal obstructions requiring medical treatment.
Dangerous Nut Butters for Dogs
Being a dog owner, everyone wants the best for their pooch. However, due to a lack of knowledge, mishaps do occur. Sometimes, pet owners unknowingly share a treat with their dog which results in a toxic reaction. fortunately, if the symptoms are properly diagnosed on time, further health complications can be prevented.
Awareness is the key to keep your beloved pets safe from accidental ingestion. Read the labels of dog foods and treats to keep your pet safe. Ironically, sometimes seemingly healthy and safe treats contain toxic ingredients. Mentioned below are nuts that can lead to toxicity in dogs.
Unfortunately, macadamia nut butter are unsuitable for dogs. Macadamia nut butters may provide health benefits for humans but they are toxic to dogs and can cause various health issues in canines. If ingested accidentally, the dog will show symptoms such as:
- Inability to walk
- Weakness and Lethargy
A visit to the vet is necessary. The prognosis is non-lethal and the toxicity resolves in 24-48 hours if there are no other underlying medical issues.
Its common knowledge that chocolate can be fatal for dogs. With chocolate toxicity, the severity depends on two things:
- The amount of chocolate consumed
- The type of chocolate ingested
The darker the chocolate in chocolate nut butter, the more dangerous it can be. Chocolate and chocolate-coated food items are commonly available in every household nowadays. Different varieties of nuts are available with chocolate coatings as treats for kids as well as adults, but these are not suitable for dogs.
Chocolate causes high levels of toxicity in dogs. Any nut covered in chocolate can lead to the same negative symptoms. However, if the nut that is toxic for the dog itself gets combined with the chocolate, this can lead to severe toxicity, even leading to death in worse cases. The severity depends on your dog’s age, general health, and the amount consumed.
Pecans and any food item made with pecans like pecan nut butter are toxic for dogs. A small amount consumed by your dogs might not show extreme signs, however, over-consumption of pecan butter may be fatal.
Pecans contain a toxic known as juglone that is known to cause gastric issues, vomiting, seizures, and neurological symptoms. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, immediately consult a veterinarian.
Dangers of Nut Butters
Although you can feed “safe” nut butter to your dog, they should be fed in moderation. Off-the-shelf nut butter often contains sugar and salt. Since they are already high in fat, the extra sugar and salt are all the more harmful to the dogs.
Read food labels to check for harmful substances such as sugars (including syrups), additives, salt, and xylitol. High fat, high sugar, and salt consumption by ingesting safe nut butter might lead to the following health issues in your dog:
- Gastro-intestinal distress like vomiting and diarrhea
- Excessive fat consumption may lead to acute pancreatitis over time
All these health issues vary depending on a dog’s breed, age, size, overall diet, and activity levels. Multiple contributing factors may lead to painful health issues or a serious illness. Therefore, be careful of what your pooch consumes on a daily basis.
Xylitol is the new naturally-derived sweetener that is being substituted for sugar. While it might not pose a threat to human health, it is poisonous for dogs. Even a small dose can be fatal for dogs because it can cause a sudden drop in their blood sugar levels. Xylitol toxicity may cause the following symptoms:
- Liver Failure
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Nut Allergies in Dogs
An allergic reaction is the immune system’s response to specific proteins that the body rejects. Allergic reactions often cause swollen skin and rashes. More serious reactions can lead to ear infections and gastric issues. In case your dog is suffering from allergies, an elimination diet is usually the preferred course of action, also known as removing a food type from your pup’s diet.
Sometimes the diagnosis can be time-consuming as the symptoms can be difficult to attribute to one food type. The severity of dog nut allergies can range from minor infections to, in some rare cases, anaphylactic shocks.
Types of Nut Allergies
Nut allergies can either be caused by tree nuts or peanuts. Peanuts actually belong to the legume family. Tree nuts, on the other hand, refer to walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and almonds. Some nuts can be far more detrimental to your dog’s health than others. For example, walnuts, hickory nuts, and pecans contain tremorgenic mycotoxins that can cause seizures. Moreover, macadamia nuts contain an unknown neurotoxin, while black walnuts contain a toxin called juglone.
Nut Butters for Dogs – FAQs
It’s time to address some of the most frequently asked queries about nut butters for dogs.
Which Nut Butters are Dangerous for Dogs?
Not all nuts and nut butters are safe for dogs’ consumption. Nut butters that can lead to toxicity or other illness in dogs include macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and any nut butter containing chocolate. These nuts can cause brain damage, gastrointestinal issues, pancreatitis, and in the worse case, death. These nuts, in any form, can be potentially poisonous to your dog. Additionally, all nuts are generally high in fat, and therefore, must be fed in moderation.
Is Almond Butter Healthier than Peanut Butter for Dogs?
While both peanut butter and almond butter provide health benefits to dogs, it is your choice as to what you want for your dog nutritionally. While peanut butter contains more protein, almond butter is rich in Vitamin E. Therefore, your dogs can get a healthier coat, skin, and higher immunity from the increase in vitamin E.
Both provide nutritional benefits for your dog’s health and general well-being. Peanut butter is commonly available in supermarkets whereas almond butter can sometimes be more difficult to find. Since almond butter is made from more expensive nuts, it is more costly than peanut butter. If you can afford it, we recommend utilizing both peanut butter and almond butter in your dog’s diet.
What's the Healthiest Nut Butter for Dogs?
Peanut butter is often referred to as the healthiest nut butter for your dog. But there’s a catch! Not all peanut butter are the same. Avoid brands that contain xylitol and chocolate at all costs. Peanut butter with extra sugar and high sodium levels are unhealthy for dogs. The healthiest butter you could feed your dog is homemade peanut butter. The homemade recipe won’t include preservatives, added sugar, additives, and other chemicals.
Is Almond Butter Healthy for Dogs?
Almond butter is a healthy treat for your dogs to have every now and then. Dogs enjoy its taste quite a lot. Almond butter is packed full of minerals, protein, vitamins, and fiber. Various minerals and vitamins found in almonds, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, Vitamin B3, contribute to healthy skin, coats and eyes. Furthermore, they aid strong bone development and boost the immune system.
However, all nuts are high in fat. Almond butter should be given in moderate quantity to provide health benefits for dogs. Some dogs find it hard to digest almond butter, therefore be cautious for signs of indigestion.
Nut butter for dogs is a wonderful treat for your pup with some great health benefits. Now that you’re aware of the dangers and which kinds to watch out for, you can safely purchase your dog some nut butter.