Can dogs eat peanuts? The short answer is yes, dogs can eat peanuts, but there are some big exceptions and things you should know before you feed peanuts to your dog. Peanuts are high in beneficial, healthy nutrients for your dog, but they should only be eaten in moderation, and only unsalted, unflavored peanuts with the shells removed are safe to eat at all. Too many peanuts can result in gastrointestinal upset in the short term and pancreatitis in the long term, and some dogs may not chew peanuts properly, which can cause intestinal obstruction. If you want to feed your dog peanuts or peanut-based products like peanut butter, you must make sure they are prepared properly and are safe for your dog to eat. If they are served correctly, peanuts can be a healthy sometimes-treat for dogs. Here is what you should know about feeding peanuts to dogs.
How Are Peanuts Good For Dogs?
Peanuts are full of valuable vitamins and nutrients. They are high in vitamins B6 and E, niacin, protein, and healthy fats. These are things most dogs crave, so your dog will probably find peanuts to be a tasty treat. So long as peanuts are dry roasted or raw, free of salt and flavoring, and removed from their shells, they are usually safe to eat and make for a healthy snack. Just make sure you consult your veterinarian before giving your dog peanuts or any other kind of human food.
When Are Peanuts Bad For Dogs?
There are several ways peanuts can be dangerous for dogs. The shells of peanuts are difficult to digest and can cause intestinal blockage or be a choking hazard, and the peanuts, themselves, can be hard to chew. If they are swallowed, they may also result in gastrointestinal obstruction. Peanuts are high in fat, which can be good in appropriate amounts, but too much fat can lead to an upset stomach, and over a longer period of time, it can cause pancreatitis. Peanuts should only be given to dogs sometimes and in moderation.
Salted peanuts are too high in sodium for dogs, and flavored peanuts can contain artificial chemicals and other products that aren’t meant to be consumed by canines. Too much sodium can lead to sodium ion toxicosis. If your dog snags one or two salted peanuts that have fallen on the floor, it shouldn’t be that big of a problem, but too many can cause serious medical issues.
It is important to note that peanuts are a common allergen, even among dogs. Some dogs can develop a peanut allergy that can range from mild to severe. In some cases, dogs can suffer from anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction in your dog after feeding them peanuts, such as coughing, sneezing, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away and stop giving your dog peanuts.
How Should You Feed Peanuts To Your Dog?
First, check with your veterinarian before giving your dog peanuts or any other human food. They can advise you on whether your individual dog can safely eat peanuts and how much you should give them in a serving. If you get the okay from your veterinarian, remember that peanuts that are boiled, roasted, or raw are usually safe as long as they have the shell removed and contain no salt or flavoring. Make sure your dog is chewing the peanuts fully so they don’t cause intestinal blockage.
One way to avoid gastrointestinal blockage is to grind peanuts up or serve them in the form of peanut butter. Be careful when choosing a peanut butter for your dog, as many brands contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic for dogs. Xylitol is also found in many candies, sweets, and desserts. You may wish to make your own peanut butter to be safe, but always check food labels for any ingredients that you are unfamiliar with.
You can use peanuts as a reward for doing tricks or place them in a puzzle feeder for some extra mental stimulation. Peanut butter can be spread on a toy like a Kong to keep dogs busy for a while, and it can even be frozen for a refreshing treat. Again, make sure the ingredients don’t include xylitol. Peanuts and peanut butter can be used in several dog treat recipes if you enjoy making homemade snacks for your pup.
Do you ever feed your dog peanuts? Do you have any treat recipes that use peanuts as an ingredient? Let us know in the comments below!