A lot of dog owners are very aware of what they give their pet to eat. Anything in the nut category can potentially be problematic, so researching before giving into a dog wanting a specific nut-related product makes sense.
Almonds are considered relatively safe for dogs, in moderation. They are not toxic, but they might not be the best food for dogs to snack on consistently. Is almond butter better for them?
Can dogs eat almond butter?
Yes, almond butter is safe for dogs to snack on occasionally. The nut butter is not considered toxic, and digesting anything containing almonds is easier than some of the other nuts out there. However, there are some mild adverse effects dogs might feel if they overeat.
What happens to a dog when they eat almond butter?
If dogs sense their owner has almond butter, they are likely going to try whatever possible to get a taste. It seems incredibly enticing for most dogs, and the fact that it is much easier for them to scarf down than actual almonds is a plus for them. However, their body does not ultimately respond to almond butter all that well. It just takes a little bit for the adverse effects to kick in.
Getting a little bit of a taste is just fine, but too much almond butter can upset a dog’s stomach. Not only that, but it is particularly high in fat, and does not provide the same type of nutrients that a healthy dog needs. That means a consistent snack of almond butter could lead to weight gain, heart issues, and more.
What is the proper amount of almond butter for dogs?
Try to limit a dog to a few spoonfuls of almond butter at most. They are usually pretty happy with the taste, so they are going to want more than that amount, but it is crucial not to give in. If it seems like they really enjoy the snack, it might be best to limit them entirely so that they do not develop a craving for it.
Please do not make it a habit of giving them almond butter more than a couple of days per week either. Again, it is a treat more than anything. Making it part of a routine is likely going to contribute to a dog living an unhealthy lifestyle. There are way too many empty calories in almond butter for a dog. While the protein and some nutrients are helpful, dogs can get that from much healthier foods that also do not make them feel sick if they eat a lot.
Can dog owners make almond butter safer for their pet?
The almond butter that so many people love to snack on is not ideal for dogs. They do not need anything that is nearly as flavored or sweetened, thus making almond butter at home might be one way to go.
Dog-friendly almond butter is beneficial in several ways. For starters, people do not have to worry about losing some of the almond butter that they enjoy snacking on themselves. It is also less likely to make them sick, so they can enjoy more almond butter and get the same nutritional value out of it. It is still not something that should be part of their diet every single day, but it is a lot more tolerable in this form.
Is there anything, in particular, to look out for with almond butter?
Not too many almond butter options out there have xylitol, but it is without question the scariest thing for dog owners. This additive is toxic to dogs, and can even cause death if a pet has too much. Make sure to read the labels before giving them any almond butter, especially one that might have a lot of additives in it.
Make sure that almonds are the only nuts used in almond butter before allowing a pet to snack as well. Some nuts are much more harmful to dogs. Most notably, any kinds of butter that have cashews, walnuts, pistachios or macadamia nuts in them are a massive no-no for pets.
What makes nut butter options like almond butter so enticing to dogs?
If a dog has an option between an almond and almond butter, they are going to pick the butter every time. The same goes for peanuts or peanut butter. The truth of the matter is that even if dogs do not care so much about how sweet these kinds of butter are, it is easier for them to chew up and consume in the beginning.
Giving them nut options in a paste form is also going to make it easier on their teeth because they will not have to chew through hard nuts or even shells. Dogs do not precisely know how to handle nuts as an inherent trait, so they are learning on the fly.
A craving for a softer, smoother butter is good news for dog owners as well, because shells not chewed up correctly can cause one more issue for dogs. It becomes that much harder and painful for dogs to pass nutshells later on.
Why start a dog on almond butter?
The main reason why dogs first start to eat almond butter is that they found the opportunity and capitalized. It is becoming more and more of a staple in a kitchen for humans, and that means dogs are sneaking a taste.
From a nutritional standpoint, there are quite a few vitamins and minerals in almond butter that makes it a pretty healthy snack. Vitamin B6 helps with red blood cells, while calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc are all great for growing dogs as well.
Most dogs are indeed going to get these vitamins and minerals from other foods as well, but it is not all about empty calories with almond butter. The fat is a little alarming, and too much sugar is never a good thing, but all in all, most owners are not going to lose too much sleep over there dog eating a little.
Life as a dog owner involves continually having to tell them no as they try to sneak certain human foods. At least with almond butter, it is a safe snack that they can enjoy. It is not worth the battle for most owners to tell them no every single time.
What should a dog owner do if a dog overeats almond butter?
If a dog develops a taste for almond butter, they are likely going to do whatever possible to continue eating that food. Dogs love having that opportunity to have some food that they probably know they should not, and plenty of pet owners have come home to an empty jar.
The good news is that unless there is that toxic additive in it, the dog will be relatively okay. These types of freak accidents are the primary reason why no almond butter, or any butter for that matter, should be in the home that contains dog toxins. It is just not worth the risk, and there are alternatives out there that taste just as good to dogs.
Make sure first to find the dog and check to see if they are that they are doing alright. Depending on how much the dog consumes, there is a chance they might be feeling pretty lethargic already. That is normal, and a sick stomach might last 24 hours if they have a lot in the body to process. Stomach sickness is not a sign that a person should head to the veterinarian, but it might be worth it in some cases. When in doubt, give them a call or a visit to provide some peace of mind.
What are the best ways to keep a dog away from almond butter?
A lot of jars for almond butter are pretty easy to seal so that a dog does not get into them. They have such a tight seal that it is hard for them even to sniff what might be around, but there could be some droppings on the side that they can lick off.
Try to keep all nut butter out of reach for dogs, so do not have that temptation to open them. Keeping them a little higher in the kitchen should be a good enough move for owners as well.
Unless the person completely cut out almond butter in their diet, dogs are inevitably going to have exposure to the snack at some point. Most of them are not going to taste any different than some of the other nut butter options, so they might not necessarily crave it.
Final Thoughts on Almond Butter for Dogs
Almond butter is trending in human diets, and dogs are quickly finding out that they like the taste as well. Sneaking a pet a taste or two of almond butter is perfectly fine, but keep everything in moderation. It is more of a snack for a dog than any type of meal replacement.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.