Peanuts, as well as peanut products, are popular food options for humans, and animals seem to enjoy them as well. However, peanuts can also be dangerous and even lethal in some ways for a small percentage of humans. That is why most people are very cautious about too many peanuts for the first time, especially if there is any unknown.
Do dogs suffer from the same problems? While they do not react the same way to peanuts as humans, there is some good and bad with this popular nut.
Can dogs eat peanuts?
Peanuts are safe for dogs, as long as everything is in moderation. They do a better job with foods that have peanuts in them, rather than actual peanuts. Overeating can cause some minor complications, but nothing that puts them in serious harm.
How does a dog process peanuts?
When a dog has peanuts, peanut butter, or anything else that has this nut as an ingredient, they are getting some decent nutrients. The protein from the peanuts are helpful for the dog, and some vitamins like B6 and E can help as well.
The biggest worry is that peanuts are a little high in fat, and that can be difficult for dogs to process. Many dog breeds have issues in their stomach if they eat a lot of fatty foods at once, so that is the main reason why everything should be in moderation with peanuts.
Another thing to watch out for is peanuts with a lot of salt on them. Too much sodium can cause minor complications owners do not want to have to deal with as well. It is okay if they eat small quantities of any peanut related-product, but do not let them have a feast.
Can dogs have peanut butter?
Most people have probably seen just how happy dogs get when they get a taste of peanut butter. Just like a lot of humans, peanut butter is a very satisfying snack that dogs would eat all day if they could.
What owners should view peanut as is a snack. Overeating peanut butter is not only going to cause the same issues as standard peanuts, but the oil is not going to do the dog any favors as well.
One way to get around this is to make homemade peanut butter that is specific for dogs. They do not need a super salted version of the snack, and oil reduction makes sense as well. A lower amount of oil means less fat for the dog with each serving. They are still going to enjoy having some of this homemade peanut butter, and it will cause fewer complications for them in the end.
How do dogs react to the most common types of peanuts?
It is technically safe for dogs to eat all the major types of peanuts out there. With that said, some are slightly better than others for the dog. Picking the right ones will allow them to have a somewhat healthier snack that will keep them safer overall.
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Try to avoid the use of boiled peanuts with dogs. Prepared in salty water, and they are just going to load the dog up with a lot of sodium. On top of that, since the peanuts are usually still inside the shell, it makes it very difficult for the dog to eat even if they wanted to.
It might seem innocent enough since the shells soften up a bit, but this is one form of peanuts that does not mesh well with a dog’s stomach. It will not be a positive reaction for dogs in any way.
Honey roasted peanuts
Generally speaking, the more flavored the peanut is, the more dangerous it becomes. Honey roasted peanuts have a lot of additional empty calories that do not help dogs at all, and it is not going to increase the desire to eat the peanuts any for them.
Treat honey roasted peanuts the same way as any other options out there with flavoring added to the mix. It might sound like a good option for humans, but dogs will not care ultimately.
The less salted the peanuts are, the better. If these are the only peanuts available, try shaking some of the salt off and stripping the peanuts down a bit for the dog. They are usually already out of the shell, so it makes these the best option a lot of people have already around the home.
Be careful about leaving bags or jars out in the open, because dogs will find a way and treat themselves to a large quantity if they taste good. They are pretty easy for them to consume but will cause issues later on when it is too late.
Dry roasted peanuts
Again, the significant issue here comes down to what type of coating the peanuts have on them. A lot of companies will put sea salt on these peanuts, which is going to complicate matters for the dog. As long as owners remove salts and spices, these are relatively healthy as a dog snack.
What is a proper portion of peanuts for dogs?
Look at peanuts the same way as a light snack or even a dessert. Just like a human probably should not sit there and eat peanut butter like a meal, the same goes for dogs. There are positives with peanuts and peanut butter, but there are too many negatives for it to be part of a balanced diet.
If this is the first time a dog has any peanut product, introduce it to them slowly. It is best to give pets a small amount and see what happens before letting them have a bit more to try. Even if too much would only cause minor complications, it is not worth it in the end.
Are there any other possible complications for dogs with peanuts?
There are some peanut food products out there that use a sugar substitute called xylitol. Specifically, they show up in variations of nut butter, and while it is perfectly fine for humans, but is toxic for dogs. The majority of peanut butter companies do not use this ingredient, but anything that has a natural sweetener in it is worth inspecting carefully.
If for any reason it becomes known that they consumed a nut butter with xylitol in it, seek help from a veterinarian as quickly as possible. They will be able to handle the situation and do what they can to reduce the risk for the dog.
The dog overate. Now what?
From time to time, people might find themselves in a situation where their dog had too many peanuts or peanut products, and now they are worrying. The good news is that dogs are not in any incredibly severe danger if they overeat in a short amount of time. However, until it passes through their system, they might not have the best time.
Most dogs are going to suffer from some combination of diarrhea and vomiting if they overeat. In extreme cases, they could also deal with a case of pancreatitis. When that happens, a veterinarian might be able to help out and make them feel a little better overall.
There are extreme cases of pancreatitis that could be lethal for dogs, but that usually requires a ton of peanuts all at once. If a dog is seriously in pain for any reason after consuming a lot, make sure to seek out a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will have the ability to do what they can in a short amount of time to get the dog back on its feet. It is a scary time for the owner, which is why examining each product beforehand is so necessary.
Are foods combined with peanut and peanut butter fine for dogs?
Some manufacturers will include minor amounts of peanuts in a recipe. If there is a little bit of peanut or peanut butter included, it is perfectly fine for the dog. Just be careful that combination foods made for dogs do not have anything potentially dangerous inside.
Traces of peanuts can be in so many different options out there, and most of them will be just fine for dogs. It is beneficial for them to have only a small amount, and this is a way to control the portions.
Most dog food brands are going to stay away from peanut butter because there are just too many risks involved. Even if it is a small amount, they don’t want to make the dog feel sick in the stomach possibly. Instead, they will stick with other food options that provide protein and vitamins and keep snacks to foods with less overall risk.
So, are peanuts bad for dogs to have?
Peanuts are a perfectly fine occasional food option for dogs. They will be able to handle eating small amounts, and they almost always enjoy the taste. As long as owners are there to control portions, everything should be just fine.
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.