A dog eats a spoonful of peanut butter.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

Is your dog nuts for peanut butter? Some can’t get enough of the stuff and will turn their snout toward the slightest whiff. Fortunately, this tasty treat is generally considered safe for most dogs. It’s a suitable snack for most felines too.

Is Peanut Butter Safe for Dogs?

In most cases, yes. For a healthy dog, peanut butter can make for a safe treat or training aid. Pet owners may find it especially useful for administering medication to picky pups or keeping energetic dogs engaged over extended periods.

In addition to its great taste, peanut butter boasts a healthy dose of protein, unsaturated fats, and minerals, including vitamins B and E. There is nothing in peanut butter that your dog can’t find in complete and balanced dog foods, but a scoop or two of all-natural peanut butter is often a welcome addition to their usual diet.

How much is too much? PetMD recommends following the “10% rule,” which holds that treats and snacks should never account for more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. No matter how much your dog loves treats (or how much you love your dog), following this guideline is key for avoiding both the short and long-term health effects of an unbalanced diet.

Though it’s got plenty to recommend it as a nutritious snack, peanut butter is also an energy-dense food. That means a little goes a long way in supplying calories and fat. This is in spite of the fact that peanut butter is far from a nutritionally complete food. Too much can upset a dog’s stomach and prolonged overindulgence can lead to weight gain and related conditions like diabetes and pancreatitis. Owners of obese dogs and those with allergies or other preexisting health problems should always be especially cautious when serving peanut butter or any table foods.

Xylitol Toxicity

Most types of peanut butter are perfectly safe for occasional canine consumption. Certain varieties, however, can prove dangerous or deadly in even small doses. The culprit is xylitol, a popular artificial sweetener. Though it cuts down on excess calories in peanut butter, breath mints, chewing gum, and other products, xylitol can cause a dog’s endocrine system to rapidly release a dangerous amount of insulin. The sudden increase in insulin causes a dog’s blood sugar to plummet. Life-threatening symptoms, including seizures and liver damage, can begin within an hour. The prognosis for dogs who go untreated and fall into comas is considered very poor.

Peanut Allergies in Dogs

Though just about any dog will delight at the sight of a peanut butter jar, some will experience an allergic reaction after the smallest of tastes. If your dog goes into anaphylactic shock, they’ll have trouble breathing and require immediate medical attention. While anaphylaxis is a relatively rare response, other topical and digestive reactions are more common. A dog who is allergic to peanuts may experience diarrhea, vomiting, itching, excessive shedding, or a greasy coat. If you suspect your dog is allergic to peanuts (or any food), contact your veterinarian to get to the bottom of their symptoms.

Dog-Safe Recipes with Peanut Butter

Start safely serving peanut butter to your pooch with these recipes from the PetPlace team.

Peanut Butter Puppy Bites



Peanut Butter Biscuits



Talk to Your Veterinarian

When it comes to your dog’s nutrition, never make any major changes or experiment with new recipes without first discussing them with your veterinarian. Your vet knows your dog better than just about anyone and also possesses the know-how to develop a diet capable of meeting their needs. Contact them immediately if your dog exhibits an allergic reaction, prolonged intestinal symptoms, or other signs of food intolerance.