Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

“Is peanut butter good for dogs?” In this blog, learn all things dogs and peanut butter, including whether it’s safe for them and if it offers any health benefits.

Oct 18, 2023·13 min read
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Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably experienced big puppy dog eyes looking up at you as you open the peanut butter jar, pleading with you to share the thick, golden, delicious spread.

And, let’s be honest, many of us have shared this popular nut butter with our four-legged friends, but you may have wondered whether peanut butter is good for dogs.

Peanut butter is a tasty treat that many of us humans love, so it’s natural to want to share it with your dog, especially if it can offer some benefits.

But should dogs eat peanut butter?

Do Dogs Like Peanut Butter?

Dogs are naturally drawn to peanut butter due to its rich, savory flavor and enjoyable creamy or crunchy texture. The strong, distinctive smell of peanut butter adds to its appeal, too. Additionally, the healthy fats and proteins in peanut butter align with what dogs naturally crave.

You may often give it to your dog as a special treat, which means peanut butter has become an exciting reward for your pet. They can associate it with positive experiences.

This combination of taste, texture, aroma, and positive reinforcement makes peanut butter an irresistible treat for most dogs. However, it’s crucial to choose a safe, dog-friendly peanut butter and feed it in moderation to ensure your pet’s health and well-being.

Let’s explore the benefits it offers, potential dangers, and how to safely incorporate it into your dog’s diet.

Is Peanut Butter Good For Dogs?

First things first, regular peanut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats for dogs if fed in moderation.

Peanut butter can provide a tasty and nutritious treat that supports your dog’s overall health. However, it’s important to be mindful of the portion size to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Always ensure that peanut butter is given as part of a balanced diet.

But, when you get the balance right, plain peanut butter isn’t toxic or harmful, making it an excellent option for lick mats, treat toys, or disguising medication.

Health Benefits of Peanut Butter for Dogs

So, does peanut butter offer any benefits? What are they?


Peanut butter is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. This can be especially beneficial for active dogs.

Healthy Fats

Peanut butter contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower your dog’s risk of heart disease and improve their coat and skin health. It also contains saturated fats, which can be harmful in excess. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Peanut butter also naturally hosts a plethora of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, vitamin B6, and magnesium, which can help support your dog’s immune system and overall health.

Natural Enrichment Tool

Peanut butter is great to use as an enrichment tool for dogs, especially to help reduce separation anxiety or boredom. Many pet parents spread nut butter over a lick mat or squeeze it into a Kong and give it to their pup to lick. Not only will it help keep your dog occupied and stimulate their mind for a while, but licking can help soothe stress and anxiousness, too – perfect for a pup that doesn’t like being left alone.

A tan and white dog lying on a patterned rug, licking a blue lick mat smeared with peanut butter.

Is Peanut Butter Bad for Dogs? 6 Possible Dangers

While peanut butter can be a delicious treat for most dogs, there are a few situations where it can be dangerous and needs to be avoided.

Here are some things to watch out for:


Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in sugar-free peanut butter, that can be extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can be deadly, leading to a dangerous drop in blood glucose levels. It’s crucial to choose a peanut butter that doesn’t contain this ingredient. Xylitol may also be called birch sugar, wood sugar, or birch bark extract on a list of ingredients. 

However, if you do find that your pup has got their paws on peanut butter that contains xylitol, it’s crucial that you seek emergency medical help as soon as possible.

Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs: 


Just like humans, dogs can have food allergies, too. If your dog has never had peanut butter before, start with a small amount and monitor them for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

Choking Hazard

Due to its sticky texture, peanut butter can possibly become a choking hazard, especially for small dogs or those who like to eat quickly. Always make sure to supervise your dog while they’re eating peanut butter and try to avoid giving them large chunks to reduce the chance of choking.

High-Fat and Calorie Content

As delicious as it is, peanut butter is very high in calories and fats, so it should always be fed in moderation. If your pup is overweight, prone to obesity, or has other health conditions such as diabetes or pancreatitis, it might be wise to avoid giving them peanut butter.


Due to its high energy density, it can be easy to overfeed your dog this delicious treat. A two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains around 200 calories. To ensure that your dog’s diet remains complete and balanced, no more than 10% of their daily calories should come from treats. For this reason, peanut butter is best reserved for special occasions, enrichment activities, and hiding pills.

Dr. Liza Cahn


Many commercially available peanut butter brands contain added salt. Salt is often included to enhance flavor, but it can be harmful to dogs if consumed in large quantities. High sodium intake can lead to health complications for dogs, such as increased blood pressure and potential heart issues.

When selecting peanut butter for your dog, it’s important to check the ingredient list carefully. Opt for peanut butter that is labeled as “unsalted” or “no salt added” to avoid these risks. Alternatively, you can make homemade peanut butter, ensuring no salt or harmful additives are included.

Dental Problems

According to Dr. Liza Cahn, while peanut butter isn’t inherently bad for your dog’s teeth, its sticky texture can trap food particles and bacteria, contributing to the buildup of plaque. The best way to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy is through routine dental cleanings under anesthesia with your vet, as well as a home dental care routine, including daily brushing.

Dog Peanut Butter Safety: Types and Foods

There are a variety of peanut butter options available, from creamy to crunchy, as well as different foods containing peanut butter. Plus, peanut butter is often an ingredient in many commercial dog treats! As a pet owner, it can be challenging to know which products are safe for your furry friend. This guide helps you make quick decisions about peanut butter products for your pets.

Can Dogs Have Crunchy or Chunky Peanut Butter?

Yes, dogs can have crunchy or chunky peanut butter, as long as it does not contain xylitol or other harmful additives. Ensure that the peanut butter is free from excessive salt and sugar.

Can Dogs Have Honey Peanut Butter?

Honey peanut butter is safe for dogs in moderation. Check that it does not contain xylitol or other harmful ingredients. Honey can be high in sugar, so it should be given sparingly.

Can Dogs Eat Natural Peanut Butter?

Natural peanut butter is the best option for dogs. It typically contains fewer additives and is free from harmful ingredients like xylitol. Always read the label to ensure it’s safe for your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter and Jelly?

Peanut butter and jelly are not recommended for dogs. Jellies often contain high amounts of sugar and potentially harmful ingredients or preservatives. Stick to plain peanut butter without any additives.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter Cookies?

Peanut butter cookies are not good for dogs due to their high sugar content. They may also contain harmful ingredients like chocolate or xylitol. It’s best to avoid giving peanut butter cookies to your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter Crackers?

Peanut butter crackers are not ideal for dogs. They often contain high amounts of salt, sugar, and possibly harmful preservatives. Opt for plain peanut butter instead.

Can Dogs Have Peanut Butter Pretzels?

Peanut butter pretzels are not recommended for dogs. The pretzels contain high levels of salt, and the peanut butter might have harmful additives. Stick to plain, unsalted peanut butter.

Can Dogs Eat Apples and Peanut Butter?

Yes, dogs can eat apples and peanut butter in moderation. Apples provide a healthy, crunchy treat, and plain peanut butter makes it even more enjoyable. Ensure the peanut butter does not contain xylitol or excessive sugar.

A small white dog reaching up with its tongue towards a spoonful of peanut butter held above it.

Tips for Giving Dogs Peanut Butter

Peanut butter can be a delightful treat for dogs when given in moderation. Here are some creative ways to incorporate it into their diets, ensuring it’s both enjoyable and safe.

Filling Kongs with Peanut Butter

One popular method is filling Kongs or other treat-dispensing toys with peanut butter. This keeps dogs entertained and mentally stimulated. For added fun, freeze the Kong with peanut butter to make it last longer. Kongs can also be filled with other types of treats, such as canned dog food. 

Using It on Lick Mats

Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on a lick mat. This can provide a calming activity for your dog, reducing anxiety and boredom.

Making Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Homemade peanut butter dog treats are an excellent way to control the ingredients and ensure they are safe. There are many simple recipes online that use natural peanut butter and dog-friendly ingredients.

Baking a Peanut Butter Dog Cake for Birthdays or Special Celebrations

For special occasions like birthdays, baking a peanut butter dog cake can be a great way to celebrate. Use recipes that are specifically designed for dogs, ensuring they contain safe and healthy ingredients.

Ensuring Plenty of Water

When giving your dog peanut butter, always make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water. Peanut butter is sticky and can make them thirsty.

Choosing Natural, Low-Sugar Brands

Always opt for natural peanut butter brands that are lower in sugar and free from harmful additives like xylitol. Reading labels carefully ensures you are providing a safe treat for your pet.

Moderation to Prevent Weight Gain

While peanut butter is a tasty treat, it should be given in moderation to prevent weight gain. A small amount occasionally is sufficient to keep your dog happy without adding too many extra calories to their diet.

By following these tips, you can safely incorporate peanut butter into your dog’s diet as a special treat, ensuring it is both enjoyable and healthy for them.

Final Thoughts on Peanut Butter and Dogs

So, is peanut butter good for dogs? The answer is yes – as long as it’s fed in moderation and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. Peanut butter can be a yummy treat that provides your dog with plenty of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Just make sure to choose a safe brand, always supervise your dog while they’re eating it, and avoid feeding it to dogs with allergies or weight problems.

As with any food you give your dog, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine what types of treats are best. They will provide you with guidance on how much peanut butter your dog can safely consume and whether or not it’s a good fit for their overall diet. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy sharing peanut butter with your pup and rest easy knowing you’re keeping them happy and healthy.

Dogs and Peanut Butter FAQs

Why do dogs love peanut butter?

Dogs love peanut butter because it has a rich, nutty flavor and creamy texture that appeals to their taste buds. The high-fat content also provides a satisfying taste and texture, making it a delicious treat for most dogs.

What kind of peanut butter can dogs eat?

Dogs can eat peanut butter that is free from added sugars, salt, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. Natural, unsweetened peanut butter is the best option. Always check the ingredients to ensure there are no harmful ingredients, such as xylitol.

What ingredient in peanut butter is bad for dogs?

Xylitol is an ingredient in some peanut butters that is extremely harmful to dogs. It is a sugar substitute that can cause a rapid release of insulin, leading to severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, or even death. Always check labels to ensure the peanut butter does not contain xylitol.

How much peanut butter can dogs have?

The amount of peanut butter a dog can safely eat depends on their size and dietary needs. Generally, a small amount, like a half teaspoon for small dogs and a teaspoon for larger dogs, can be given as an occasional treat. Overfeeding can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

How often can dogs have peanut butter? Can they eat it every day?

Dogs can have peanut butter occasionally as a treat. It is not recommended to give peanut butter every day because of its high-fat and calorie content, which can contribute to obesity and other health problems if consumed in excess. Moderation is key.

Can puppies have peanut butter?

Yes, puppies can have peanut butter in moderation. It should be introduced gradually and given in small amounts to ensure they do not have any adverse reactions. Always use peanut butter without xylitol or other harmful ingredients.

Can dogs be allergic to peanut butter?

Yes, dogs can be allergic to peanut butter, just like humans. Signs of an allergy can include itching, swelling, hives, gastrointestinal upset, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis. If you notice any of these symptoms after giving your dog peanut butter, discontinue use and consult your veterinarian.


“Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?”, Hills Pet, Apr 23. 2021

Becca TriggB

Becca Trigg

An all round animal lover, who absolutely adores writing and researching anything puppy! Over the past few years, I have been able to gain ample pet knowledge; specifically joint health and dental hygiene. When I'm not typing away in the office, I can be found sitting in a country pub or growing chillies

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
*In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022
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