Everyone knows that dogs love peanut butter. Since peanut butter is made from peanuts, most of us assume that peanuts are safe for dogs, too. The answer is not quite that simple, however.
When it comes to your dog’s health, not all peanuts and peanut butters are created equal. Peanuts are loaded with protein, vitamin B-6, vitamin E, niacin, and healthy fats. There are, however, some risks associated with both peanuts and peanut butter.
What Types of Peanuts Are Safe for My Dog to Eat?
Dry-roasted (or raw), unsalted peanuts are the only peanuts safe for dogs to eat. Though your dog will probably be fine if they scoop up a salted peanut or two from the floor, the best peanuts for pups are not the delicious, salted kind that many people eat.
Salted peanuts contain more sodium than your dog needs and can be harmful to their health if ingested in large quantities, so it is best to avoid feeding salted peanuts to dogs. This is one reason why some owners prefer to make their own peanut butter. Homemade peanut butter allows owners to control the amount of oil and sodium that goes into the recipe, and it also eliminates the growing risk of xylitol poisoning.
Peanuts also contain high levels of fat. This can cause digestive upset and even pancreatitis if your dog eats high-fat foods, such as peanuts, on a regular basis or in large quantities.
How Many Peanuts Can My Dog Have?
When it comes to feeding peanuts, moderation is key. Limit your dog’s intake to just a few peanuts, and do not feed them as a treat every day. Honey-roasted peanuts and other flavored nuts are also unsafe for your dog, and make sure you remove the peanut shell, as the fibrous material can pose a choking hazard, especially for small breeds.