Filling a toy with peanut butter and giving it to your dog can keep them busy for awhile, but it really isn’t great for them and could even be deadly. When there are so many healthy alternatives to fill in a toy, why keep feeding your dog something he or she would never naturally eat? We don’t feed our dogs almonds, walnuts, or peanuts; so it doesn’t make sense to feed them something made entirely out of peanuts.
Top Five Reasons to Stop Feeding Your Dog Peanut Butter:
1. Aflatoxin- It’s a naturally occurring carcinogen that is found in peanuts and peanut butter including big brand names such as Peter Pan, Jif and Skippy. Higher levels of aflatoxin has been found in natural peanut butters. In small animals, ingesting aflatoxin has been found to contribute to liver cancer.
2. Harmful Fats- Dogs Naturally magazine sums it up perfectly: “Trans-fatty acids are one of the most toxic food substances today. Trans fats are the result of a highly toxic process that makes foods more stable, allowing them to sit on shelves for an extremely long time. Hydrogenation is the process of taking a plant oil, adding a nickel catalyst, heating it, and then removing the nickel catalyst.The result is a highly toxic fat that causes diabetes, heart disease and chronic inflammation.”
3. Xylitol & Added Sugars- You’ve probably heard how xylitol can be deadly for dogs, and it is a main ingredient in some peanut butters. It is a replacement for sugar, which is also not good for your dog. Many big brand name companies are adding xylitol, molasses or other sugars to their peanut butter spreads. These are not naturally occurring sugars from food. Added sugar can trigger diabetes, food allergies, and inflammation. Sugar can also cause upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea, which is why we never want our dogs eats chocolate or other sweet foods.
4. Allergens- Like humans, dogs can be allergic to anything, but you might not suspect your dog has a peanut allergy even some allergic symptoms occur. Itching, red spots, or paw irritation are all signs of allergies and it could be related to peanut butter. Dr. Royal (my dogs’ vet, Oprah’s dogs vet, and all around amazing vet) was recently quoted in the Huffington Post
on why peanut butter isn’t good for your dogs and allergies is the main reason she mentioned, “I found out that they’ve [clients] been giving all the medications in peanut butter,” Dr. Royal says. “So, they stop the peanut butter and everything gets better.”
5. It’s Just Not Natural- Like I mentioned earlier, we would never feed our dogs walnuts, almonds or peanuts because it is not natural, and just not good for them. That doesn’t change just because peanuts are turned into a smooth buttery substance.
Alternatives to Peanut Butter
All should be used in moderation and according to your dog’s weight.
1. Coconut Oil- which is good for essential fatty acids. Check out my Turkey Pumpkin Dog Treats
with Omega 3 fatty acids. Mix the appropriate amount of coconut oil for your dogs size and weight with anything below, stuff it in a kong, and freeze!
2. Organic Pumpkin or Sweet potato puree- contains only natural occurring sugars and is good for the stomach!
3. Meat Baby Food- I feed my baby girl Mylah chicken or beef baby food if she is having a rough diabetic day, she loves it.
4. Raw Goat’s Milk- my kids love raw goat milk which comes frozen and can be purchased in specialty pet stores. You can thaw it a bit to put in a toy and then refreeze it, or just pour some over their dinner. I use Primal brand goat’s milk