Is there anything dogs love more than peanut butter? Well, maybe a few things, but peanut butter is likely in the top three things dogs love most! After all, peanut butter is delicious and fun to eat since it’s messy and gets everywhere.
But are there actual health benefits of giving your favorite four-legged friend peanut butter? It turns out there are a few! Keep reading to learn about these health benefits and the good they do for your pup.
The 6 Health Benefits of Peanut Butter for Dogs
1. High in Protein
You already know that protein is a key part of your pup’s diet—in fact, it’s recommended your dog get 18–22% dietary protein each day. This protein is essential to helping maintain tendons and ligaments, as well as in forming blood, muscle, hair, and skin. Giving your pet a spoonful of peanut butter every now and then ensures that it’s getting quite a bit of protein, as peanut butter has roughly 25% protein. That’s a lot!
2. Contains Healthy Fats
Peanut butter is definitely high in fat, but thankfully it’s a good kind of healthy fat. These fats, like polyunsaturated fatty acids, are helpful in maintaining healthy skin and improving dry and irritated skin and coats. These healthy fats also help aid in growth and immunity! Still, healthy fats are fats, so don’t give too much to your dog to avoid weight gain.
3. Contains Niacin
Peanut butter has plenty of important vitamins for your dog, but one of the more essential nutrients is niacin or vitamin B3. This vitamin is especially beneficial for your pup as niacin breaks down fat and sugar into energy. So, if your pup has hit an energy slump, then this vitamin is the one that will help it boost its energy levels. And niacin also aids in keeping the digestive tract healthy, which is a bonus for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
4. High in Fiber
You may not have realized it, but peanut butter is an excellent source of insoluble and soluble fiber! And though your dog doesn’t need a ton of fiber in its diet, it does require some to help regulate its digestive system. Fiber can prevent the formation of harmful bacteria, reduce instances of diarrhea, and possibly even reduce the risk of your pup getting colon cancer.
5. Has Important Vitamins
Niacin isn’t the only important vitamin found in peanut butter that your dog needs. Peanut butter also contains a fair amount of Vitamin E, which is important for maintaining the health of the eyes, skin, and muscles. Vitamin E also helps regulate metabolism. Peanut butter is also rich in biotin and folic acid (Vitamin B7 and B9), which aid in keeping skin and coats healthy, plus assist in the production of red blood cells.
6. Contains Vital Minerals
Along with essential vitamins, peanut butter contains several vital minerals your dog needs. Magnesium is an important one, as it helps produce energy and reduces the damage free radicals cause. Peanut butter also has manganese, which can help your pup metabolize carbs and protein. Finally, peanut butter is a good source of phosphorus, a mineral that works in conjunction with calcium to strengthen teeth and bones.
Is Peanut Butter Bad for Dogs?
Sure, peanut butter has several health benefits for our pups, but are there any negatives to giving your dog peanut butter? There can be if you don’t choose your peanut butter wisely.
First and foremost, you should go with all-natural peanut butter so as to avoid any harmful additives and chemicals. One common additive found in peanut butter is xylitol, which is incredibly toxic for our canine friends. If consumed, xylitol can cause a life-threatening situation in a matter of hours.
You should also opt for sugar-free or low-sugar peanut butter. Believe it or not, sugar is added to many kinds of peanut butter to make it sweeter for us, but sugar isn’t that great for our dogs. (Especially for pups dealing with diabetes or obesity!)
Other than that, you just need to limit how much peanut butter your dog gets, as it can be easy to overdo treats. Remember the 10% rule—treats should make up no more than 10% of our furry friends’ diets!
Peanut butter can offer our canine companions several health benefits, as they contain essential minerals and vitamins our dogs’ diets need. Peanut butter is also high in protein (which needs to make up a good portion of your pet’s diet), as well as fiber and healthy fats. However, you need to use peanut butter sparingly and ensure you have dog-safe peanut butter free of added sugar and xylitol.
Featured Image Credit: Josfor, Shutterstock