This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

Free Continental US shipping on orders $75+

What Peanut Butter is Safe for Dogs? Expert Advice.

What Peanut Butter is Safe for Dogs? Expert Advice.


Key Highlights

  • While it is a tasty treat for dogs, pet owners must be cautious due to a harmful artificial sweetener found in some brands, known as xylitol.
  • Dogs' preference for peanut butter can be attributed to its rich flavor and creamy texture, making it enticing for dogs, but there is not a lot of nutritional benefit.
  • Regular intake may lead to obesity in dogs, emphasizing the importance of moderation in serving size and consumption frequency.
  • Allergies to it are rare but not impossible, warranting careful observation when introducing it into their diet.
  • The safety of peanut butter is dependent on the brand and its ingredients.
  • A better option is to add a small amount of peanut butter to a treat dispenser such as a Kong



Peanut butter is a beloved treat for many dogs, but not all types are safe for our furry friends. Understanding the ingredients is crucial. Xylitol, a sugar substitute, can be deadly to dogs and is found in many brands.

The Danger of Xylitol

It is important to note that xylitol, a sugar substitute commonly found in various food products, is extremely dangerous for dogs. Unfortunately, many brands contain xylitol as an ingredient. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden release of insulin, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and liver failure. It is crucial to always check the label and ensure the following synonyms for xylitol are not on the label:

Four reasons a vet would caution against peanut butter

  1. Xylitol is a common sugar substitute in peanut butter and is toxic to dogs, leading to seizures and hypoglycemia.
  2. Peanut butter should be fed in small quantities due to its high-calorie content, which can contribute to obesity.
  3. Other than being a delectable, indulgent treat there is not much nutritional benefit. Choose a healthier option.
  4. Peanut butter is a potential allergen in pets and people.

The Toxic Additive in Peanut Butters: Xylitol Can Hide Under an Alias!

Xylitol is a toxic sugar substitute found in some brands of peanut butter. As a veterinarian, it's crucial to check the ingredient list for xylitol, or any of its aliases, to ensure your furry friend's safety. Even small quantities of xylitol can lead to a severe drop in blood sugar levels, seizures, and even pancreatitis. In rare cases, ingestion of xylitol can be life-threatening. When it comes to choosing a safe peanut butter for your dog, always opt for natural peanut butter without added sugar or artificial sweeteners like xylitol. An excellent option is Whole Foods' 365 brand smooth peanut butter, which contains only one ingredient, peanuts! No extra sugars or seasonings make this a great choice for your furry friends to enjoy without any worries. It's important to carefully read the labels of all brands of peanut butter to avoid any risk to your pet’s health.

  • 1,4-anhydro-d-xylitol
  • anhydroxylitol
  • birch bark extract
  • birch sugar
  • d-xylitol
  • xylite
  • xylitylglucoside
  • Zylatol

Calorie Count in a Teaspoon of Peanut Butter

A teaspoon of peanut butter contains around 30 calories, and a tablespoon has 90-100 calories, making it a calorie-dense treat for dogs. While peanut butter can be a delicious addition to your furry friend's diet, it is essential to consider the calorie content, especially for small dogs or those prone to weight gain. Less is more here folks!


Can Dogs Be Allergic to Peanut Butter Like Humans?

Yes, dogs can be allergic to peanut butter, just like humans. While it's not a common allergen, it's possible. Watch for symptoms like itching, swelling, or gastrointestinal issues. Consult your vet if you suspect an allergy.

What Peanut Butter is Safe for Dogs?

Pet owners must be cautious about the type they choose. You have to read the label carefully.

Avoid brands containing xylitol, a sugar substitute. Opt for natural, without added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Always check the ingredient list and choose a brand that focuses on natural ingredients. Your vet can guide you here.

Brands That Contain Xylitol

There are so many brands out there, but I've included some of the ones that I have found that have xylitol. Make sure you do not have them in your cupboard.

  • Nuts 'N More
  • P28 The Original High Protein Peanut Spread
  • Go Nuts

Although awareness is increasing to examine labels for xylitol, not enough people know that it's out there. Our congress could not get it right with the Paws Off Act of 2021 not being passed. The bill would have required labels to declare that xylitol is present in a product and toxic to dogs. Grrrrrrrrr!!!!!! May a thousand fleas bite you for not voting for the dogs!

Recommended Brands for Dogs

When selecting for your furry family member (and yourself!), or opt for brands that have NO additives like salt, xylitol, or chemicals that make it "nice and smooth":

  • Trader Joe's Creamy No Salt Organic Peanut Butter
  • Laura Scudders Peanut Butter Old Fashioned Smooth Unsalted
  • Whole Foods Organic Creamy Peanut Butter (Unsweetened and No Salt)

Which peanut butter is good for dogs? DIY, of course!

Incorporate pure peanuts into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add a bit of honey or cinnamon for taste variation if you like. Refrigerate the mixture for longevity. Experiment with other dog-friendly ingredients, like a tsp of turmeric.

Is Peanut Butter Beneficial for Dogs?

While it offers protein, some fiber, vitamins, and minerals, it comes with a high-calorie price which cancels out the benefits, in my opinion. The fat can pose a digestive challenge for many dogs, and with a history of pancreatitis, I would avoid it completely. It's purely a treat in moderation, in my opinion!

The Cons of Peanut Butter Consumption in Dogs

While it is a delightful treat for dogs, moderation is key. Some cons of peanut butter consumption in dogs include its high-calorie content, leading to potential weight gain if overfed. Certain brands may contain added sugars or unhealthy fats, making it important to read labels and choose a brand with minimal additional ingredients. The sticky nature of peanut butter can also pose a choking hazard for some dogs. In rare cases, dogs might be allergic to peanuts, causing symptoms like itching or gastrointestinal upset. Always consult your vet before introducing peanut butter, a popular type of human food, especially with additional ingredients, into your furry friend's diet.


How Much Peanut Butter is Okay for Dogs?

When it comes to peanut butter, moderation is key. A small amount can be a tasty treat or a tool for medication administration, but it's important to keep in mind that treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet. However, excessive consumption can lead to obesity and other health issues, especially for smaller dogs like Yorkshire Terriers. It's best to consult with a vet for specific serving sizes based on your dog's size and health.

Monitoring Weight With Peanut Butter Consumption

It's crucial to monitor your furry friend's weight. Despite being a delicious treat, peanut butter's calorie content can contribute to obesity if not given in moderation. Regularly checking your dog's weight is important as so many pet owners are unaware their pets are overweight. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for your pet's overall well-being and longevity. Moderation is key to preventing issues like obesity or digestive upset. Always consult with your vet to tailor the serving size to your furry friend's specific needs.

Crunchy vs Creamy: The Best Type of Peanut Butter for Dogs

When choosing between crunchy and creamy peanut butter for your furry friend, opt for creamy to avoid any potential choking hazards. Creamy peanut butter spreads more easily and reduces the risk of your dog getting peanut butter stuck in its throat. However, if you prefer crunchy peanut butter, make sure to choose one that is made with small enough nuts to avoid any choking hazards. Consider your pet's safety and choose creamy or small-nut crunchy peanut butter for a hassle-free treat. Plus, your pooch will thank you for the smooth and delicious texture!

Analyzing the Nutritional Differences Between Crunchy and Creamy Peanut Butter

When choosing between crunchy and creamy for your furry friend, consider their nutritional variances. Crunchy typically contains small chunks of peanuts, adding texture but not altering its nutritional value significantly. Creamy, on the other hand, is smooth and may be easier to consume.

Alternatives: What Else Can You Feed Your Dog?

Explore healthy alternatives for your dog for your treat stuffing. Consider options like mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, cooked sweet potatoes, or Greek yogurt. These alternatives provide similar benefits without the potential risks associated with peanut butter.


Conclusion: Things to Avoid

Look out for xylitol, a dangerous sugar substitute for pets. Avoid options with added artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or other harmful additives. Opt for natural peanut butter alternatives. Always check the ingredient list and consult with a vet to find a suitable and safe option for your dog.

How Much Peanut Butter Can Dogs Eat?

Statistically, half of the people reading this blog post will have an overweight dog! As a guideline, dab on your finger for a small or medium dog a few times a week, and to tsp of peanut butter is suitable large dog. However, it's important to check the ingredients for xylitol and clear it with your vet, especially if your dog has sensitive digestion or any digestive issues.

Health Alert: Xylitol

Xylitol poses a severe health risk, especially for dogs. This sugar substitute, found in some peanut butter and other products like chewing gum, can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia, seizures, and in extreme cases, liver failure. It's crucial for pet owners to meticulously read the ingredient list to ensure their furry friends' safety. Xylitol's presence in any product intended for dogs, including peanut butter treats, should sound immediate alarms for pet parents. Always consult a veterinarian if your dog accidentally consumes xylitol.

Creative Ways to Serve Peanut Butter

Mix it in frozen treats or use it as stuffing in interactive toys like Kongs can mentally stimulate dogs. Another creative idea is to spread a thin layer on a lick mat for extended enjoyment when you are bathing them. Dotting small amounts on a plate and freezing it for a crunchy snack or drizzling it over pet-safe fruits are other enticing options. Additionally, it's a good idea to try using Pet Naturals BusyButter, a safe and tasty peanut butter specifically made for dogs in the USA. It can be used in fillable toys or on lick pads, making it a versatile option for different types of play and enrichment. For best results, keep the BusyButter in the fridge for a thicker texture that will provide even more mental stimulation for your furry friend.

Best Dog Toys for Treat Stuffing

Kong toys are a veterinarian-recommended option for stuffing with dog-friendly treats. These toys provide mental stimulation and entertainment for your furry friend while enjoying a delicious treat. The durable rubber design of Kong toys makes them a safe choice for dogs who love to chew. When selecting toys for treat stuffing, ensure they are appropriately sized to prevent any choking hazards. Kong toys are a popular and safe choice for pet owners looking to provide their dogs with a healthy and engaging snacking experience.


What is Xylitol, and why is It dangerous for pets?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol often found in sugar-free products. It can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia, seizures, and even liver failure.

How Can I Determine If a Brand of Peanut Butter is Safe for My Dog?

To determine if a brand is safe for your dog, carefully check the ingredients for xylitol, a toxic substance for dogs. Opt for natural brands without added sugars or artificial sweeteners. When in doubt, check with your veterinarian.

Can My Dog Develop an Allergy to Peanuts?

Yes. Common symptoms include itching, redness, or swelling. Check with your veterinarian.

Hi! I'm Dr, Dody, DVM.

Passionate about animal welfare, I dedicated my life to helping animals from a young age. After years of traditional medicine, I discovered a lack of dietary options for optimal health. Combining my experience in both traditional and holistic care, I created Holistic Vet Blend® to empower consumers in choosing healthy ingredients and provide essential nutrients. As a seasoned veterinarian and thought leader, I advocate for a personalized approach to improve pets' lives. We support you in curating your pet's bowl, monitoring their progress, and offering the latest recommendations as their needs change.

Together, let's redefine pet care with love and attention.