Dogs love peanut butter. Peanut butter is the holy grail of Kong toy stuffing, pill hiding, and lick mat spreading dog treats. Pop those babies in the freezer to make it last longer and most dogs are in heaven licking away until there’s nothing left.
But not all peanut butter is created equal. As a dog owner, it’s vital that you buy the right peanut butter that is safe for your pooch to eat.
Read on to learn which brands get the OK, what to look for in dog-safe peanut butter, as well as the dangers of consuming the wrong one.
What to Look for in Dog-Safe Peanut Butter Brands
Natural peanut butter without added sugar or artificial sweeteners like xylitol is going to be your best bet. Make sure the label says “no added salt” or “unsalted”.
If it includes preservatives, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and added sugar, it’s best to not share with your dog.
Dog-safe peanut butter shouldn’t contain more than two ingredients: peanuts and salt.
Xylitol is an especially dangerous ingredient that is sometimes called “birch sugar,” so it’s important to be on the lookout for both of these terms in the ingredient list.
Dangers of Xylitol/Birch Sugar
Xylitol is a sugar substitute used in a lot of “sugar-free” chewing gums, candies, and more. Never buy sugar-free peanut butter as xylitol is highly toxic to dogs.
Dogs who ingest foods that contain xylitol can suffer from:
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- liver failure
Seek immediate veterinary care if your dog has eaten something with xylitol in it, as it can be absorbed quite rapidly.
Safe Brands of Peanut Butter for Dogs
Dog Lab, a reputable company that reviews pet products by surveying dog owners, consulting veterinarians, canine nutritionists, and animal behaviorists, tested over 50 kinds of peanut butter in order to find the healthiest one for dogs.
Their top choice as the best peanut butter for dogs is Whole Foods’ 365 brand smooth peanut butter. 365 Everyday Value Organic Peanut Butter is one of the safest because it only has one ingredient: peanuts!
Less is more. There’s no extra salt, sugar, additives, or anything unpronounceable. Just 100% natural creamy peanut butter.
Another great budget alternative that is the same as 365 is Trader Joe’s No Salt Peanut Butter.
For texture lovers, the best crunchy peanut butter they chose for humans and their furry friends was Teddie Super Chunky Peanut Butter.
They also recommend Poochie Peanut Butter, a brand of peanut butter developed especially for dogs. This type of peanut butter contains health-boosting natural ingredients like turmeric, flaxseed, parsley, and ginger.
Plus, 10% of their profits are donated to animal shelters. Win-win!
For a full list of 16 tested, safe peanut butter treats for dogs, visit DogLab.com
Dog Safe Peanut Butter Brands
- Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Peanut Butter
- Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter (No Salt)
- Teddie Super Chunky Peanut Butter
- Poochie Dog Peanut Butter
A gentle reminder
While peanut butter contains a fair amount of healthy fats, it’s important to give it to your dog in moderation. High-fat diets and extra calories can lead to obesity and life-threatening pancreatitis. Too much peanut butter, even if it’s a brand that’s safe for dogs, can still be detrimental to your dog’s health.
Peanut Butter Brands to NEVER Feed Your Dog
The following brands are common grocery store shelf staples but contain added transfats, sweeteners, and other unnecessary ingredients. Pet owners should not share these peanut butters with their dog.
- Skippy peanut butter
- Peter Pan brand PB
- Jif peanut butter
- Nuts ‘n More
- Krush Nutrition
- Go Nuts Co
- Amazon brand/Happy Belly PB
A peanut butter product being xylitol-free doesn’t always mean it’s dog-friendly. Some peanut butters labeled as “natural”, like Skippy Natural or Jif Natural peanut butter spread, are xylitol-free but are still not recommended due to additives like corn syrup and trans fats.
Dog Lab also notes a couple of peanut butters created by pet brands that are not ideal. These include Kong Real Peanut Butter, which contains sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil, and DogButter, which contains palm oil.
DIY Peanut Butter
Want to make your own homemade peanut butter? It’s a lot easier than you think!
All you need is peanuts and a food processor.
Simply add peanuts (preferably unsalted) to a food processor and process for up to 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth.
Making your own peanut butter is a great option for a healthy treat because you know exactly what’s in it.
Peanut Butter Alternatives for Dogs
It might be hard to believe, but it’s entirely possible for a dog not to like peanut butter. Lucky for them, there are plenty of nut butter alternatives to try (not to mention nut-free licking options).
Almond butter, sunflower seed butter, and cashew butter are safe alternatives for dogs who have peanut allergies or simply don’t like peanuts.
These nutty butters, however, have very high fat content and should be given in moderation. Remember that dog food treats and snacks should only make up 10% of your dog’s diet. The majority of your pup’s nutrients should come from its kibble.
Healthy peanut butter alternatives that can be stuffed into treat stuffers and aren’t derived from nuts include:
- Low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- Cream cheese
- Pumpkin puree
- Green beans
- Baby food
Nuts to Avoid
The following nuts are either unhealthy or toxic to dogs.
- macadamia nuts
Best Dog Toys for Treat Stuffing
The following treat stuffers and toys are great to use peanut butter, yogurt, and the like.
The treat stuffing Peanut Stuffer is a durable nylon chew that occupies even some of the strongest chewers. This treat stuffer may look and feel like a peanut but is allergen-free. This chew toy is perfect to stuff with peanut butter or dog treats. It can even be played with after all treats are gone.ALLERGEN FREE PEANUT BUTTER FLAVOR: An added flavor that dogs love without the mess and irritants!UNIQUE…
The Orbee-Tuff Guru by Planet Dog is a durable interactive dog toy featuring five different openings to hide treats. Once treats are buried in the openings, your pup will have to chew, squeeze and work to release them. Fill each opening with something different or load it up with your dog’s favorite treat. Works great with kibble, bully sticks, carrots, apples, peanut butter, or any of your dog’s favorite…
The Dog Tornado level 2 interactive dog puzzle from Nina Ottosson is the ideal toy for bored dogs and will keep them occupied for hours! This intermediate level toy features three tiers with twelve compartments for dog snacks or kibble. This mentally stimulating and entertaining dog game encourages your pup to spin the interactive puzzle tiers to reveal the rewards – three bone shaped covers can be used…
The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Smart interactive dog puzzle is a fun way to get your dog excited about problem solving games! This level 1 dog puzzle toy features nine treat hiding compartments that can be filled with your pup’s favorite treats and covered with nine dog bones that release the tasty scent of treats through the top hole. Place on the ground and watch your dog use his noggin as he…