3 min read
5 Nutritional Benefits of Peanut Butter for Dogs
By Adam Lee-Smith
Published: 01/14/2022, edited: 01/14/2022
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Few things go together as well as pups and peanut butter.
Any pet parent who's ever smeared peanut butter on the inside of Kong and watched their pup go to work will know the appeal of this naturally sweet treat. Need to feed your stubborn pooch a pill? You can bet they won't notice it in a glob of peanut butter! You’ll also find tons of peanut butter treats on the market that are sure to get your fur-baby's tail wagging.
While all-natural peanut butter is safe to feed Fido, does it offer any nutritional benefits? Read on to find out more about 5 nutritional benefits of peanut butter for dogs!
Peanut butter is high in protein
Protein is an essential part of your dog's diet, and peanut butter is a great source. Most peanut butter contains around 25% protein, which is high for plant-based food.
Protein benefits your dog by providing amino acids that support their immune system, repair and maintain cells, and assist with making hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
Peanut butter is high in fiber
Another key reason peanut butter is beneficial for dogs in moderation is it contains fiber. As with humans, fiber is essential for regulating your dog's digestive tract. Fiber is broken down into fatty acids to strengthen the colon or prevent bad bacteria from forming. Fiber also reduces the chances of diarrhea or constipation.
There's evidence to suggest fiber can reduce the chances of colon cancer in dogs. Fiber speeds up bowel movements, reducing the time your dog's digestive tract is exposed to carcinogens.
Peanut butter is high in healthy fatty acids
Peanut butter is famously high in fat. Luckily, peanut butter contains high amounts of healthy fats. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, contain omega-6, which promotes growth, immunity, healthy skin, and more. Remember that healthy fats are still a type of fat and are high in calories.
Peanut butter is high in vitamins
Peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E, an essential nutrient for both humans and dogs. Vitamin E is key for maintaining healthy muscles, eyes, and skin. It also helps promote healthy cells and regulate fat metabolism. Additionally, studies show that vitamin E may help prevent arthritis.
Biotin (vitamin B7) helps maintain healthy skin, coat, and nails. Vets often give dogs with dry skin vitamin B7 supplements.
Niacin (vitamin B3) aids the metabolism of fatty acids, boosts brain function, and acts as a catalyst for hormone production.
Folic acid (vitamin B9) promotes healthy fetal development and assists red blood cell production and DNA synthesis.
Peanut butter is high in essential minerals
Several minerals in peanut butter are essential to a dog's diet. Peanut butter contains magnesium, a macromineral involved in energy production at the cellular level.
Magnesium also helps with oxidative stress, reducing the impact of free radicals. Dogs suffering from a magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) may have difficulty walking, muscle pain, and seizures.
Another mineral found in peanut butter is manganese, which dogs need to produce energy and metabolize proteins and carbs. Peanut butter is also high in phosphorus, which works with calcium to improve bone and teeth strength.
Can peanut butter be harmful to dogs?
Just because peanut butter has health benefits for dogs doesn't mean it can't be harmful. Here are a few concerns to address when feeding your dog peanut butter:
Avoid xylitol. Some types of processed peanut butter contain xylitol, an additive common in toothpaste, chewing gum, and baked goods. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs, and xylitol poisoning can be life-threatening within a few hours of ingestion.
Avoid peanut butter with added sugar. To make peanut butter extra appetizing to sweet-toothed humans, many companies add sugar. Avoid peanut butter with high amounts of sugar, which could contribute to obesity and diabetes.
Opt for all-natural peanut butter. Checking for harmful additives while getting groceries can be annoying. Pet parents looking to avoid nasty chemicals like xylitol should choose an all-natural peanut butter.
Consider your dog's health. Peanut butter may not be the "pawfect" treat for pups with health problems. Dogs with kidney diseases, obesity, and special dietary requirements should avoid peanut butter.
Follow the 10% treat rule. If your dog is nutty about peanut butter, then it'll take some resolve to limit their portions. Giving your dog too much peanut butter can lead to health conditions like pancreatitis. As a rule, treats shouldn't comprise more than 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake.
Got questions about the nutritional benefits of peanut butter for dogs? Chat with a licensed vet 24/7 through Wag! Vet Chat.
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