Peanut butter is by far one of my dog’s favorite flavor of treats.
Not only do they like it in their homemade dog cookies but they also like it in their enrichment toys, spread on a lick mat, covering their bananas and yes, even on a spoon!
Odin finds peanut butter irresistible, so much so that even though he isn’t a fan of bananas, he’ll eat a banana slice if it’s dipped in peanut butter.
Since most dogs love the taste of peanut butter, it’s not hard to believe that it’s one of the most popular ingredients used in dog treat recipes. But is peanut butter really a good and healthy choice to use?
Yes and no.
Is Peanut Butter Good For Dogs?
Most peanut butters are fine for dogs when given in moderation.
In fact, peanut butter can be a good source of protein, fats vitamins B and E, and niacin.
It’s rich in natural fats and oils that can benefit most dogs, in small amounts.
However, too much fat and protein can cause your dog to gain extra pounds and for some dogs, it can lead to a serious condition called pancreatitis.
This is why peanut butter, whether used as an ingredient in a dog treat recipe, or given alone, should be used in moderation.
Xylitol In Peanut Butter
Some brands of peanut butter contain a sugar called xylitol.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that even in small amounts, is toxic to dogs.
A peanut butter that contains xylitol should NEVER be used in a dog treat recipe and you should always make sure to read peanut butter labels carefully.
Xylitol can also be listed as birch sugar, so stay on the look out for that ingredient too.
Popular brands of peanut butter that contain xylitol:
- Krush Nutrition’s “Nutty By Nature”
- Go Nuts, Co. Peanut Butter
- Nut’s ’N More
- P28 High Protein Peanut Spread
This is not a complete list, you should still check the label out of an abundance of caution.
Not All Dog-Safe Peanut Butter is Created Equal!
Many nut butters contain extra ingredients that dogs don’t need like:
- Extra sugar. Sugar is general term that can be used to describe caramel, corn syrup molasses and sucrose. some peanut butters will contain several of these sugars while some might only contain one. Dogs don’t need sugar. Too much sugar in a dog’s diet can lead to obesity and diabetes.
- Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils. This can refer to many different types of oil. It’s a fat used to preserve the shelf life of food. It is also used to enhance texture and taste. It can increase cholesterol levels and lead to obesity in dogs.
- Mono and Diglycerides. These help to blend oil and water so with peanut butter it’s used to prevent the oil from separating from the peanut butter. Mono and diglycerides aren’t technically harmful to dogs but they also aren’t needed in a dog’s diet.
- Salt. Dogs don’t need extra salt in their diet (they get enough in their nutritionally balanced food) and while small amounts of extra salt won’t harm most dogs, if it can be avoided, it should be.
Best Types Of Peanut Butter To Use In Dog Treat Recipes
So now that we know what our dog’s peanut butter doesn’t need, here’s the best types of peanut butter you can use in homemade dog treat recipes:
Homemade Peanut Butter
Making homemade peanut for your dog is definitely underrated! It’s not hard at all.
All you need is a bag of raw unsalted peanuts, an oven and a food processor.
The hardest parts is removing the shells and if you want to skip this step and make it super easy for your to make your dog homemade peanut butter, get roasted unsalted peanuts!
I add coconut oil to our homemade peanut butter but you can also add a little olive oil or even honey.
Single Ingredient Peanut Butter
Single ingredient peanut is the next best option to homemade peanut butter.
On the label it should just read PEANUTS.
Some examples of single ingredient peanut butter are:
Crazy Richard’s 100% Peanuts All Natural Peanut Butter
365 Everyday Value Organic Peanut Butter, Unsweetened & No Salt
- Trader Joes (make sure to read the label because they have several different varieties)
- Kirkland Signature Organic Creamy/Crunchy
Dog Specific Peanut Butter
There are several brands of peanut butters designed specifically for dogs.
These dog friendly peanut butters often contain added ingredients such as coconut oil, turmeric, honey, vegetable oil and salt.
You can find dog peanut butter at most pet stores and online.
I’m not going to list any here because I haven’t personally tried any with my dogs.
Multi-Ingredient Peanut Butter
There are hundreds of varieties of peanut butters that will contain additional ingredients.
You’ll find a lot of 2-ingredient peanut butters that contain peanuts and salt.
This will be fine for most dogs since technically, peanut butter should only make up about 10% of your dog’s calories per day.
You don’t to make sure that you’re staying away from the peanut butter that contains 4+ ingredients and also be wary of “all-natural” and “no artificial sweeteners”. Remember, xylitol is considered an all natural sweetener!
Other Nut Butters That Are Safe For Dogs
While peanut butter is the most popular ingredient to use in dog treat recipes, it’s not the only nut butter you can use.
Other nut butters that can be given to most dogs in moderation are:
- Pumpkin seed butter
- Cashew butter
- Almond butter
Macadamias, pistachios, walnuts and any nut coated in chocolate, in any form are not dog safe and should not be used to make homemade dog treats. . on the “no” list when it comes to your pup.
Remember, when using any type of nut butter, including peanut butter in dog treat recipes that they are a high-fat ingredient and should be given in moderation.
If you have any questions on what nut butters that your dog can have, you should always reach out to your veterinarian.
How Much Peanut Butter To Use In Dog Treat Recipes?
If you’re thinking of whipping up a batch of homemade dog treats for your dog this weekend and you’re wondering how much peanut butter to use in your recipe, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
The type of flour that you’re using will effect how much peanut butter to add.
Most simple homemade peanut butter dog treat recipes call for 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of peanut butter.
The amount of ingredients you’re using will also matter.
For instance if you’re making pumpkin and peanut butter cookies, you’ll use only a few tablespoons of peanut butter.
I normally use less peanut butter when I’m making frozen peanut butter dog treats verses baked peanut butter dog treats.
Crunchy Or Smooth?
If you’re wondering what whether crunchy peanut butter or smooth peanut is better to use in your dog treat recipe, it’s up to you!
I always use smooth peanut butter because it’s easier to mix but as long as it’s a good peanut butter, your dog likes it and it doesn’t contain xylitol, it’s a personal preference.