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Safe Peanut Butter for Dogs: A Guide to Choosing the Right Option

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Protect Your Dog's Health: Avoid Xylitol

Discover the Best Brands and Alternatives for Dog Treats

Peanut butter is the ultimate choice for stuffing Kong toys, hiding pills, and spreading on lick mats as a tasty treat for dogs. However, it is crucial to understand that not all peanut butter is created equal, especially when it comes to the safety of your furry companion. As a responsible dog owner, it is vital to select the right peanut butter that is entirely safe for your beloved pooch to consume. Regrettably, numerous dogs fall victim to poisoning each year due to the ingestion of food containing xylitol, including peanut butter. Simply put, feeding your dog peanut butter sweetened with xylitol could potentially be a death sentence.

Dog-safe peanut butter shouldn’t contain more than two ingredients: peanuts and salt.

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. 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. 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.

Initial signs of xylitol poisoning are typically due to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and can develop within an hour of consumption. Signs of low blood sugar may include any or all of the following:

  • Vomiting

  • Weakness

  • Lack of coordination or difficulty walking or standing

  • Weakness/sluggishness or lethargy

  • Tremors

  • Seizures

  • Coma

If you suspect that your dog has eaten a xylitol-containing product, please contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline, a 24/7 animal poison control center, at 1-800-213-6680 immediately. In our area, we recommend seeking help from PURE Urgent Care and ER or First Coast Emergency.

So, how much peanut butter should you give your dog? Generally speaking, smaller dogs should get no more than 1/2 a tablespoon of peanut butter per day. Larger dogs should be given no more than 1 tablespoon per day. But if your dog is at risk of pancreatitis, then you should avoid peanut butter altogether.

Here is a list of peanut butter options for dogs and the places where you can purchase them:

365 Every Day Value Smooth - Whole Foods

Teddie Supper Chunky - Amazon

Poochie Butter for Dogs - Amazon

Adams Natural - Target/Walmart

Crazy Richard’s - Walmart, Kroger, Amazon

Fix & Fogg - Sprout, Thrive

Good & Gather Organic Stir - Target

Great Value Organic - Walmart

Kirkland Signature Organic - Costco

MaraNatha Organic - Amazon

Peanut Butter & Co Old Fashioned - Walmart

Smuckers Natural & Organic - Target, Kroger, Walmart, Amazon

Trader Joes Salted & No Salt - Trader Joes

Woodstock Farms Unsalted & Easy Spread - Walmart

**Note: ingredients and brands can change - refer to your veterinarian's office if you are concerned about your choice in treats.

While peanut butter does contain a good amount of healthy fats, it is crucial to provide it to your dog in moderation. Diets high in fat and excessive calorie intake can lead to obesity and potentially life-threatening pancreatitis. Even if you choose a brand of peanut butter that is safe for dogs, excessive consumption can still be harmful to your dog's health. There are alternative treats that can be stuffed into toys and are not derived from nuts, including low-fat plain Greek yogurt, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, green beans, watermelon, and baby food.

If you have any further questions about safe treats for your beloved canine companion, we encourage you to reach out to our veterinarians at Intracoastal West Vet Hospital in Jacksonville, FL. You can contact us at (904) 436-PETS (7387). Our knowledgeable and caring team will be more than happy to assist you in ensuring the well-being and safety of your furry best friend.


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