Can Dogs Eat Peanuts

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can dogs eat peanuts

Today’s question: can dogs eat peanuts? Are peanuts good or bad for dogs? Scroll down for detailed answers.

Peanuts are one of the classic snack foods: delicious, high in fat and protein, and routinely added to many dishes. A classic staple in edible nuts, peanuts are found in countless foods and snacks.  Peanuts are such a popular food due to their portability, their nutritional content, relatively low price, and the flavor added to many foods.  Peanuts are eaten individually, crushed and placed on top of cereal, sundae’s, breads, and also baked into desserts to add flavor and nutritional bite. Most all people love peanuts and find the nut incredibly useful as well enjoyable.  But the question is: can dogs eat peanuts? Scroll down to find the detailed answers.

From candy bars, to cakes and pies, to just the solo nut, peanuts are arguably the most popular edible nut for humans. Peanuts can be eaten outside of a peanut shell or already taken out of the shells and salted for flavor.  A crop of global importance, the peanut, also known as the groundnut, has a rich, sweet, and nutty flavor, and can be used to make peanut butter, one of the classic sandwich ingredients of the United States.

While peanuts are incredibly popular and useful foods, peanuts can cause extreme allergic reactions in some people and animals.  Allergic reactions can cause death and need immediate care to ensure survival.  Nuts can be hiding in many popular foods and nuts may also be used when creating foods that are not necessarily thought of as containing peanuts.   Do to the risk of a peanut allergy, and unknowingly affecting someone with an allergy, those who choose to indulge in peanuts should do so wisely.

can dogs eat peanuts

Peanut history

The peanut, while being tasty and filling, is also a source of excellent nutritional value when eaten discriminately. Too many peanuts can be bad for you, while just the right amount can be extremely beneficial to daily nutritional values. If these nutritional values can benefit the health of a human, can peanuts do the same for dogs?  Dogs and humans are very similar in terms of nutritional need.  While dogs have more of a carnivorous diet and humans should have more of a vegetable diet, the need for nutrients remain the same.  By allowing ourselves to have the nutritional benefit of peanuts, many wish to share the same with their dogs.

In addition to the nutrient content, the taste is enjoyable and favored among those who try it.  Dogs seem to enjoy the taste and texture of peanuts just as their owners do.  Singular peanuts have great taste and texture, but peanut butter can be used in different ways and appeal to different taste preferences.  The creamy texture or peanut butter, or crunchy if you prefer, adds fun to the day and a break from the monotonous choices of foods we usually eat on a regular basis.  Peanut butter is nutritious and portable, making this snack an easy go-to no matter the tasks you have at hand.

The oldest known remains of peanut cultivation date back to almost 7,600 years. Originally from the American continent, peanuts were important parts of a daily diet for many pre-Colombian cultures, with cultivation being established centuries before the Spanish arrived.  The peanut has become a culinary and agricultural bulwark in Asia, now the largest peanut-producing region of the world.

Multiple uses of the peanut

Peanuts are used to make a number of edible products. Peanut oil is great for cooking due to its high fat content and minimal flavor. Peanut oil is considered healthier than most saturated oils due to its high levels of monounsaturated content.  More and more doctors and nutritionists recommend adding healthy oils to your diet.  Adding healthy oils can offer nutritional content not found in other foods and offer you the health benefits not usually added into your favorite dishes.  Peanut oil can help keep your hair and nails strong and shiny and also improve your circulation and bone strength.  Fiber is also within the peanut, making the food able to keep you feeling fuller, longer, and keeping you from over eating.  The fiber will also help regulate your digestive system and help remove toxins from your body.

For those attempting to avoid white flour and the high sugar content, peanut flour may be used as a healthier substitute.  Peanut flour is also a widely used peanut product, popular due to its high protein content which enables it to be used as an effective flavor enhancer. Other peanut products include boiled peanuts and dry-roasted peanuts, both of which are popular as snack foods.  Combining the uses of peanut oil, peanut flour, and singular peanuts will offer you more protein, vitamins, and fiber than you can find anywhere else!

Peanuts have high levels of nutritional value, being rich in essential nutrients such as several B vitamins, vitamin E, and several dietary minerals such as manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. Peanuts also contain high levels of protein, more than many other types of nut. While peanuts may provide such benefits for humans, do these benefits extend to dogs?

Can dogs eat peanuts?

Many dog owners are interested in learning what kinds of nuts they can feed their dog. This is an extremely important question as many common nuts can be toxic and fatal to dogs, including pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pistachios. While these nuts should obviously never be fed to dogs, peanuts themselves are not considered toxic for our canine friends.  Wanting to feed your dog nuts is common among most dog owners due to their popularity as a being a canine favorite, relatively low cost, and probably in the house already.  Nuts overall cannot be deemed safe for dogs, but the peanut itself, can.

While peanuts can be safely used in treats and are not toxic to Fido, peanuts are, however, extremely high in fat content. Dogs have a difficult time digesting high levels of fat, and eating a lot of peanuts or peanut products can result in an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Anytime a food is over consumed, there runs the risk of stomach upset or having another type of reaction.  Dogs are not immune to this type of calamity, and if anything, may be more prone to a stomach upset than humans are.   Since dogs are evolved to eat meat, the consuming of human food is foreign to their genetic makeup and the dogs system may reject the food immediately.

Peanuts may be deemed safe for dogs to enjoy, however, as an owner, you need to be considerate of the fat content.  Peanuts are fatty, and in small amounts, the fat is ok.  Small amounts of fat are necessary and will also help your dog in the matters of a shiny coat and strong muscles.  On the other hand, excessive consumption of fat can cause a condition in dogs called pancreatitis, which is the result of a dog’s pancreas becoming inflamed. While pancreatitis can be treated, it is an extremely uncomfortable and painful condition for dogs.

Unsalted peanuts only

While peanuts can be a suitable doggie treat occasionally, be sure to avoid using salted peanuts. If using peanut butter to fill up a dog toy or cook some “cookie” treats, be sure to use a low-sodium option or make your own from unsalted peanuts.  Low salt peanut butter can be used to disguise medicine when feeding an uncooperative pet their special pills.  Low salt peanut butter can also be used inside of a hollow bone to keep a dog busy and happy for at least an hour. Just make sure not to give your dog peanut butter that contains xylitol. Xylitol (a sugar substitute) is toxic to dogs.

Using a low sodium peanut is incredibly important.  The peanut itself is ok, but when most peanuts are sold relatively salty, you may be raising the risk of your dog consuming too much salt.  Too much salt in a dog’s diet can cause excessive urination, thirst and can also lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of this condition include tremors, vomiting, depression, diarrhea, seizures, and elevated body temperature. Try to avoid feeding your dog an excessively sodium-rich diet.

Additionally, you can substitute regular peanut butter for almond butter; a little almond butter can also be fed to dogs but again make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol.  In conjunction, snacks made for humans that include peanuts should never be fed to a dog as they could contain traces of other nuts and/or chocolate, both of which can be exceedingly detrimental to a dog’s health.  Many ‘nut flavored’ treats for humans have a collection of nuts within to create a nuttier flavor and balance the taste.  Be sure to feed your pet peanut butter that is only made from peanuts.  You can go one step further and be sure the peanut butter was not created within a facility that makes other nut flavored treats and could possibly cross contaminate.

Trouble with peanut butter

It is a good idea to check the ingredients of the peanut butter you are thinking about giving your dogs. Some peanut butters contain the sugar substitute xylitol, which is extraordinarily toxic to dogs. Keep in mind that the label “natural sweetener” could potentially mean the inclusion of xylitol or other sugar substitutes.

While xylitol is safe for human consumption, it is extremely dangerous for animals. Even the smallest amount could cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar in your dog – a condition called hypoglycemia – that destroys liver cells and is frequently fatal. If your dog ingests xylitol, immediately seek veterinary care. Signs of hypoglycemia include disorientation, panting, collapsing, and seizures.


Like any doggie treat, do not over feed your dog. If you limit your dog’s consumption of peanuts, continued use of peanuts are just fine. Overfeeding can be detrimental to the well-being of your pup, so keep that in mind when you give him or her that treat. If used discriminately, peanuts can be a fine addition to the diet of your dog!



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