Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Medically Reviewed by Kathleen Claussen, DVM on December 05, 2021
4 min read

Dogs love peanut butter, but is it safe for them? Since peanut butter consists of peanuts, does this mean peanuts are good for dogs? 

Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are not as simple as a "yes" or "no." Some types of peanut butter can cause an allergic reaction or be fatal for your dog. Let's find out why.

Peanuts are a powerhouse food that contain valuable minerals and vitamins. 

They're healthy for dogs, just like humans. Peanuts provide our pets with essential nutrients, such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, and much more. 

But you need to be cautious if you want to treat your dog with peanuts every day.

Yes, in small quantities. Choosing the right kind of peanuts and peanut butter is also important for your dog’s health.

It's important to know that peanuts are rich in fat. Since dogs generally struggle to digest fats, this could lead to some digestive problems. 

Some common signs of digestive upset in dogs include vomiting and diarrhea. 

In most cases, eating too many fats can lead to a painful condition called pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of your dog's pancreas due to the regular consumption of fats. 

Although the condition is treatable, it can also become fatal.

So can dogs eat peanuts? Yes, they can, but in small quantities. 

The best types of peanuts are the unsalted, dry-roasted, or raw ones, but they might not be as delicious as the salted ones. If your dog comes in contact with one or two salted peanuts, they'll be fine. 

But eating too many salted peanuts has some disadvantages. These peanuts contain large quantities of sodium that can be harmful to your dog's health. So use low-sodium peanuts whenever preparing a treat for your dog.

Peanut butter is a tasty treat for dogs. But the wrong product can cause them to have a severe allergic reaction. The safest choice of peanut butter for your dog is one that doesn't contain an artificial sweetener known as xylitol.

Although this ingredient is often used in many food products as a replacement for sugar, it is highly toxic for dogs, even when consumed in small quantities. 

It can cause a condition known as hypoglycemia, which refers to a drop in blood sugar level resulting in liver failure that can be fatal. 

As a responsible pet owner, you must always check the peanut butter label before buying it for your dog. If you see xylitol in the ingredients list, keep it out of your shopping cart. Some brands also use "natural sweetener" or "sugar alcohol" in place of the xylitol.

Remember not to give peanut butter in large quantities to your dog, whether or not it contains xylitol. Always keep your pet's diet moderate and balanced so that they stay healthy for a long time.

If your dog happens to eat xylitol, call your vet right away or animal poison control. Some common signs of xylitol poisoning can be disorientation, seizures, panting, staggering, or collapsing.

Some dogs with underlying health conditions should avoid eating peanuts altogether, including:

  • Dogs with kidney issues. Peanut butter usually contains a lot of sodium or salt, which may worsen your dog's kidney problems.
  • Dogs on specific diets. Some dogs are on strict, vet-recommended diets. So if your dog is on a special diet, it's better not to give them peanut butter.
  • Dogs with increased weight. Peanut butter is high in fats, so it isn't good for overweight dogs. 

Moderation is the key to determining the proper peanut dosage for your dog. If your dog loves peanuts, you shouldn't allow them to eat more than a few peanuts a day. 

Plan to take a break of two to three days in between the intake. 

It's better to remove the peanut shells before giving them to your dog, especially the smaller breeds. That's because the fibrous material can make your four-legged friend choke. 

If you have more questions or concerns, visit your vet and determine the right and safe peanut dosage for your furry friend.

No, nuts are not bad for our furry friends if consumed in small amounts. But it's better to avoid giving your dog peanuts or similar treats regularly. 

Most pet owners also prefer to make homemade treats for their dogs. This allows them to adjust the quantities of ingredients and eliminate any health risks.