Dogs definitely love the taste of peanut butter but many are wondering if it is healthy to their dogs or if it has some health benefits to them. Many vets would agree that peanut butter is safe for dogs (except for those dogs that are allergic to peanuts) but they do not agree when it comes to the health benefits of the sweet and creamy treat to dogs.
Like humans, some dogs are allergic to peanuts. Dogs can also develop the allergy after regular consumption so dog owners have to be aware of signs and symptoms of peanut allergy. Itching and redness of the coat is the most common symptom but bald spots could also be a long term effect of the allergy as the allergen does not affect your dog immediately. If you suspect that your dog is allergic to peanuts, keep any peanut-based products away from it and consult your vet right away for your dog to be diagnosed.
If your dog is free from peanut allergy, then you can definitely give it as a great snack to your dogs. So, is peanut butter good for dogs? The answer is depending on who you ask because vets vary on their opinion about the benefits of the product to dogs. But for the sake of all dog owners that have peanut butter-loving pooches, according to some veterinarians, peanut butter is not only safe to your four-legged companion but is also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Peanut is actually not a nut and it is high in protein and other vitamins and minerals
Peanut is actually different from nut specie; it is a member of the legume family or more known as bean family thus contains high level of protein. It is said that peanut contain 25% of protein and is a good source of vitamin E that benefits your dog’s skin, niacin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous and niacin.
Peanut butter as a peanut-based product may contain the same nutrients but also has significant amount of cholesterol as it undergoes process and the naturally sodium and transfat-free peanut may become high in unsaturated fats, sodium and sugar because of the ingredients added to it in the process.
Peanut butter overfeeding warning
While dogs may benefit from the nutrients and vitamins that they get from eating peanut butter and it is a great snack that they would definitely love to gobble up, there is a warning in overfeeding it especially those that have high preservatives and other ingredients that may be toxic to your pooches.
According to medical experts, peanut butter contains aflatoxins, harmful fats and high level of sugar. Aflatoxins are a produced naturally by a fungus identified as aspergillus which is said to be naturally present in peanut butters. This by-product of mycotoxin is responsible for causing cancers and it is toxic to the liver. Fats and sugar on the other hand, may cause health problems such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer.
So, the next time you feed your dog some peanut butter, think of the benefits versus the risk. There is no doubt that your canines will love the taste of the treat and they even get crazy over it but as long as there is a division of opinion among vets and differences in the results of studies regarding the product, discretion is left to dog owners on whether they give peanut butter to their dogs or not.