A Deeper Look at Peanut Butter for Dogs and Cats

Read on to learn more about peanut butter for dogs and cats and what you need to know.

Your furry friend may love treats, but what should you give them? While there may be a variety of snacks for your pets, it’s always best to go with a veterinarian-approved food option. From parties, holidays, or a family gathering it may be easy for your furry family member to eat something they shouldn’t. Because of this, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about peanut butter for dogs and cats and whether it’s a hazard for your furry friends.

Peanut butter for dogs and cats

Can dogs and cats eat peanut butter?

While there may be plenty for your pets to snack on, you may wonder which items are in your pantry. Although some human foods can be given to a dog or cat in moderation, not all foods are pet-friendly. Nold points out some important factors surrounding peanut butter and your furry friends.

“Peanut butter is safe for dogs and cats to eat, but it’s high in fat and should only be giving sparingly. Also, this is especially true in pets that are overweight. Consult with your veterinarian before giving peanut butter to a pet that has a history of pancreatitis or is being treated for a food allergy.”

Regardless of whether you want to give peanut butter as a snack or with your pet’s medication, it’s important to talk with your veterinarian. They can help recommend appropriate food items based on your pet’s breed, species, or diet. Further, not all pets are the same and some may not like the taste of peanut butter.

The dangers of xylitol

One of the most important reasons to consult with your veterinarian about your pet’s food options is the risk of your pet ingesting a toxin. While not all peanut butter is a hazard, some may have the ingredient xylitol, which can be hazardous to your pet’s health.

In addition, “if you choose to give peanut butter to your dog you need to make sure it doesn’t contain the sugar substitute xylitol,” states Nold. Further, the ingredient xylitol may appear in a variety of food products, like mint, chocolate, or gum. For an additional resource on xylitol, check out this guide here.

Signs of xylitol ingestion

You may not always know if your pet has ingested a toxic food item. Since xylitol may be found in numerous substances, in small items, you may not notice an item is missing. Also, xylitol ingestion can cause very low blood pressure in pets,” says Nold.

Nold points out some common signs if your pet has ingested an item with xylitol.

Consider the following:
  • Weakness
  • Collapse
  • Seizures

What to do if an ingestion has occurred

If you believe your pet has ingested an item with xylitol or any other household hazard, please seek medical care. Also, in the case of high doses of xylitol, it may cause destruction of the liver,” states Nold. The most important factor is to seek the medical care and expertise of your veterinarian.

Peanut butter for dogs and cats may be a safe snack in moderation

Whether you choose to give your pet a small dose or a snack in an enrichment toy, be mindful of your pet’s behavior. In fact, all treats and snacks for your furry friends should be in moderation and under supervision. But by reading the ingredients list and talking with your veterinarian, your pet may enjoy an unexpected treat!

For more on pet hazards, read Toxic Foods for Dogs and Cats this Thanksgiving

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