It is hard to deny that dogs love peanut butter even more than most things. Most of them go truly crazy for this treat. Why do dogs love peanut butter so much? And is it okay to indulge them in this love affair?

Dogs Love Peanut Butter: The Basics

Many canine nutrition specialists think dogs love peanut butter for the same reasons we do. The combination of sweet and salt provides a winning (and memorable) explosion on the tongue. If your dog has ever tasted peanut butter, simply getting a whiff of its scent is enough to trigger the taste memory. 

Tasty Prize

Many owners use peanut butter as a treat or as a reward for good behavior. Because of this, dogs instantly associate peanut butter with positive emotions. They might also enjoy the fact that it is a treat that you also eat. It is not often that dogs get to enjoy the foods their owners do. All of these factors combine to make peanut butter even more special for your pup.

Fat, Salt, and Protein Combo

Fat and salt are two nutrients that are not common in a wild dog’s diet, but they can be found in peanut butter. This makes it feel special and more like a treat (kind of like dessert for us). Dogs are drawn to food with certain nutrients (like fat and protein). Many experts believe that chemical receptors in their brains will make peanut butter even more enticing for a hungry canine.

Peanut Butter Safety and Dogs

While peanut butter is a common treat for dogs, owners should use caution before starting to feed it to their own pups. Not every peanut butter brand is safe for canine consumption. And too much of a good thing can spell trouble.

Dog-Safe Peanut Butter

When searching for peanut butter for a dog, it is important to avoid any brands that include xylitol as an ingredient. If a dog eats xylitol, he or she could experience a life-threatening drop in blood sugar. It could also lead to liver damage, diarrhea, and seizures. Try to avoid peanut butter brands that have added sugar or other additives. Stick to organic options that only contain peanuts and salt for the best and safest treat. 

Safe Amount of Peanut Butter

Dogs love peanut butter, but it is a rich, high-calorie food, so be careful how much you give to your dogs. Treats like peanut butter should only make up about 10 percent of your dog’s diet. Even large dogs should not have more than a teaspoon of peanut butter in a day (if you give them more, be sure to decrease the amount of food you serve). Regulate the amount of peanut butter you give to keep your dog healthy and at a healthy weight. 

At OVRS, we believe in combining high-quality veterinary care with helpful lifestyle tips. This gives pet owners the resources they need to keep pets happy and healthy all year long. Call (248) 334-6877 to learn more about our services.