Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? When it is or isn’t an Emergency

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

These days, there are so many different varieties of peanut butter we can purchase off the shelves. Unfortunately, not all peanut butter products are safe for dogs to eat and it’s imperative for dog owners to check the product label before they let their dogs lick off some tasty peanut butter.

How peanut butter can make dogs sick

When checking the label of peanut butter products, there are a couple of things dog owners should look out for. First, check if the peanut butter is using any artificial sweeteners like xylitol. These sweeteners are toxic to dogs and it doesn’t take much for them to have an effect on a dog’s health. Xylitol, for example, can cause hypoglycemia in dogs. “Sugar-free” labels are usually an obvious sign that products use artificial sweeteners.

Next, check the amount calories and fat the peanut butter product contains. As a general rule of thumb, treats like peanut butter should be less than 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake. Dogs that consume too much human food that are high in fat and calories are likely to suffer from various health problems including pancreatitis and obesity. This is why it’s important to limit the amount of peanut butter you let your dog eat.

Last but not least, check for the amount of sodium the peanut butter contains. Too much sodium is bad for dogs especially those with kidney issues.

Which peanut butter is safe for dogs

As a dog owner, your best bet is to look for a peanut butter product that’s unsalted and also doesn’t contain extra sugars and other potentially unhealthy additives. The safest options would be to either buy peanut butter made specifically for pets or to make your own homemade peanut butter! You would then know exactly what went into the peanut butter.

Want to know what else dog owners should be careful of aside from peanut butter? our human food list has it covered with 100+ human foods that are or aren’t safe for dogs to eat.

Can dogs eat chunky peanut butter?

A little bit of chunky peanut butter is fine for dogs as an occasional treat but there are a couple of things you need to check beforehand.

First, check the product label carefully and make sure the chunky peanut butter doesn’t contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as xylitol. Another lesser-known ingredient that needs to be checked is palm oil. Some chunky peanut butter products use palm oil, instead of partially hydrogenated oils, because it could offer a healthier choice between the two.

Unfortunately, palm oil isn’t so great for dogs. It’s not considered poisonous but it can have a laxative effect and may cause sickness in dogs. Common symptoms may include diarrhea and dehydration for dogs that consume too much palm oil.

Second, check the consistency and texture of the chunky peanut butter. The chances are low but some chunky peanut butter products may pose a choking hazard, especially for small-breed dogs and puppies. Creamy peanut butter might be a safer option for small dogs.

It’s important that you moderate the amount of chunky peanut butter your dog eats due to the amount of fat and calories the peanut butter contains. Dogs that are given chunky peanut butter too often may end up suffering from weight problems sooner than later.

Popular chunky peanut butter brands

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of some of the most popular peanut butter brands. First up, we have Jiffy or Jif peanut butter. This brand has a variety of crunchy peanut butters including the crunch and extra crunchy version. At the time we wrote this, the extra crunchy version contained ingredients such as fully-hydrogenated vegetable oils, molasses, and roasted peanuts. It’s xylitol and palm oil-free so we could assume Jif is safe for most dogs to eat in tiny amounts.

Another popular peanut butter brand is Skippy. If we take a look at the ingredients of the Skippy SUPER CHUNK peanut butter, it’s pretty similar to Jif. Most notable ingredients include roasted peanuts, fully-hydrogenated oils like soybean and rapeseed oil, and salt. Skippy should also be fine for most dogs to eat as an occasional treat.

Chunky peanut butter brands that contain xylitol

It’s typically the products that are labeled as sugar-free that do contain xylitol. One example is the Go Nuts Co. Peanut butter. Their website states that some of their products contain sweeteners like xylitol. These days, there aren’t as many peanut butter brands that use xylitol as an ingredient but it’s always worth asking if you are ever in doubt or if you are purchasing a product from lesser-known brands.

What to do if your dog eats too much peanut butter

Did your dog help himself to a jar of chunky peanut butter while you weren’t around? First, make sure it wasn’t the kind that contains any toxic ingredients. Next, watch over your dog carefully for the next few hours and make sure he has access to plenty of drinking water.

A visit to the vet is probably unnecessary unless your dog starts to show signs of sickness including symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue, and vomiting. It may help to temporarily switch your dog’s diet to something bland like boiled chicken and rice if your dog goes through episodes of mild stomach upsets.


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