Glorious Peanut Butter, And All The Amazingly Silly Faces Our Pups Make When It Gets Stuck To The Roofs Of Their Mouths
Unlike some of the letters for the A to Z Challenge, where I had a hard time thinking of foods to use for them, I had quite a few ideas for the letter P. I was going to go with pumpkin, or pork (one of Kitsune's favorites!) but decided to stick (pun intended) with peanut butter, since it's such a classic dog snack.
Last June I posted about one of the potential dangers of feeding dogs peanut butter. Some pb brands now contain xylitol. This sugar substitute is safe for humans, but deadly for dogs. It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyways), if you're going to give pb to your dog make sure it does not contain xylitol first.
On my xylitol post I got some interesting feedback about what owners think about feeding pb in general - everything from people commenting to say that pb is an affordable and not unhealthy snack, to others stating that dogs shouldn't be allowed 'people food'.
I give my dogs peanut butter. I occasionally make them peanut butter treats, and it's the ultimate classic Kong filler.
Are There Any Benefits To Feeding Peanut Butter?
Other than the fact that most dogs love it, that is. And seriously...those peanut butter faces! Too cute!
Peanut butter contains healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein that can help give your dog a boost of energy. Both of my dogs are highly active. My favorite time to give them a pb stuffed Kong is after a long hike. Not only does the pb seem to help restore some of their energy, but the act of licking it out of their Kongs keeps them occupied, and helps relax them after a busy day.
Peanut butter also contains vitamins B3, and E, as well as magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants. Biotin in pb may help support a healthy coat, skin, and nails. Vitamin E can help to support a healthy immune system.
But All Peanut Butter Is Not Created Equal
In a perfect world, we'd not only be feeding our dogs all natural/no additives pb, but we'd be eating it ourselves as well. Many brands of peanut butter sold for human consumption contain added ingredients such as salt, sugar, and oils. While pb containing these things, in small amounts, shouldn't hurt our dogs, they aren't exactly healthy either. You could avoid additives by making your own pb, which actually isn't too hard. You could also purchase organic, salt free pb to avoid as many additives as possible.
I'll admit that, most of the time, I don't make my own peanut butter, or buy the fancy organic brands. What I do do is make sure that I only feed pb in moderation. Too much of it can cause stomach upset. The high fat content means it probably isn't the best snack for overweight dogs, and too much fat in the diet can sometimes lead to a painful condition called pancreatitis.
Dogs, like people, can be allergic to peanuts so pay close attention if you are feeding your dog peanut butter for the first time. And, like I mentioned above, always make sure to avoid brands that contain xylitol!
This post is a part of the 2016 Blogging from A to Z challenge! You can learn more about our challenge theme here.
Does your dog like peanut butter? How do you serve it to him/her - in a Kong, baked into treats, another way?