Is Peanut Butter Good For Dogs?

Julia Henriques
is peanut butter good for dogs

If you're a dog owner, chances are you've given your dog peanut butter as a treat for to hide pills. It's also a common ingredient in a lot of dog treats.

But is peanut butter good for dogs?

In fact, there are some potential risks of peanut butter to be aware of before feeding it to your dog.

The Problems With Peanut Butter For Dogs

Here are some reasons to avoid giving your dog peanut butter.  


Many peanut butters have added sugar. Dogs have no need for sugar, and it can be harmful because sugar feeds yeast, bacteria, and parasites

Sugar can also cause diabetes, food allergies, premature aging, and low-level inflammation, and some experts say it may feed cancer cells. 

Some peanut butter manufacturers even add xylitol to their ingredients, which can kill dogs – and there’s no antidote.

Always check peanut butter ingredient labels to make sure you’re not giving your dog sugar or potentially deadly xylitol. 

RELATED: Where xylitol is hiding ...

Trans Fats

Many peanut butters contain hydrogenated or trans-fatty acids. The hydrogenation process used to make these fats more stable creates a highly toxic substance linked to chronic inflammation and diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Roasting nuts can also cause the fats in peanuts to go rancid, adding to the potential health risks.  

Check the labels for trans fats before buying your peanut butter, and if you see hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients, leave it on the shelf.


Glyphosate (Roundup), a widely used herbicide in agriculture, has been linked to many health problems in both humans and animals, including cancer. 

The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.”  Exposure to glyphosate can increase cancer risk by 41%, according to a recent study. Some countries have even banned it. 

Farmers use herbicides like Roundup not only to prevent weeds but also as a desiccant to dry crops like legumes (peanuts are a legume) for earlier harvest. This pre-harvest spray is absorbed by the crops and can’t be washed off, so it increases the amount of glyphosate your dog eats.

Testing has found glyphosate in some peanut butter brands. It's important to read labels carefully and choose a brand that uses non-GMO and organic ingredients.

When you shop for peanut butter, choose brands that use non-GMO and organic ingredients to minimize the risk of toxic herbicides. 

RELATED: How to avoid glyphosate exposure for dogs ...


Aflatoxins are toxins produced by certain molds that can grow on peanuts and other crops. Aflatoxin mold is known to be carcinogenic and can cause liver disease or failure, as well as food allergies, autoimmune reactions, and inflammation.

When it comes to peanut butter, the risk of aflatoxin poisoning is actually lower in the biggest name, processed brands, surprisingly. This may be because larger brands impose quality control measures to minimize the risk of mold contamination. 

Some smaller brands may not have the same quality control measures in place, which could increase the risk of aflatoxin contamination. In fact, some studies show that aflatoxins are actually higher in some “healthy” fresh-ground peanut butters at the local market or health foods store. 

It just goes to show that even with organic and healthier brands of peanut butter, it’s still a risky food for your dog. 

Is Organic Peanut Butter Good For Dogs?

Organic peanut butter may seem like a healthy and safe option for your dog, but there are still some things to watch out for. Despite being made from non-GMO, pesticide-free peanuts, organic peanut butter can still be contaminated with aflatoxins, which can be harmful to your dog's liver and overall health.

And even though organic peanut butter is made from high-quality ingredients, it can still be processed in a way that reduces its nutritional value. Some organic peanut butter brands will still contain added sugars, salts, or other harmful ingredients you should avoid.

Organic peanut butter may also still contain traces of glyphosate, especially if the peanuts were sprayed with herbicides before harvesting. It's crucial to choose a brand that is transparent about their production process and uses non-GMO, organic ingredients.

Is Natural Peanut Butter Good For Dogs?

Natural peanut butter for dogs is another alternative option, as it's typically made from just peanuts and doesn't contain any added sugars or preservatives. This means it can be a healthier choice than many other peanut butter varieties, which can be high in sugars, salts, and unhealthy fats.

However, even natural peanut butter can contain aflatoxins.

Bottom Line | Is Peanut Butter Good For Dogs?

In the end, almost all foods have their risks and rewards. So you may be still asking,  “is peanut butter good for dogs?”

The truth is, peanut butter doesn't provide much nutritional value for dogs. Sure, it can be a tasty treat, and help you get your dog to take medicines … but the risks of aflatoxin poisoning and other health concerns may not be worth it.

At the end of the day, your dog's health and wellbeing should be your top priority. While peanut butter can be a tempting treat, it's important to weigh the risks and consider healthier options that can still provide your dog with the occasional indulgence he deserves.

RELATED: The best dog training treats ...


Still got questions about giving your dog peanut butter? Here are some common questions we receive and their answers…

Is Regular Peanut Butter Good For Dogs?

Regular peanut butter may contain additives such as sugar and salt that can be harmful to dogs in large amounts. It can also be high in fat and calories, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems. If you choose to give your dog regular peanut butter, make sure it's raw and free of hydrogenated fats, and use it as an occasional treat in small amounts.

Is Almond Butter Good For Dogs?

A small amount of almond butter may be okay for some dogs, and it’s a source of vitamin E, magnesium and riboflavin … but almonds can be difficult for dogs to digest and can cause gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, some almond butter brands may contain added ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. Safer options include cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, or hemp seed butter 

RELATED: Peanut butter alternatives for dogs … 

Can Peanut Butter Cause Pancreatitis In Dogs? 

While peanut butter itself is not likely to cause pancreatitis in dogs, the high fat content can be a contributing factor in dogs who are prone to the condition.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Too Much Peanut Butter? 

If your dog eats too much peanut butter, monitor him for signs of digestive upset such as vomiting or diarrhea. It’s a good idea to fast him for 12 hours to give his digestive system a break (but don’t fast puppies or very small dogs). In severe cases, you may need to take your dog to the vet.

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