Peanut butter is a delicious treat for humans. That much is certain. But how do dogs react to peanut butter? That is the question that this article seeks to answer. It’s good to know of any potential side effects before feeding your chi a spoonful of that awesome treat.
Can Chihuahuas eat peanut butter?
Yes, Chihuahuas can eat peanut butter. Most kinds of peanut butter are safe for Chihuahuas, and peanut butter provides important nutritional value for them. However, you’ll want to check the servings as too much peanut butter may lead to health problems including pancreatitis and obesity. In addition, avoid peanut butter that has high sodium levels and those that contain extra sugars, additives, and xylitol (used as a sweetener).
Some of the brands that use xylitol include Go Nut Co., Krush Nutrition, P28 Foods, Protein Plus PB, and Nuts ‘N More – avoid them for your Chihuahua. Unsalted peanut butter or homemade peanut butter is the best choice for your chi.
Table of Contents
The nutritional content of peanut butter
According to nutritionists, 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter has the following nutrients
|Protein||7.02 g (grams)|
|Magnesium||57 mg (milligrams)|
|Vitamin B6||0.17 g|
|Vitamin E||3 mg|
|Saturated fats||3.05 g|
Nutritional value of peanut butter for Chihuahuas
The above nutrients provide the following benefits for Chihuahuas
Protein is important to a Chihuahua’s health. The essential amino acids that their body derives from protein enables the chi to develop healthy skin and hair, proper muscle growth, tissue repair, among other benefits.
Magnesium fortifies the nervous system of Chihuahuas. For instance, it prevents convulsions that may be caused by problems with the nervous system.
This nutrient helps to strengthen muscle and bone formation and maintenance. Phosphorus also prevents rickets, bowed legs, among other bone deformities that may result from calcium and phosphorus deficiency.
This is an important nutrient in a chi’s body. Zinc enables normal growth and healthy skin.
This is a B vitamin that helps a Chihuahua to properly metabolize protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Niacin is also important in maintaining the healthy skin of your Chihuahua.
6. Vitamin B6
This nutrient is essential in the synthesis of niacin. Vitamin B6 also plays a crucial role in glucose generation, maintaining the nervous system and immune system, and in gene activation.
7. Vitamin E
This nutrient helps in the proper functioning of muscles as well as internal and reproductive organs. It also ensures good blood circulation for your Chihuahua.
8. Saturated fats
Saturated fats provide several benefits among dogs of all kinds. For instance, saturated fats improve the texture of food, provide energy, and helps in digesting fat-soluble vitamins that may be in the food.
Potential risks with feeding peanut butter to Chihuahuas
Things to keep in mind as you serve peanut butter will include:
1. Sodium content in the peanut butter.
In moderate amounts, sodium will leads to increased thirst in the Chihuahua and a need for water (for hydration purposes). Providing fresh water will alleviate these effects after a short while.
However, a large portion of salted peanut butter (containing sodium) over an extended period of time may result in sodium poisoning characterized by extreme thirst and/or brain swelling in some serious cases.
To be clear, it is not that sodium is bad for your Chihuahua. Indeed, sodium is important in your chi’s diet but it should be in the correct amounts.
Sodium helps your chi to maintain the proper functioning of the cells in the body (cell fluid balance, acid-base balance, and nerve signal transmission).
But here’s the tricky part: most dog food will contain sufficient amounts of sodium (between 0.25g and 1.5g per 100g depending on the dog size and type). Therefore, additional sodium from salted peanut butter may provide an adverse reaction.
For this reason, vets recommend sticking with unsalted peanut butter to avoid these adverse effects.
And in some cases, salted peanut butter may end up being too much of a delicacy to give up for the unsalted kind – which means that it’s best to get your chi used to the unsalted taste of peanut butter from the onset.
2. Xylitol in certain peanut butter brands
Some peanut butter brands use xylitol as an additive, which is bad/toxic for all dogs generally.
So, what is xylitol and why is it used in peanut butter?
Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is used to add taste to most human snacks and chewables such as chewing gum, breath mints, and chewable vitamins. Certain baked goods and toothpaste also use xylitol.
Usually, manufacturers add xylitol in these items with human beings in mind, which means that you won’t have to worry about adverse effects for yourself.
However, dogs are a completely different matter. Consuming xylitol increase the insulin levels in dogs’ bodies rapidly combined with a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels.
The medical term for this condition is hypoglycemia and it can occur within an hour of consuming the xylitol. It can be life-threatening if it is not treated immediately.
Signs of adverse effects of xylitol may include:
i. Pale gums
ii. Unusual change in body temperature
iii. Staggering while walking
iv. Weak or racing pulse
v. Trouble standing straight
vi. Seizure and unconsciousness
vii. Rapid breathing
If your pooch has inadvertently eaten peanut butter that contains xylitol and you’re concerned about the effects, speak with your vet immediately.
Thankfully, you can avoid all that hassle and the nasty hypoglycemia that may or may not happen – but is still a serious risk.
By checking the label on your peanut butter to ensure that there isn’t any xylitol in there, you’re looking out for your furry friend who may not know any better.
Some of the popular brands that we know contains xylitol include Go Nut Co., Krush Nutrition, P28 Foods, Protein Plus PB, and Nuts ‘N More. It’s best to avoid serving your chi these peanut butter brands even in small amounts.
Important: You may be wondering how to spot xylitol in peanut butter labels. Worry not. The letters “xyl” should be a warning call for your chi’s safety. Some ingredients such as anhydroxylitol, xylitylglucoside, and D-xylitol contain xylitol. It is better to keep a wide berth from such ingredients for your Chihuahua’s sake.
3. Too much peanut butter
Even though peanut butter has a lot of nutritional value for your Chihuahua, too much of it can lead to health problems.
For instance, too much peanut butter can lead to an unhealthy weight gain as well as conditions such as pancreatitis.
To figure out a safe portion for your chi, it’s important to speak with your vet or a dietitian specializing in animal nutrition.
But if you insist on winging it, which I wouldn’t recommend, then keep the peanut butter as no more than 10 percent of your chi’s daily diet. This is the standard portioning for all treats that you’ll feed to your Chihuahua.
Generally, a rule of thumb is that smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas should not get more than ½ tablespoon of peanut butter per day.
In addition to watching the portion of peanut butter, you can try to alternate between peanut butter and other treats such as fruit treats and veggie treats. There are many options out there.
Important: If the Chihuahua has chronic pancreatitis or is prone to the disease, it is better to avoid peanut butter entirely as even a small amount of it can worsen the health of your Chihuahua.
Other kinds of Chihuahua that should not be given peanut butter include:
i. Overweight Chihuahua – Since peanut butter contains substantial fat content, the treat can end up doing more than good, especially if the chi develops a taste for it. So, you can opt for leaner treats that are just as delicious, such as chicken, tuna, and ham.
ii. Chihuahua with kidney problems – The sodium content in peanut butter is not good for a Chihuahua with kidney issues.
iii. Chihuahua on a diet – Peanut butter is delicious – that much is a fact. It is also, admittedly, not the most healthy of treats. But once in a while is okay. However, a Chihuahua that has special diets need to stick to those diets; a little taste of peanut butter may cause the chi to take his or her eye off the ball for a while, which is not what we want, right?
What is the best peanut butter for your Chihuahua?
Generally speaking, the best peanut butter for your Chihuahua contains little additives and especially zero xylitol.
Most commercially produced peanut butter contains additives such as salt, sugar, palm oil, corn syrup, and hydrogenated vegetable oil.
These additives will not kill your Chihuahua but it is good to avoid them since they contribute to serious health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, among others.
Make sure you read the labels carefully.
Don’t take their words for it (“all-natural” or “no artificial sweeteners” on the front label). Xylitol is regarded as an “all-natural” sweetener after all.
The ultimate peanut butter is of course the one you make yourself. If you have a good blender or a food processor, you can make truly natural peanut butter for your Chihuahua right in your kitchen.
Recipes like this almond butter one by showmetheyummy.com show that the peanut butter you make at home can be just as delicious for your furry pal as the one you buy from the store.
Fun uses for peanut butter
1. A high-value reward
During training, it is important to have sufficient motivation. And in that case, you can’t go wrong with a bit of peanut butter.
Peanut butter is regarded as a high-value treat. That means that the Chihuahua will work very hard to earn this treat.
And the Chihuahua will associate peanut butter with that command. So, peanut butter can help you achieve the best results during training.
2. An entertainment tool
Some Chihuahua owners smear a little peanut butter on their puppy’s toys such as Kong toys or chewing toys.
The pleasantly surprised Chihuahua faces make it worth the effort. Therefore, peanut butter can be a good way to spruce up your Chihuahua’s chill time.
3. A Happy Distraction
You could also use peanut butter to distract your chi when engaged in an activity that is not fun for him or her.
For instance, when bathing your chi or clipping his or her nails, you could smear a little peanut butter on the bath tiles so he or she has something to focus on while you work on him or her.
4. An easy time medicating
Medication is not fun. But you can make this time a slightly less unpleasant by hiding the pill(s) inside a little peanut butter.
Peanut butter is a great treat for Chihuahuas and, like other dogs, they will savor every bit of it.
To stay on the good side of things, make sure you avoid peanut butter that contains xylitol.
Additives such as sugar, salt, palm oil, corn syrup, and hydrogenated vegetable oil are not toxic for Chihuahuas but in the long term, they could cause health problems.
The best route is to make homemade peanut butter at home if you can. That way, you’ll be confident that your Chihuahua gets all the nutritional value while avoiding the dangers of commercially produced peanut butter.
Can dogs eat peanuts?
Yes, dogs can eat peanuts. Dry-roasted or raw, unsalted peanuts are the safest choice of peanuts for dogs. However, you’ll need to watch out for the amount that your pooch eats. Due to the high fat content of peanuts, too much of it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, or an upset stomach – dogs find it hard to digest fat.
Can dogs eat skippy peanut butter?
Yes, dogs can eat skippy peanut butter. Skippy peanut butter is a safe and common kind of peanut butter because it does not include xylitol. However, serve moderately.
Can peanut butter upset a dog’s stomach?
Yes and No. Peanut butter can upset a dog’s stomach when it is served in huge amounts. However, if you stick to a small portion (as recommended by your vet), then there should be no stomach upset issues. But hey, dogs are different. If you do everything right and an upset stomach still comes along, it’s good to consult your vet to ensure that your pooch doesn’t have underlying issues.
Can dogs eat crunchy peanut butter?
Yes, dogs can eat crunchy peanut butter. Some people are concerned about crunchy peanut butter because it is said to be a choking hazard. However, this is highly unlikely because you’ll be serving a small amount. Crunchy peanut butter can be a choking hazard when it is served in large amounts to a small dog or puppy. But once again, you’ll be observing the limit so it should be fine.
What peanut butter has xylitol in it?
Some of the common peanut butter that has xylitol in it include Go Nuts Co., Krush Nutrition, P28 Foods, Nuts ‘N More, and Protein Plus PB. It is best to check the label to ensure that some of the ingredients that contain xylitol are not in the peanut butter. These include anhydroxylitol, xylitylglucoside, and D-xylitol contain xylitol.