Are Nut Butters Safe for Dogs?

It’s no secret that dogs love peanut butter.

You’ve seen the pet food aisles are filled with peanut butter flavored dog treats. Maybe you’ve even bought them. You might be one of those dog lovers who give your peanut butter loving hound a stuffed kong to keep him happily occupied.

But in recent years, peanut allergies (in humans) are on the rise so you have to think twice about where you might introduce those peanutty doggie treats. You certainly wouldn’t pull them out near a crowd of children.

Perhaps as a result of those peanut allergies, or simply to satiate humanity's need for variety, the food industry has introduced a whole slew of nut butters. Cashew, almond, sunflower, hazelnut -- these are just a few of the nut butters lining the shelves at your local supermarket.

There’s even a “no nut” butter on the market. But are they safe for your dog? What about the nuts themselves, roasted almonds, pecans, pistachios, macadamias and more, are those safe for your dog to snack on? Let’s find out.

The New Nuts: Are These Nut Butters Safe for Your Dog?

nut butters safe for dogsPeanut Butter - Let’s start with the old standby of peanut butter. When smeared into a kong or given as a baked treat, most dogs adore the taste of peanut butter. If your dog is one of those, you can rest easy knowing that peanut allergies are extremely rare in dogs and unless it’s an issue with those around you, your dog can continue enjoying peanut butter within moderation. Due to the rise in peanut allergies though, you may be reluctant to take peanut treats out into the world and that makes sense.

Cashew Butter - Turns out this lovely, crescent moon shaped nut is also acceptable for dogs in small doses.
A few roasted cashews here and there are fine. Ditto to the nut butter. You can share a bit with Fido, just don’t overdo it.

Almond Butter -- Yes, your furry friend can enjoy the occasional taste of almond butter. However, not all dogs can digest almonds well so while they’re not toxic, proceed with caution.

All nuts are high in fat which can upset your pup’s tummy so if you want to share roasted nuts or nut butter, limit your dog’s intake.

Which Nuts Are on the “Don’t” List?

Macadamias, pistachios, and walnuts in any form are on the “no” list when it comes to your pup. In fact, macadamia nuts even contain a toxic chemical that can cause problems in your dog’s brain. Any chocolate coated nut should also be kept out of your dog's reach. 

For your dog's safety, you'll also want to make sure you avoid the nut butters made with additives such as the popular sweetener xylitol. This ingredient is highly dangerous to dogs. You’ll usually find it in sugar-free or reduced sugar products so be sure to read the label before you feed anything inside to your dog. 

Now that you know many nuts have the potential to poison your dog, you’ll want to make sure they’re all kept out of reach of your dog and you're in control of them. Of course, there are other concerns too. 

Don’t Forget that Nuts Are High in Fat

Even if you can still indulge your dog’s love of peanut butter, you’ll want to remember that it's high in fat. Because of the fat content, not only can nuts pack on the pounds but too much can cause GI distress like tummy aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. Which means moderation is recommended.

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