Can Dogs Eat Peanuts and Peanut Butter?

Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
By Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
Updated: 5/20/20242-4 minutes
person sitting in chair petting a golden retriever

You probably already know that chocolate and grapes should not be fed to dogs. But what about another great snack: peanuts? Peanuts are not only tasty, they’re also high in nutrients such as protein and vitamins B6 and E.

Could you share your favorite treat with your favorite pooch and not fear an impromptu visit to the vet later on? Keep reading to find out if dogs can eat peanuts and whether or not peanut butter is a good idea for your four-legged friend.

Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Yes, in small amounts. Although peanuts are not toxic to dogs and your pet can enjoy their nutritional benefits when fed occasionally, peanuts can also be potentially unsafe for dogs in particular instances. For example, you should avoid salted or flavored peanuts or any with a chocolate coating. The best peanuts to feed a dog are unsalted, dry-roasted or raw peanuts (without the shells), ideally offered sparingly as a small treat.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your vet before feeding your dog any human foods. Asking for specialist advice for your particular dog can go a long way towards avoiding unusual reactions including potential allergies or gastrointestinal issues

How to Feed Peanuts to Your Dog

As with any human food you intend to feed your dog, simple is best. Unsalted peanuts might not be your first choice, but for dogs, that’s exactly how snacks should be: free from any seasoning and flavorings. Make sure you remove the shells as these can be a choking hazard. You can also minimize the risk of choking by crushing the peanuts instead of offering them whole.

Another good tip is to offer only a few peanuts every now and then. Even if your dog loves them, daily servings are not ideal, and they can quickly nudge your dog’s calorie count over the limit.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter, but it’s important to check the label before spoiling your dog with this delicious treat as added ingredients could be harmful for them. For example, xylitol, a sugar substitute, is extremely toxic for dogs and can sometimes be found in peanut butter. So always avoid foods containing this product. The key is to make sure your dog’s snack is safe as well as tasty!

How Can Dogs Have Peanut Butter in a Safe Way?

If you’ve got a dog with a soft spot for peanut butter, here’s how to make sure your pup doesn’t miss out on their favorite treat while avoiding unwanted health consequences:

  • Portion control is key
    • Unfortunately, many delicious foods are also full of calories and peanut butter is one of them. If your dog is overweight, make sure you discuss this with your vet before choosing peanut butter for their treat time. Moderation is important, so don’t make peanut butter a daily reward, and just give a small amount occasionally for your dog to enjoy as part of a balanced diet.
  • Avoid dangerous ingredients such as xylitol
    • It’s vital to avoid dangerous ingredients and xylitol is the big one to be aware of. If you spot this on the label, keep the peanut butter away from your pooch. This is a very toxic ingredient for dogs, and it can cause serious problems with blood sugar levels that lead to seizures, vomiting and even coma. You should take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect they’ve accidentally ingested a human food that contains xylitol.
  • Simple is best
    • The safest way for your dog to enjoy peanut butter is when it’s prepared as simply as possible, without any additional ingredients that could be problematic for our canine friends. This is why a homemade version is often better than commercially available ones. If you’ve got a dog that can’t resist the occasional spoonful of peanut butter, why not try to make a dog-approved version at home?

Can Dogs Have an Allergic Reaction to Peanuts?

Allergic reactions to peanuts are not only reserved to humans. Dogs may suffer them too, although they’re quite rare in the canine world. Here are the signs of peanut allergy you should be watching out for:

Allergic reactions can be mild, but in rare cases they may be more severe. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious how serious the reaction is, so you should always contact your vet if you start noticing any unusual signs.

Peanuts are a great treat for us humans, and with a few necessary precautions, they can make a tasty snack for our dogs too.

For more expert tips on dog feeding, explore our other what can dogs eat articles.

Related articles

brown dog eating from a red food bowl
Dog owners may want to change food due to false rumors about food safety, but misinformation may lead to unsafe transitions. Learn when to switch dog food from dog experts.
person and child petting a golden retriever
person holding dog, and eating an ice cream cone
Pet Food Finder App on smart phone with ingredients surrounding it

Find Your Pet’s Perfect Food

Use our Pet Food Finder to get a custom recommendation from Purina Nutritionists.