Dogs Love Peanut Butter — but Is It Good for Them? What Brands Are Safe for Them to Eat?

Peanut butter may be a tasty snack for humans, but dogs seem to crave it more than other treats.

Kori Williams - Author
By

Jul. 5 2024, Published 12:06 p.m. ET

A small white dog being fed peanut butter from a jar.
Source: iStock

Feeding your dogs a sweet treat can be a highlight of your day. As pet parents, we always love putting smiles on their little faces. But taking care of your pup also means monitoring what they eat. Unfortunately, many dogs will eat anything they can get their paws on, especially if they see their favorite humans eating it, too.

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Although peanut butter is a beloved treat by so many pups out there, it may not always be the healthiest option. Dogs are blissfully unaware of the ingredients and want to eat as much as you're willing to put in front of them. Why do dogs love peanut butter so much? We have some answers — and some recommended peanut butter brands to use or avoid.

A medium-sized dog licking peanut butter off a play mat.
Source: iStock
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Why do dogs like peanut butter?

According to veterinarian Dr. Christy Michael, who spoke to The Dodo, dogs love peanut butter for several reasons. One, because it's got lots of fat and salt. These are foods they wouldn't usually come across on their own, so it's a special treat when they get the chance to have some. And two, dogs see that their humans like peanut butter, so they like it, too.

"Ultimately, a dog frequently desires food that is being eaten by the leader of their pack (in this case, their person) and, in many cases, that food is not shared with the dog," Dr. Michael said.

Because of peanut butter's popularity in canine households, dogs have caught on that this is one of the few people foods they are allowed to have and they get excited.

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A small black and grey dog being fed peanut butter from a red spoon.
Source: iStock

Are Skippy and Jif peanut butter safe for dogs?

According to Rover, peanut butter brands like Jif and Skippy can be safe for dogs but only in moderation. They have lots of additional salt and sugar that are not only unhealthy but also can upset a pup's tummy if they eat too much at once. If you are going to give your dog this treat, check to make sure that the only ingredients are peanuts.

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Which peanut butter brands are dog-safe?

The Dodo says that some peanut butter brands contain an ingredient called xylitol, which, according to WebMD, is a natural sweetener found in many fruits and vegetables.

Unfortunately, it can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hepatic necrosis (liver cell death) in your dogs. Veterinarian Dr. Susan Wynn told The Dodo that she prefers organic peanut butter for pups due to a lack of xylitol. As long as it doesn't have xylitol in it, the peanut butter is safe for them to eat.

Someone feeding a big dog peanut butter on a spoon.
Source: iStock
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Thankfully, some peanut butter brands are marketed to dogs and don't contain xylitol. For example, Poochie Dog Peanut Butter and Pawfect Peanut Butter are great options. If you're looking for brands you can pick up in a grocery store that aren't Jif or Skippy,

If you shop at Whole Foods, their 365 Everyday Value Organic Peanut Butter is dog-safe, according to Outward Hound. The same can be said for Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter without the salt.

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