Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Is it safe for your dog to eat Peanuts? Read more to find out.

In most Western cultures, dogs have become more than pets or helpers on the job.  They have assumed the roles of family members and companions, helpmates to those with special needs and different abilities.  But as our understanding of these four-footed companions increases, there are several facts that must be keptpeanut-dog in mind.  While dogs are omnivorous like humans, they can’t eat everything we do.

Are Peanuts Safe?

Dogs’ digestive systems have adapted to tolerate specific foods and not others.  Just as with other differences—such as a lack of sweat glands and a higher normal body temperature or the ability to smell minute traces of chemical signatures released by a broad range of substances—considering the dietary needs of canines is of vital significance to their health and happiness.  Because of their ubiquity, many owners question the safety of peanuts as acceptable treats for their favorite friends.

While certain considerations, such as additives to many commercial peanut products and potential choking hazards for puppies and small-breed dogs, do apply.  Generally, natural, additive-free peanut butter of the creamy variety is recommended as the optimum form of this delicious treat.  Excess amounts of sugar, salt, and preservatives found in many commercial brands of peanut butter are hard on the renal and endocrine systems of dogs and humans alike.  While we may choose to ingest these substances, dogs depend upon us for all their needs.  Opting for the unadulterated product will only benefit them.

Some Additional Considerations

Whole peanuts, while tasty and perfectly nutritious in their unsalted form, should be avoided simply because they constitute a potential choking hazard.  Unlike humans, dogs do not possess the amount of grinding surfaces needed to fully masticate foods.  That’s why they seem to inhale their food.  The canine digestive system has evolved to handle large masses of appropriate foods without gastronomic upset.  Chunky peanut butter also poses something of the same issue.  That’s why it’s commonly recommended that you select a creamy variety of this product for dog treats.

Like humans, dogs can develop allergies and medical conditions.  Allergies to nuts, while inconvenient are a separate issue from peanut allergies, since the latter is actually a member of the legume family and not related to tree nuts.  Dogs rarely suffer from peanut allergies, but can develop them over time.  Hence, it’s important to note if your pet exhibits difficulties associated with the allergy, even if they have previously been unaffected.


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