I have always wanted a German Shepherd, but before I ever get one, it’s important that I research more about them. One thing I wanted to know was if German Shepherds can eat peanut butter.
So, can German Shepherds eat peanut butter? It is not harmful to German Shepherds to eat peanut butter. However, peanut butter should be given in moderation because it is high in calories. Some individual German Shepherds may be allergic to peanut butter as well, so it is best to be cautious at first.
There are a few things to be considered as well when it comes to feeding your German Shepherd peanut butter. The type of peanut butter, potential benefits, and risks can all factor into giving your dog peanut butter.
What Type of Peanut Butter is Good?
For a long time, almost any type of peanut butter was safe for German Shepherds. Now, however, there are a few things to look out for.
With most types of peanut butter, if left overnight, you can start to notice it separating. The oil typically moves to the top of the jar and the rest of the peanut butter starts to sink toward the bottom. This is because when peanuts are ground up, they release oil, and so when left to sit for a while, that oil will separate. It’s actually a good sign if there’s oil at the top of your peanut butter, as it means it is more natural.
Some kinds of peanut butter don’t have oil that rises to the top. This is a sign that it may have different types of hydrogenated oils and/or fats added in. This can be bad for dogs.
In addition, some types of peanut butter have moved away from the natural process and have added in artificial sweeteners, including one called xylitol. Xylitol is safe for humans and is an artificial sweetener often found in substances such as mints, toothpaste, chewing gum, and chewable vitamins. Unfortunately, while this sweetener is safe for human consumption, it is extremely dangerous for German Shepherds.
When a German Shepherd consumes xylitol, it can cause a quick increase and insulin, which can cause a quick decrease in your dog’s blood sugar levels. This can happen within 10 minutes to an hour after consumption, and is a condition known as hypoglycemia, which is extremely dangerous to dogs if left untreated.
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include weakness, seizing, lack of coordination, and even collapsing. If you think your dog may be experiencing this, it is best to call a veterinarian for help.
Luckily, it can be relatively easy to avoid this type of poisoning. Simply check the label and ingredients on the jar of peanut butter, and look to see if it contains xylitol or any other artificial sweetener. If it does, it’s probably best to keep it out of reach from your German Shepherd.
In addition, the smooth options tend to be better, because it lessens the risk of you dog getting caught on or even choking on some of the nuts that come with the chunky options.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to peanut butter. There is no specific brand that may be better or worse for your German Shepherd, so as long as you look out for the potential threats, you should be okay. The more natural, unsalted kinds are recommended because there is less of a risk factor for your dog when you decide to give it a fun treat.
What are the Benefits of Consuming Peanut Butter?
After having chosen the type of peanut butter you’ll treat your German Shepherd to, it’s good to take a look at the benefits of why you’re giving it to them.
A few of the benefits of giving your German Shepherd are:
- It’s a delicious treat- Most dog owners love to spoil their precious pets. They are basically members of the family! And it’s nice to treat family members to something good every once in a while. German Shepherds typically LOVE the taste of peanut butter. Like it is for most dogs, it’s a fun treat that they can spend time eating, and it’s something different than their usual meals of dry or wet dog food. Peanut butter is a popular treat for dogs for a good reason- because they like it!
- It makes giving them medicine easier- A lot of dogs, German Shepherds included, don’t like it when they have to take medicine. They’re not too different from humans in that way! A good method that people use to help with this is to give the medicine hidden with the peanut butter. If it is a pill, coating it in peanut butter can work well. If the medicine is liquid, then mixing it in with the peanut butter can also work. Doing this helps you get your shepherd the medicine it needs, while also allowing it to have a fun treat. A spoonful of peanut butter helps the medicine go down, after all!
- It has several health benefits- When given in moderation, peanut butter is actually a healthy treat to give to your German Shepherd. Peanut butter contains plenty of protein, as well as vitamin B, vitamin E, niacin, and other heart-healthy fats. This is good if your dog happens to be lacking in these things, as it can give them a boost. It’s good to remember, however, that peanut butter is not a substitute for a healthy diet!
What are the Potential Risks of Consuming Peanut Butter?
While peanut butter is a great treat for German Shepherds, there are also a few risks that can be involved, besides when peanut butter has artificial sweeteners, which should always be avoided.
Some of these risks of giving your German Shepherd peanut butter are:
- Your dog may be allergic to it- Peanuts are a food item that many people are prone to being allergic to, and it is the same with dogs. When giving peanut butter to your shepherd for the first time, it’s best to give them a small amount and watch them for the next little while. You can also do allergy tests for your dog to know for sure if eating peanut butter will be a risk.
- It’s high in calories- Peanut butter does have many health benefits, but it is also high in fat and in calories. This means if your dog is overweight or unhealthy, it may be a good idea to hold off on the peanut butter for a bit. It’s best to give your shepherd peanut butter no more than once a week, and maybe only around 1 1/2 teaspoons at most. Consulting with a vet is perhaps the best way to go when it comes to how much you should treat your German Shepherd to peanut butter.
- It can be messy- This may seem like an obvious risk, but it is one nonetheless. Peanut butter can be sticky and hard to clean on some surfaces. It’s good to be careful about how and where you give your dog peanut butter so it doesn’t end up all over the house. If you like to keep a clean house, just remember that before giving your dog peanut butter. And you may have to wipe their face after they’re done enjoying their delicious treat!
Can dogs eat jelly? Grapes are harmful to animals and so should be avoided. In addition, many types of jams and jellies contain artificial sweeteners that are not safe for animals, and so they should avoid consuming these products. It is always better to err on the safe side.
Can dogs eat peanut butter cookies? While peanut butter is typically safe for consumption, and some cookies may be okay in small amounts, many cookies contain sweeteners and other ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Recipes for dog-friendly peanut butter cookies do exist, however.