Peanut butter has always been a popular reward for pointers, but is it safe for them to eat? It’s a good idea to question human food before distributing it to our precious pups.
Pointers can eat peanut butter but only in moderation. Some peanut butter contains Xylitol which is toxic to dogs. Always read labels before choosing one. Pointers can develop peanut allergies, so it’s critical to check with your veterinarian ahead of time.
You’ll never have your pointer’s undivided attention more than when peanut butter is involved. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best thing for them, though. It’s important to dive a little deeper into peanut butter and what can be good and bad for your pointer.
Pointers and Peanut Butter
Pointers, like all dogs, love to get treats! They’re a symbol of their good behavior and success in tasks. They’re also just delicious! Living on a diet of dry kibble day in and day out makes treats an exceptional motivator for dogs.
Pointers are always a breed that goes through a lot of training, and they respond the best to positive reinforcement and treats! Peanut butter can be an exceptional driving force for obedience training and can sometimes be used in food puzzles to help stimulate their minds.
You always want to make sure that the peanut butter you use for your pointer is dog-friendly. Always check the ingredients for Xylitol before purchasing.
You also want to avoid giving your pointer a lot of peanut butter because of added sugar. Dogs can easily become obese and extra sugar contributes to this. Don’t overuse treats, and it can be smart to mix up the types of treats given to your pointer. Exchange peanut butter for a healthier vegetable option every once in a while.
Treats should only make up 10% of your pointer’s diet.
You should always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog peanut butter. They can help recommend a daily/weekly/monthly amount that your pointer can safely consume.
They can also test your dog for peanut and other food allergies. You always want to make sure your pointer won’t have any negative reactions to the food you give them
The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners
Peanut butter is typically geared towards a human audience. We are resilient creatures and can take the bucket load of artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes that these manufacturers throw at us.
Dogs, however, aren’t nearly as capable of processing these things as we are. This is why we have to be so careful about how much sugar we give dogs.
Pointers are no exception. A few peanut butter brands use the sugar substitute Xylitol in their ingredients.
Xylitol is toxic to dogs! Be careful when choosing the peanut butter brand you plan to share with your pointer. It’s a simple task to avoid Xylitol poisoning; always read the ingredients of the peanut butter jar label before choosing one.
Xylitol causes your dog’s insulin levels to spike which, in turn, makes the blood sugar plummet. This is referred to as hypoglycemia and needs to be taken very seriously.
If Xylitol is consumed by your dog, call your veterinarian right away and watch for certain warning signs of poisoning. These signs may include:
- sudden collapse
- loss of balance
- loss of coordination
If any of these occur, take your pointer to the vet immediately.
Outside of Xylitol, artificial sweeteners, sugar substitutes, and added sugars should all be avoided when giving your pointer any sort of human food.
Added sugars can cause other dangerous health concerns for your pointer such as obesity and pancreatitis. If you’re going to give your pointer peanut butter, choose one that is unsalted and has no added sugar.
You can also make your own dog-friendly peanut butter at home with 2 or 3 ingredients.
Most peanut butter recipes that are dog specific use only unsalted peanuts and some sort of oil (vegetable or peanut oil works).
The Importance of Moderation
It’s always easy to see the answer “yes” to if a dog can eat something or not, but it’s important to learn all the facts before just filling your pointer’s food bowl with peanut butter every day.
I’m proposing we always look for the answer, “yes, but…”, and here is the “yes, but” I have for peanut butter.
Yes, your pointer can eat peanut butter safely (assuming it doesn’t contain Xylitol and your dog isn’t allergic), but you have to feed it to them sparingly.
Moderation is the keyword for giving your pointer any type of human food. Peanut butter can be a great source of protein for your pointer. It also contains healthy vitamins and good fats that can be beneficial.
No matter what kind you buy or make, it’s always going to have some fats and sugars. Dogs don’t respond as well as we do to these things. It’s easy for pointers to become obese or develop other health problems from the over-consumption of peanut butter.
The general rule for all dog treats is 10% off your dog’s food intake can be some sort of treat. You can certainly give them less, but do not give them more. That’s where the problems start.
Giving your dog human food, in general, has been heavily debated among owners. Many think that it’s okay to give their dogs the leftovers from their plates; while, others go to the other extreme of never giving their dog any morsel of human food.
Many foods are safe for dogs, but it is in your dog’s best interest to feed them a majority of dog food and other veterinarian recommended foods. These dog specific foods are low in fat and high in protein. They give your pointer all the nutrients they need to be strong and healthy.
Of course, this is going to change from brand to brand, but a vet can certainly recommend the best dog food for your pointer depending on their lifestyle and possible health concerns of the individual dog.
A “human food” diet can possibly be arranged with counsel from a certified veterinarian, but a good rule of thumb is to trust dog specific food for the majority of their diet.
Pointers, specifically, usually require food that is high in nutrients. It is recommended to give your pointer 2-3 cups of “high quality” dry food every day. These meals are usually broken up into two: one in the morning and one in the evening.
Pointers are very active and need all the nutrients they can get.
Peanut Butter for Medication and Training
Many people love peanut butter for the sole purpose of distributing medicine to their dogs. This nutty treat is a perfect carrier and masks medicine because most pointers are excited about it.
The thing that makes a food good for giving your dog medicine are the ones they get excited about enough to scarf down in one bite without thinking.
Dog’s are really good at avoiding pills, but they can’t resist a creamy treat especially when it’s rare. They won’t even know they’ve taken their pill once they’re done.
Another great thing about peanut butter is that is can be used to pull focus to what you’re trying to teach. Pointers love to be praised and love even more when they’re given some sort of food reward. Consider using peanut butter for the most difficult obedience or hunting tasks you’re trying to teach.
Another thing that is great for pointers is giving them games and toys that will stimulate their brains and problem-solving skills.
Kong toys are great food puzzles that you can easily fill with peanut butter for your pointer.
They will be determined to get every single morsel of the tasty treat out, and it can help to keep them busy and calm.
Some owners suggest freezing it for even longer fun and distraction. Peanut butter can be a great treat, training tool, and pill distributor for your pointer. Don’t just use it willy-nilly, though. It’s important to check the ingredients and only use in moderation to keep your dog healthy and happy!