Peanuts are the ultimate on-the-go snacks packed with amazing nutritional value. Not only are they easy to eat, but they are surprisingly versatile.
Just think: peanuts in chocolate, peanuts in trail mix and of course, peanut butter. If you’re like me, you may be wondering: can dogs eat peanuts? Are peanuts even safe for dogs?
Yes, dogs can safely eat peanuts.
It’s true, but dogs can only eat peanuts in moderation. Peanuts are not toxic for dogs to ingest. And while peanuts are nutritious, they are not recommended to be part of a dog’s diet regime. Peanuts contain too much fat, which is difficult for dogs to digest and can lead to side effects.
However, if peanuts are given to dogs as a seldom treat, it could potentially provide some wonderful health benefits. Let’s further investigate dogs and peanuts.
Health Benefits: Dogs and Peanuts
Growing up as a kid, i’ve always thought that peanuts were not very nutritious at all. Thus, I never really ate them. Boy, was i wrong. To fully grasp the health benefits of dogs eating peanuts, let’s look at the nutritional value first.
In 1/4 Cup of Peanuts (36.5 grams):
- Copper – 47% DV
- Manganese – 36% DV
- Vitamin B3 – 28% DV
- Molybdenum – 24% DV
- Folate – 22% DV
- Biotin – 21% DV
- Phosphorus – 20% DV
- Vitamin E – 20% DV
- Protein – 19% DV
- Vitamin B1 – 19% DV
- Potassium – 7% DV
- Total Fat – 19 grams
Note: DV refers to the recommended daily value of nutrition for humans.
1. Peanuts Promote Healthy Dog Heart
Yes, it’s true that peanuts contain a lot of fat. And it’s also true that fats are difficult for most dogs to digest. But the fat in peanuts are the good, healthy fats. As long as you’re not constantly feeding your dog peanuts, they will be able to benefit from the healthy fats.
Peanuts are known to be rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These two type of fats have been known to promote a healthy heart and decrease the chances of cardiovascular disease in your dog.
Other human foods known to promote a healthy heart in dogs include: avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, apples, bananas and pears. However, those foods promote a healthy heart in different ways.
2. Peanuts Can Improve Dog Skin and Coat
In just a quarter cup of peanuts, there is roughly 21% of our daily recommended value of Biotin. There’s twice as much biotin in a quarter cup of peanuts than in a full cup of banana! There’s even more biotin in peanuts than eggs, by a large margin.
But what’s the deal about biotin and what can it do for your dog? Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is a B complex vitamin known to promoting healthy skin and coat. This means that a few occasional peanuts can make their coats shine brighter!
If your dog doesn’t like nuts or react well to them, you can also try avocados, blueberries, cherries and mushrooms. Almonds contain biotin as well, but is toxic to dogs.
3. Peanuts Can Lower High Cholesterol in Dogs
A quarter cup of peanuts can provide you with a whopping 28% recommended daily value of Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin. This number is pretty astounding because there aren’t too many normal human foods that have as much Vitamin B3 as peanuts.
Vitamin B3 contains a special acid (Niacinamide acid) that helps in battling high cholesterol levels. In other words, peanuts, can decrease the “bad cholesterol” while increasing the good cholesterol in your dog.
High cholesterol in dogs is something that is often overlooked because most owners don’t even know it can happen to dogs. But before you use peanuts as a treatment for your dog with high cholesterol, consult with your local vet first.
Other foods with high Vitamin B3 include, avocados, chicken breast, turkey and mushrooms. But always do your research before feeding your dog any new human food.
4. Peanuts For a Stronger, Energetic Dog
When you think protein, you may think lean beef, chicken or pork. The last thing that would come to mind may be peanuts. But that’s not true, as peanuts contain a ton of protein. In fact, there’s roughly 19% of our recommended human daily value in a quarter cup of peanuts.
Protein is needed to ensure that your dog is energetic, lively and active. Without sufficient protein, the dog’s health will certainly suffer. In other words, protein is the foundation of your dog’s energy and strength.
Did you know that it takes 22 amino acids to produce the necessary protein in dogs? Unfortunately dogs can naturally only produce half of that, meaning the rest need to come from protein in foods.
How important is protein for your dog though? Just think about it. All commercial dog foods have a ton of protein in them. Despite all the great fruits and vegetables you can feed your dog, it’s necessary that their diet is made up primarily of protein.
It just shows you how important this is for a healthy dog.
Risks of Dogs Eating Peanuts
All good things can have potential side effects and risks, including peanuts. This is especially necessary to look into when it’s concerning your dog. Although side effects and risks in dogs may not be as common as one may think, it can still happen. The key is to feed peanuts in moderations. The more peanuts your dog eats, the higher chance for these side effects.
Peanuts and Upset Stomach in Dogs
Although it’s true that peanuts contain “healthy fats,” it is still fat. This means that peanuts may not be easily digested by your dog. Subsequently, your dog may experience mild or severe stomach pains and digestive problems after consuming peanuts.
Always be very careful and observant when feeding peanuts to your dog. If they don’t feel like themselves after consumption, then it may not worth risking giving them more peanuts. And of course, the more peanuts they eat, the harder it will be for them to digest larger quantities of peanuts.
If you would like to feed peanuts to your dog, I would still consult with your local veterinarian before doing so. They know your dog the best and would have the best idea on how your dog may react to the food.
Weight Gain in Dogs
It would take quite a bit of peanuts to do this, but it’s possible for your dog to gain weight from excessive peanut eating. In about 32 peanuts, there is roughly 166 calories.
But the worrisome part is that a quarter of the calories come from fat. That’s about 14 grams of fat from that serving size.
I would highly advise against using peanuts as treats when training your dog to do tricks. Instead, use a low-calorie snack with high nutrition and water, such as celery or cucumbers.
Using peanuts as a way to train a dog is a good way to raise an overweight dog, especially with certain dog breeds susceptible to being overweight.
Peanuts and Sodium
Peanuts naturally do not contain any sodium, however, most peanuts come salted. The common salt is a mineral that’s comprised primarily of sodium. This means that too many salted peanuts can give your dog excess sodium and lead to other health issues.
The medical condition called Hypernatremia is when your dog has too much excess sodium concentration in the blood. Hypernatremia can lead to your dog having less efficient brain and heart function, as well as a irregular oxygen levels and fluid balance.
It’s rather easy to prevent such a thing from happening to your dog. Just don’t feed them any foods with high salt, including salted peanuts. If you plan to feed peanuts to your dog, look for the natural unsalted peanuts. This will reduce any negative side effects from the high sodium levels in salt.
Dog Pancreatitis From Eating Peanuts
By now you may know that peanuts are high in fat. Healthy or not, too much fat consumed by your dog can certainly lead to health problems.
One of which, is the medical condition called Pancreatitis. This can often become a very painful condition for your dog, which is why moderation is so important when it comes to peanuts.
Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas of your dog becomes inflamed from consuming too much fat. There are ways to treat Pancreatitis in dogs, but it may not be a pleasant experience for your dog to go through. Limit the peanuts that your dog consumes to avoid all this.
Other fatty foods that can sometimes lead to Pancreatitis include avocados. On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory components in pineapples have been known to counteract and fight pancreatitis in dogs.
However, you should always consult with your veterinarian before using pineapples to treat Pancreatitis.
Good and Bad Nuts For Dogs
Peanuts are one of the only nuts that dogs can safely eat. In fact, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios and pecans should not be fed to your dog.
There are a lot of nuts that are actually toxic to your dog. Fortunately, peanuts are not one of them. Other nuts, like pecans, are not recommended because they can cause gastrointestinal upset and/or obstruction.
Pistachios are extra rich in fat and can increase the chance of upset stomach and Pancreatitis. Hickory nuts contain a toxin called Juglone, which can cause all kinds of complications in your dog.
When trying to feed your dog peanuts or any other nuts, it’s important to look into the food and do your due diligence. Always research on a specific nut (or food for that matter) before feeding your dog. If you want, it may not be a bad idea to consult with your local veterinarian too.
How Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
Dogs can eat peanuts in moderation. However, there are certain guidelines you should follow if you plan on doing so. Some are obvious, but some not so obvious.
The first thing you want to do is buy unsalted peanuts. Natural unsalted peanuts are the way to go when it comes to your dog. Because salt is comprised mainly of sodium, salt is not good for your dog. Any excess sodium in your dog eats can cause some serious problems.
This is a more obvious step, but some neglectful owners still manage to get this wrong. Remove the peanut shell if you are feeding the peanuts still enclosed in the shells. These shells can have sharp edges after being chewed on and pose a choking hazard.
Always start off with a few pieces of peanuts for your dogs. Too many peanuts for your dog’s first time can potentially cause problems. At this point, you don’t really know how your dog may react to peanuts.
Observing Your Dog After Eating Peanuts
Every time you feed your dog some human food for the first time, it’s important to observe your dog closely for at least 24 hours. Peanuts are no exception for dogs.
Make sure to observe their stool to see if they digested the peanuts properly. Sometimes, you may see peanut pieces still intact in their stool. This may mean that your dog doesn’t digest peanuts well and they should probably stop eating it. Stop feeding peanuts if you see constipation and diarrhea as well.
Look for any behavioral changes in your dog as well. If your dog has a lack of energy, they may not be feeling well or experiencing stomach pains. If sometime seems off, make sure to contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Are Dogs Allergic to Peanuts?
Dogs aren’t typically allergic to peanuts. However, this doesn’t mean that all dogs won’t experience some type of allergic reaction. There are always exceptions for dogs.
If your dog is itching excessively or showing visible redness on their skin or eyes, they may be allergic to peanuts. Some dogs may even start to chew and bite on their paws because they are itching.
If any of these symptoms occur directly after consumption of peanuts, then they may be allergic. In this case, don’t feed your dog peanuts because it will just cause them pain. There are many other human foods that can provide great health benefits without giving them the negative side effects.
The Smart Canine is an online resource that provides dog owners with accurate and updated information on caring for their dogs. We can thoroughly researched on the topic of dogs and peanuts. However, we still recommend that you consult with your veterinarian before feeding them peanuts or any other human foods.