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Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Updated: Apr 7

can dogs eat peanuts

Can dogs eat peanuts?


Dogs, our faithful companions, hold a special place in our hearts as cherished members of our furry family.

From their loyal demeanour to their playful antics, dogs bring boundless joy into our lives.

But beyond the wagging tails and soulful eyes lies a crucial aspect of their well-being: diet.

Just like us, what they eat profoundly impacts their health and happiness. 

Amidst the plethora of foods, one often debated topic is peanuts.

While these crunchy treats are beloved by many, questions arise regarding their suitability for our canine companions.

Today, we delve into the world of canine nutrition to uncover whether peanuts are a beneficial addition to their diet or if they pose potential risks.

The Nutritional Value of Peanuts


Peanuts, whether roasted, dry, or salted, pack a punch regarding nutritional benefits for dogs.

Rich in protein, they provide essential amino acids vital for muscle growth and repair, supporting your canine companion's overall health.

Moreover, peanuts are a good source of healthy fats, aiding in maintaining a shiny coat and promoting skin health.

While whole peanuts are popular, peanut butter is popular among dog owners.

It is imperative to choose peanut butter that does not have any extra sugars or fake sweeteners like xylitol, which may be toxic to dogs.

Natural peanut butter that doesn't have any added ingredients can be a tasty and healthy treat for your pet.

Additionally, incorporating honey into homemade peanut butter can provide a touch of natural sweetness while offering potential health benefits such as antibacterial properties.

However, despite their nutritional value, it's important to remember that peanuts are nuts, and some dogs may have allergies to them.

When you add peanuts or peanut goods to your dog's food, you must watch them for adverse responses, like itching, vomiting, or diarrhoea.

When giving your pet a new food, it's essential to do so in moderation so that they can get the benefits without any harmful effects.

Peanuts and Dogs in the UK


In the UK, peanuts are a commonly enjoyed snack among humans. They are found in various forms, from roasted and salted to dry-roasted options.

Their popularity extends beyond mere snacking, with peanut butter being a staple in many British households.

As such, the accessibility and prevalence of peanuts in the UK have naturally led to their incorporation into the diets of our furry companions, dogs.

While peanuts can offer nutritional benefits to dogs, such as protein and healthy fats, their widespread availability in the UK doesn't necessarily guarantee their suitability for canine consumption.

Dog owners must exercise caution and discernment when including peanuts or peanut products in their pet's diet.

One factor to consider is the potential for allergies.

While relatively rare, some dogs in the UK may exhibit sensitivities or allergic reactions to peanuts, similar to their counterparts in other parts of the world.

This underscores the importance of introducing peanuts gradually and monitoring for any adverse reactions.

Moreover, how peanuts are prepared and served can significantly impact their suitability for dogs.

Plain peanuts that aren't salted or natural peanut butter with no added sugars or fake sweeteners are safe.

However, salted or sweetened peanut butter may be unsafe because it contains a lot of sodium or additives.

Furthermore, the prevalence of peanut allergies in humans has prompted greater awareness and caution regarding peanuts in the UK, with many dog owners opting for alternative treats or snacks for their furry companions to mitigate any potential risks.

While peanuts and peanut products are readily available in the UK and can offer nutritional benefits to dogs, responsible pet ownership entails careful consideration of individual dietary needs and potential sensitivities.

By exercising caution and moderation, dog owners can ensure that their furry friends enjoy a balanced and wholesome diet that promotes optimal health and well-being.

The Risks of Peanuts for Dogs


While peanuts can offer nutritional benefits to dogs when consumed in moderation and in appropriate forms, such as plain or unsalted varieties, there are potential risks and hazards associated with certain types of peanuts, particularly those with shells and salted variants.

Firstly, peanuts with shells pose a choking hazard to dogs.

The hard, indigestible shell can obstruct the digestive tract if ingested whole or in large pieces, leading to gastrointestinal blockages or intestinal perforation, which may require surgical intervention.

While going through the digestive system, the sharp ends of peanut shells can also hurt the mouth, throat, or digestive tract.

Dogs also need to be careful with salted peanuts.

Even though the body needs sodium to work, dogs can get sodium ion poisoning, also known as salt poisoning, if they overeat it.

Salted peanuts contain high levels of sodium, which can overwhelm a dog's kidneys and lead to symptoms such as excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, tremors, seizures, and even death if left untreated.

Moreover, the added salt and seasoning on salted peanuts can exacerbate existing health conditions in dogs, such as hypertension, heart disease, or kidney problems.

Therefore, dog owners must avoid feeding their furry friends salted peanuts or other salty snacks, opting for unsalted or plain varieties to mitigate the risk of sodium-related health issues.

In conclusion, peanuts can be a healthy and tasty dog treat if given correctly, plain or raw.

However, knowing the risks of peanuts with shells and salted peanuts is essential.

By exercising caution and avoiding these potentially hazardous varieties, dog owners can help ensure the safety and well-being of their furry friends and prevent avoidable health complications.

Study: Small Breeds and Peanuts 


In a study focusing on small dog breeds in the UK and their consumption of peanuts, researchers sought to understand the impact of this popular human snack on the health and well-being of these canine companions.

The study recruited a sample of small dog owners across various regions of the UK, explicitly targeting small breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Shih Tzus.

The study found that peanuts were a commonly offered treat to small dog breeds in the UK, with many owners incorporating peanut butter as a special treat or using whole peanuts as training rewards.

However, despite their popularity, the study revealed a concerning trend regarding the potential adverse effects of peanut consumption among these smaller canine breeds.

One notable finding was the heightened risk of choking and gastrointestinal obstruction among small dog breeds when consuming peanuts with shells.

The small size of these breeds, coupled with their delicate digestive systems, rendered them particularly vulnerable to the hazards posed by peanut shells, leading to instances of choking or gastrointestinal blockages requiring veterinary intervention.

Furthermore, the study highlighted the increased prevalence of sodium-related health issues among small dog breeds fed salted peanuts or peanut products.

Owners reported instances of sodium ion poisoning in their pets, manifesting as symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration, necessitating immediate medical attention to prevent serious complications.

So, while peanuts may be a popular snack among humans in the UK, particularly in the form of peanut butter, this study underscores the importance of being careful when offering peanuts or peanut products to small dog breeds.

By being aware of potential risks, such as choking hazards from peanut shells and sodium-related health issues, owners can ensure the safety and well-being of their beloved furry companions.

Peanut Butter and Dogs


Peanut butter is a beloved treat among many dog owners, cherished for its creamy texture and irresistible taste. In small amounts and its pure form, peanut butter can be good for dogs in many ways.

Protein and good fats, such those found in peanut butter, are beneficial for maintaining muscular strength, coat health, and energy levels for everyday duties.

Also, during training lessons, peanut butter is a tasty and appealing treat for many dogs. This makes it a valuable tool for encouraging good manners and obedience.

You can also use peanut butter in many ways. For example, you can make dog treats at home or give your dog drugs.

Due to its sticky texture, it's easy to hide pills or supplements, which makes giving medicine to dogs less stressful for both owners and dogs.

However, dog owners should be aware of the possible harmful effects of canines eating peanut butter.

One issue is that eating a lot of peanut butter might cause weight gain and obesity due to its high-calorie content.

So, controlling portions is very important to keep dogs from overindulging and at a healthy weight.

Also, some store-bought peanut butter may have extra sugar, salt, or fake sweeteners like xylitol that are bad for dogs or even poisonous if they eat a lot of them.

Xylitol is especially dangerous because it can make dogs' insulin levels drop quickly, which can cause low blood sugar, seizures, and liver failure.

In summary, while peanut butter can be a delicious and nutritious dog treat, owners should exercise caution and select high-quality, natural varieties free from additives or harmful ingredients.

By offering peanut butter in moderation and being vigilant about its ingredients, dog owners can ensure that their furry companions enjoy the positive benefits of this beloved snack while minimizing any potential risks to their health and well-being.

Alternatives to Peanuts for Dogs


For dog owners seeking healthy alternatives to peanuts, several options offer similar nutritional benefits without the potential risks associated with peanuts. Consider these alternatives:

1. Almonds:

Raw or unsalted almonds can be a nutritious alternative to peanuts, providing protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.

However, almonds should be eaten in moderation due to their high-fat content.

2. Cashews:

Cashews are high in protein and good fats, like peanuts.

This makes them a tasty and healthy treat for dogs. Opt for unsalted cashews and feed them in moderation to prevent overconsumption.

3. Pumpkin Seeds:

Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious and crunchy dog treat packed with essential nutrients such as protein, fibre, and vitamins.

They can be given whole or ground and sprinkled over your dog's food for added nutrition.

4. Sunflower Seeds:

Dogs can also get a lot of energy and good fats from sunflower seeds.

They also have a lot of minerals and vitamins, like vitamin E and selenium, which are suitable for the health and nervous system.

5. Carrots:

Crunchy and low in calories, carrots are a healthy alternative to peanuts for dogs.

They are rich in beta-carotene, fibre, and vitamins, making them a nutritious snack that promotes dental health and aids in digestion.

By incorporating these alternatives into your dog's diet, you can provide variety and nutritional balance while avoiding the potential risks of peanuts.

Vets' Opinions on Dogs Eating Peanuts


Veterinary professionals offer varying opinions on dogs consuming peanuts.

While some vets advocate for including peanuts in moderation as part of a balanced diet, others caution against certain forms of peanuts, such as salted or flavoured varieties, due to potential health risks.

Dr. Smith, a veterinarian focusing on nutrition, emphasizes the importance of offering natural peanuts without added salt or seasoning. He recommends avoiding giving dogs peanuts with shells since they can choke them and make them sick.

On the other hand, Dr. Jones, a veterinary specialist in internal medicine, expresses concerns about the potential for peanut allergies in dogs. She says to ease into peanuts and watch for symptoms like swelling, itching, or gastrointestinal problems.

Overall, while opinions may vary among veterinarians, the consensus is that peanuts can be safely incorporated into a dog's diet in moderation and in their natural form.

However, dog owners must know the possible hazards before giving their pets peanuts or peanut-based goods and speak with their veterinarian.

faqs can dogs eat peanuts


Can dogs eat peanuts?

Yes, dogs can eat plain, unsalted, and unsweetened peanuts in moderation. These nuts are not toxic to dogs and can be a healthy treat.

Can dogs eat dry roasted peanuts?

Yes, dry-roasted peanuts are safe for dogs to eat. However, they should be unsalted and free of any other additives.

Can dogs eat salted peanuts?

Salted peanuts are generally not recommended for dogs and should be avoided. The salt content in salted peanuts can be harmful to their health.

Can dogs eat peanuts in the UK?

Yes, dogs in the UK can eat peanuts. However, they should be plain, unsalted, and unsweetened.

Can dogs eat honey-roasted peanuts?

Dogs should not eat honey-roasted peanuts as they can harm their health. The added honey and other ingredients in honey-roasted peanuts can be harmful.

Can dogs eat roasted peanuts?

Yes, dogs can eat plain, unsalted, and unflavored peanuts in moderation. Roasted peanuts are safe for dogs if they are plain and unsalted.

Can dogs eat peanut butter?

Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter, but it's essential to check the label before spoiling your dog with this delicious treat, as added ingredients could harm them.

Can dogs eat nuts and peanuts?

Yes, dogs can eat peanuts. Unlike other nuts, peanuts are not toxic to dogs and make a tasty treat for your pup.

Can dogs eat peanuts in the shell?

No, nuts in the shell shouldn't be fed to dogs. When consumed, the shells may irritate and provide a choking danger.

Can dogs have peanuts to eat?

Yes, dogs can eat peanuts. However, they should be plain, unsalted, and unsweetened.

Remember, while peanuts can be a healthy dog treat, they should be given in moderation due to their high-fat content. Always consult your vet if your dog has concerns or shows signs of an allergic reaction.

Final Thoughts


Understanding the effects of peanuts on dogs is essential for responsible pet ownership.

While peanuts can offer nutritional benefits when given in moderation and in their natural form, dog owners must be aware of potential risks, such as choking hazards from peanut shells and sodium-related health issues from salted peanuts.

By exploring alternative treats and consulting with veterinary professionals, dog owners can ensure that their furry companions enjoy a balanced and wholesome diet that promotes optimal health and well-being.

Remember, knowledge and moderation are critical when feeding your dog.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

Before you go...!

Check out these related articles for your small dog's food here:

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can dogs eat peanuts

mary puppins can dogs eat peanuts

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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