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Can Dogs Eat Peanuts? Here's How to Dog-Proof Your Homemade Treats | Muddy Mastiffs

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Can Dogs Eat Peanuts: The Nutty Truth

Dogs are notorious snackers—not only do they love to get their paws on anything edible, but they also like to experiment with what’s safe for them and what isn’t. I mean just in the last few months my dogs have eaten a plastic bread wrapper, a dirty earplug, and multiple banana peels. And that's just the stuff I know about. In the past my dog even went so far as chewing up her stainless steel dog dish. There's a reason I keep them stocked up with bones and toys. With that in mind, let’s discuss the million-dollar question: can dogs eat peanuts?

Understanding a Dog's Diet: Meat Vs. Plant-Based Foods

Dogs, by nature, are carnivores. This is evident in their physical design, their sharp, pointed teeth and short gastrointestinal tracts are perfectly adapted for a diet of meat. In the wild, their ancestors, wolves, thrive on a diet primarily comprised of meat from various prey such as deer, bison, and smaller mammals. While they occasionally consume plant matter or scavenge on fruits and berries when meat is scarce, their primary source of sustenance and nutrition is derived from animal protein. Consequently, their draw towards meat-based diets has been passed down to our domesticated dogs. However, it's important to remember that our pet dogs have been living alongside humans for thousands of years, which has led to some adaptations in their diet.

The Canine Digestive System Explained

The canine digestive system is quite robust, but it's primarily designed to handle meat. The process begins in the dog's mouth where food is mechanically broken down by teeth and saliva starts the chemical digestion. From there, it travels down the esophagus into the stomach, where strong gastric juices further break down the food, particularly proteins. Then the partially digested food enters the small intestine, which is the main site of nutrient absorption, thanks to the villi, tiny hair-like structures that increase the surface area for absorption. Dogs have a relatively short small intestine compared to herbivores, which is consistent with a meat-based diet. The remaining undigested material is passed into the large intestine, where water is absorbed and feces are formed. An important aspect to remember is that dogs lack the specific enzyme needed to break down the cell walls of raw plant material, hence plant-based foods need to be cooked or processed for a dog to get maximum nutritional benefits.

Can Dogs Eat Peanuts: Yes or No?

Yes, dogs can eat peanuts, but in moderation and with certain precautions. Peanuts, when served plain, unsalted, and in small amounts, can provide dogs with a source of protein and healthy fats. However, peanuts are not a necessary part of a dog's diet and should only be given as an occasional treat. It's important to note that some peanuts and peanut products may contain a sweetener called Xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs. Xylitol, also known under other names such as Birch sugar and wood sugar, can cause a rapid and dangerous drop in a dog's blood sugar (hypoglycemia), leading to symptoms like weakness, confusion, vomiting, seizures, and in severe cases, it can also result in liver failure. Always read the ingredient list before offering your dog any human food.

The Benefits of Peanuts for Dogs

Aside from being an occasional treat, peanuts can provide some health benefits for your pet. Peanuts are a source of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins that help support your dog's overall wellness by providing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, niacin and phosphorous. Unsalted roasted or boiled peanuts are the safest way to offer this treat as salted and fried peanuts can cause high sodium levels in dogs.

Peanut Butter Dog Treats: Recipe for Success

In addition to providing a healthy snack, you can use peanut butter to make delicious dog treats. Here's an easy recipe that your pup will love:

The Potential Risks of Peanuts for Dogs

When it comes to health, peanuts do come with some potential risks. These include the presence of aflatoxins, which are toxic to dogs, and allergens such as mold that can cause skin irritation and allergies. aflatoxins

What are aflatoxins?

Definition: Aflatoxins are a group of toxic compounds produced by certain molds (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) that can contaminate food and feed crops. These toxins are carcinogenic and can pose a serious health risk if consumed.

Xylitol: The Hidden Danger in Peanut Butter

A common ingredient in many brands of peanut butter is a sugar alcohol called xylitol, which can be deadly for dogs. Xylitol is used as an artificial sweetener and helps to keep the product shelf-stable. Ingesting even small amounts of xylitol can lead to symptoms like weakness, confusion, vomiting, seizures, and in severe cases, death. If you are feeding peanut butter to your dog, always check the label and avoid any products that contain xylitol.

Other Names of Xylitol to Watch Out For

Xylitol can also be found in other food products such as sugar-free chewing gum, candy, baked goods, and even dietary supplements. Here are some of the common names of xylitol to watch out for:

  • wood sugar

  • birch sugar

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits Recipe


  • 2 cups oat flour

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (sugar free, without xylitol)

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, olive oil, honey and eggs until well combined.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. The mixture will be crumbly but should hold together when pressed firmly.

  5. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for about a minute.

  6. Roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Place on prepared baking sheet.

  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

  8. Allow to cool completely before serving to your pup. Enjoy!

Can dogs eat peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a great source of protein and vitamins for your dog, but always be sure to check the label before feeding it to them. If you're looking for other delicious treat ideas for your pup, try out our easy-to-make Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits recipe! They'll love the sweet taste and crunchy texture. Not only are they easy to make, but they're also a nutritious and wholesome treat that your pup will love!

So the answer is yes – dogs can eat peanuts (in moderation) as long as the peanut butter you give them is sugar-free and does not contain xylitol. Just be sure to always check labels before feeding anything to your pup, and always practice moderation when it comes to treats.

Now that you know the answer to "Can dogs eat peanuts?", why not give them a special treat and whip up a batch of our delicious Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits? Your pup will thank you!

Symptoms and Consequences of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs

Xylitol is a popular artificial sweetener found in many products, from human snacks and beverages to toothpaste and mouthwash. Unfortunately, it can be dangerous for your pup! To keep them safe, make sure to double-check labels before feeding them anything that could contain xylitol.

If your dog does ingest something with xylitol, symptoms may include vomiting, lethargy, and difficulty walking. These can lead to more serious conditions such as seizures and liver failure. If you think your pup has ingested xylitol, contact your vet immediately.

It's important to keep in mind that just because something is labeled as "sugar-free" or "low sugar", it doesn't mean it's automatically safe for your pup. Always double check the label to make sure it doesn't contain xylitol, and remember that moderation is key when it comes to giving them treats!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits Recipe

Making your own dog treats can be a fun way to show your pup some extra love. Follow along with my YouTube Cooking Video where we can make a Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits Recipe together!

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