Can dogs eat peanuts? Find out if this snack is for them

can dogs eat peanuts
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's common knowledge that dogs love peanut butter, but can dogs eat peanuts?

The answer isn't all that simple. Although peanut butter is considered one of the human foods dogs can eat, not all peanuts (or peanut butters) are safe for your furbaby. You'll want to make sure that you have the right peanut or nut butter for your dog to ensure they can safely enjoy a special treat, as there's an ingredient called xylitol in certain peanut butters that is very dangerous to your canine friend.

There's also not much nutritional value in peanut or peanut butter, so even if you do give your dog a safe version of this treat, make sure to do it in moderation. Read on for answers to the question: can dogs eat peanuts?

What kind of peanuts can dogs eat?

Your dog can't eat the kinds of peanuts you may enjoy snacking on - it's dry-roasted or raw, unsalted peanuts for them. Avoid salted peanuts or any peanuts that have extra flavoring on them, as too much sodium can be harmful to your dog when eaten in large quantities. If a salted peanut or two falls on the floor and your dog is quick to hoover them up, don't fret, but don't offer your dog salted peanuts as a treat.

The sodium content in salted peanuts and peanut butter is a reason why some owners prefer to make their own peanut butter. If you have a decent blender or food processor, you can make it yourself! Making your own peanut butter lets you control the levels of sodium, sugars, and oil in the peanut butter, as well as avoid xylitol poisoning. Xylitol is an increasingly common sugar replacement used in several prominent peanut butter brands. Makes sure you check the label and don't feed your dog any peanut butter with xylitol in it. Here are some dog-friendly peanut butters we know of:

When in doubt, check out the best dog treats that we know are safe for your pup.

Can dogs eat peanuts? Dog biting into a piece of toast with peanut butter

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are peanuts good for dogs?

Not particularly, no, as peanut and especially peanut butter are high in fat and calories. Peanuts do offer some protein, niacin, healthy fats, and vitamins, but moderation is still suggested. 

Vets and trainers do suggest using peanut butter in puzzle toys or bone-replacement chews like Kongs, so it is safe to give peanut butter to your dog in small amounts. Filling up a bone-replacement chew with peanut butter will keep your dog occupied for a while, but keep some water nearby as we all know what it's like to have a dry peanut butter-y mouth!

And remember, no xylitol in whatever peanut butter you choose to give your pup.

Can dogs eat peanuts? Bowl of peanuts and peanuts in their shell

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can eating peanuts be dangerous for my dog?

Unshelled peanuts can be dangerous for dogs, as the fibrous material encasing the nut is a choking hazard. Since peanuts have high levels of fat, they can give your dog an upset stomach if too large a portion is given, and in some cases can cause pancreatitis if your dog's diet contains a lot of fat. 

As mentioned above, flavored or salted peanuts are too high in sodium to be a healthy snack option for dogs, and xylitol, the sugar replacement in some peanut butters, is incredibly dangerous. Xylitol is extremely poisonous to dogs and is responsible for thousands of dog poisonings a year, so make sure to double and triple check ingredient labels. 

Dog safe peanut treats

There are several pet food brands that make peanut butter flavored treats for dogs, but make sure you once again stick to the moderation rule. If you're unsure if a treat is the right choice for your dog, consult your vet. 

While there are many peanut butter flavored dog treats, the best kinds of dog treats are the all natural kind like Mika and Sammy's Poppin' Peanut Butter treats. The treats are dehydrated chicken breast with organic peanut butter - your dog will go absolutely nuts for them. Chewy also has some great peanut butter treat options, like the all-natural Buddy Biscuits and Newman's Own peanut butter flavor dog treats. 


PetsRadar is a website dedicated to providing expert advice for happier pets. Whether you're a parent to a dog, cat, reptile, horse or rabbit, PetsRadar offers a pathway to healthier pets and happier owners through our unique combination of trusted advice, expert guides and in-depth reviews.