We all agree on peanut butter being something brought down pretty much from heaven, right? Most dogs seem to, anyway. Peanut butter is a fantastic occasional “high value” treat for puppies that’s useful for much more; like hiding pills or distracting your dog while giving them a bath or trimming their nails.

But before you hand your puppy over the entire jar, there’s a few things you should know about feeding peanut butter to puppies. In this article, we’re here to help you figure it all out: if peanut butter is safe for your puppy, how much peanut butter should you feed a puppy, how can you add peanut butter to your puppies treats, what type of peanut butter is the best to feed for puppies, and what you might want to look out for when feeding peanut butter to puppies. 

Peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter. Get ready, we’ll say it a bunch of times.

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Oh, and since peanut butter can be used as a training treat, it means that you can do any of the training in the Zigzag puppy app with it too. We have dedicated chapters that follow important developmental milestones for your puppy, so you get the right content and lessons at the right time. There’s also a team of expert puppy coaches here for you 7 days a week whenever you run into any bumps along your puppy training journey.

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Is peanut butter safe for my puppy?

Peanut butter can be a safe treat for puppies when fed in moderation. It contains a large amount of protein as well as healthy fats and vitamins. Since we’re talking about health, it’s always a good idea to think about your puppy’s nutrition and how you can make sure to give them a balanced and complete diet. While peanut butter for puppies is safe, don’t over do it! Usually a little taste is enough. Also because you want to keep them hooked on it, let’s admit that. It will help loads with training, remember?

What’s important is that you read the label and make sure you recognise the ingredients. Peanut butter shouldn’t really need anything added, except for a little oil. Anything that you can pronounce, you should avoid – including things like xylitol or artificial sweeteners. We talk a bit more about that below.

How much peanut butter should I feed my pup?

How much peanut butter you can feed your puppy will depend on their size, because their calorie requirements vary . Due to peanut butter being high in fat, you don’t want to overfeed to your puppy. Too many calories and fat in a pup’s diet can make them have sloppy poo – which you surely don’t want to clean. 

Here’s what is generally thought of as a safe amount to feed:

Size of dogHow much peanut butter to feed – daily
Toy – small dogsHalf – 1 teaspoon
Medium dogs1.5 teaspoons
LargeMax 1 tablespoon

Overall, just make sure you pay attention to your puppy’s nutrition when feeding peanut butter to your puppies. If you’re feeding a raw diet to your pup , keep an eye that you’re not giving them too many calories. As a general rule, treats should make up no more than 10% of your puppy’s daily calories.

How can I incorporate it into treats?

Peanut butter can be made into delicious homemade dog treats. There’s so many DIY dog recipes to try that feature peanut butter – if you’re feeling fancy. 

You can also use peanut butter as an excellent filler and treat inside toys like Kongs, West Paw Toppls and other chew toys. You can always top them up using peanut butter as glue, and sticking your puppy’s regular kibble to it for an extra dramatic treat. 

Lickimats can be spread with a thin layer of peanut butter, which makes bathtime and grooming much easier as your puppy has something to focus on

When practising leadwalking, peanut butter can be a great licky treat. Slap some on the end of a wooden spoon for your puppy to lick and you won’t have to bend over to feed them. 

labrador puppy
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What type of peanut butter is best for puppies?

The best peanut butter for puppies will be one you make yourself. But indeed, we know that making homemade peanut butter may only exist in our dreams for many of us because we miss the equipment or time. 

If you’re looking for some options at Tesco’s, here’s some suggestions of what to look for the packaging:

Choose a peanut butter for puppies with simple ingredients

No, your puppy doesn’t need peanut butter with jelly or maple syrup, and definitely not chocolate or dates as these are poisonous for dogs.

Choose an unsalted peanut butter or one with low amounts of salt

Puppies don’t need salt in peanut butter and it’s not good for them either, so choose one with low sodium levels.

Experiment if your puppy likes crunchy or smooth peanut butter

Do a taste test and see if they prefer the texture crunchy or smooth. If you have a toy breed or tiny puppy it might be safer to go for the smooth variety of peanut butter to prevent the risk of choking. We’re not helicopter parents, but we just want their experience of peanut butter to be as wondrous as everybody else’s.

Avoid palm oil in peanut butter

Palm oil can act as a laxative in dogs, so unless you want to run into watery poops, best to avoid feeding it to puppies too.

Choose a dog safe peanut butter

There are many peanut butters made specifically for dogs on the market these days. These are free from nasties like artificial sweeteners or high levels of salt, so you can be sure that they’re safe for your puppy to eat. 

Dog safe brands of peanut butter 

Types of peanut butter that are not safe for puppies

As you could see from our list above, there are some ingredients that make peanut butter unsafe for puppies. Check the ingredients list and avoid any of the following:

  • Xylitol – Xylitol is an artificial sweetener typically added to diet or sugar free products in order to provide that sweet taste. While alright for people, it is toxic for dogs.
  • Birch sugar – Birch sugar is just xylitol by another name. Sneaky manufacturers.
  • Salt – Dogs just don’t need salt. Plain and simple.
  • Peanut butter with chocolate – Might be stellar for you, but definitely not for your puppy! Chocolate contains theobromine which is dangerous for dogs to eat.
puppy playing in garden
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What side effects to look out for when feeding peanut butter to puppies?

If your puppy experiences any of the following after peanut butter, it’s best to stop giving it to them, or at least reduce the size of your spoonfuls. We know you probably have a heavy hand when it comes to peanut butter. 

  • Sickness
  • Diarrhoea or slimy poop 
  • Vomiting
  • Piling on the pounds – sometimes it’s just puppy fat, other times they might be having too many calories!
  • Redness or itchy skin – some puppies can be allergic to peanut butter just like humans

Even in humans these symptoms aren’t a good sign. If things don’t clear up quickly, it’s always good to consult your vet.

So. In summary, yes, peanut butter can be a nice treat for puppies. It’s worth noting, though, that it’s better to start off gently with peanut butter – small amounts at first – to see how your puppy digests it. Don’t get surprised if they go bonkers for it – that’s obviously not a negative reaction.

While you’re here, you might want to learn more about how we use rewards and treats when training pups or our review of healthy puppy treats. Treats will be your best companion during training, so better to be equipped!

Find out more about the Zigzag app by downloading a free trial today and getting started on your puppy’s training journey. Our jolly team of fully qualified dog trainers and behaviourists will be happy to help you 7 days a week via phone or text when you run into trouble. They’ll help you right out if you give them peanut butter. Just kidding.