A staffie enjoys licking peanut butter off a Kong

Can dogs eat peanut butter?

  • Dogs can eat most peanut butter but never give them peanut better that contains xylitol, as this is toxic to dogs
  • Peanut butter should be given to dogs as a treat and in moderation
  • Smearing peanut butter on Kongs and chews can keep dogs occupied and calm

Dogs can eat – and many really enjoy – peanut butter.

But beware, some peanut butter brands contain an ingredient called xylitol, which is toxic to dogs and even eating small amounts can be fatal. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is often used in foods to keep the product sugar-free. Always check the label before giving your dog peanut butter and do not give them any if xylitol is listed in the ingredients. If your dog does eat anything with xylitol in it, call your vet urgently and tell them what your pet has eaten.

As with all treats, peanut butter should be given to dogs in moderation and fed alongside a healthy balanced diet.

These dogs shouldn’t eat peanut butter

  • Overweight dogs. Peanut butter contains fat so isn’t ideal for dogs who are – or should be – on a diet. Leaner alternatives for training treats include chicken, ham and tuna.
  • Dogs with kidney problems. Peanut butter can have a high salt content to isn’t suitable for dogs with kidney issues.
  • Dogs who eat special diets. If your dog is sensitive to some foods or has been put on a special diet to keep them healthy, it’s best not to deviate from what they usually eat.

You could use peanut butter for

  • Training your dog. It’s a high value reward so giving a little taste to them after they’ve shown a behaviour you’ve asked them to show (eg coming back to you when called) will make them more likely to do the good thing again next time you ask as they’ll remember getting a treat.
  • Keeping them entertained for a while. Smear it inside a Kong or on a chew to give them something to focus on during chill out time.
  • A distraction. Peanut butter is very tasty and can help to make a dog feel more comfortable during an experience they don’t really enjoy, eg having their nails clipped or having a bath. You could smear it on the bath or tiles while you shampoo them to keep them distracted.
— Page last updated 22/05/2023