can dogs eat peanuts?

Can dogs eat peanuts? The risks and benefits

To say that many dog breeds love peanuts would be an understatement. Peanuts are not only tasty, but they are also highly nutritious. No, wonder dog owners like offering their furry friends these nuts.

However, can all dogs eat peanuts? If so, how often should you offer your canine these nuts? 

Read on to get answers to these and any other questions you might have about the subject.

Can dogs eat peanuts?

Dogs can eat peanuts, but they should eat them in moderation.

You can feed your pup small amounts of unsalted raw peanuts as a treat once in a while. Even so, peanuts should not be a regular part of your dog’s diet.

Avoid giving your furry friend roasted or salted peanuts, but if you do offer them, they should be in tiny amounts.

The reason is that roasted and salted peanuts constitute high amounts of oils and sodium, which could harm your pet.

Moreover, peanuts have a lot of fat, so when your dog eats a lot of them, he may develop gastrointestinal issues.

In some severe cases, excessive fat in a canine’s body could damage his pancreas.

If not treated early, pancreatitis, the inflammation of the pancreas caused by excess fat, can lead to death.

Additionally, too much-salted peanuts can cause sodium poisoning that results in 

  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Excessive urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Incoordination

Can I feed my dog peanut butter?

You can include peanut butter in your dog’s serving, provided the recipe doesn’t have xylitol or salted peanuts.

Xylitol is a sugar substitute and an artificial sweetener; it is also highly toxic to dogs, even when consumed in tiny amounts. Some brands label xylitol as “sugar alcohol” or “natural sweetener.”

The substance causes hypoglycemia, a condition that refers to reduced blood sugar levels, which could lead to liver failure and ultimately death. 

Xylitol intake can also cause

  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting

You should also check the ingredients list to ascertain that there are no substances to which your dog is allergic.

Once you have confirmed that the peanut butter has only safe ingredients, you can proceed to offer it to your dog but in moderation.

If you have the time, you can make homemade peanut butter instead of using commercial ones.

Doing so ensures that the peanut butter doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners or preservatives, which could cause health problems.

What type of peanut should dogs eat?

Dry roasted and unsalted nuts are the ideal peanuts you can offer your canine. Even though these nuts aren’t sweeter compared to salted peanuts, they are healthier.

You can also feed your dog boiled peanuts, provided they aren’t salted or have any other additives and seasonings that could harm your furry friend.

How many peanuts should you feed your dog? 

There is no specific amount of peanut that you should feed your dog. The key here is moderation.

For instance, if you notice that your mutt likes peanuts, and most do, you can offer him a few after every three days.

Also, it’s better to remove all the peanut shells before offering the nuts to your dog, particularly for small dog breeds like papillons and chihuahuas.

That’s because the hard, fibrous material can easily choke your furry friend.

Health benefits of peanuts to dogs

Occasionally feeding your mutt small amounts of shelled, unsalted raw peanuts has plenty of benefits. They include

Improved metabolism

Peanuts have plenty of essential minerals and vitamins, which, when consumed, improve your pup’s cognitive function, skin health, and metabolism.

Some of the vitamins contained in peanuts are:

  • Vitamin B6: facilitates glucose generation, gene activation, hormone regulation, and nervous system functioning.
  • Vitamin E; increases fertility, improves eyesight, and enhances the immunity system.
  • Niacin; breaks down fatty acids leading to healthy glowing skin.

Improved heart health

Yes, peanuts are loaded with calories, but a majority of these calories originate from healthy fats like oleic acids and omega-6 amino acids.

These fats can be a significant source of energy, provided your dog consumes them in moderation.

Additionally, eating peanuts prevents your dog from having thrombosis. 

Thrombosis refers to the formation of blood clots, particularly in blood vessels, which in turn impedes regular blood flow.

Though the condition isn’t common, it’s deadly since out of 100%, only 3 % of dogs that have thrombosis live to see their fifth birthday due to heart attacks.

Hence peanuts lower the chances of heart attacks by preventing thrombosis.

Increases Muscular structure

Like all other legumes, peanuts are full of plant proteins, which aid in the building and rebuilding of torn muscles after exercise. 

A factor of importance, especially for service dogs, as they train a lot. 

Improved digestion

Poor digestion can affect your dog’s appetite, lead to lethargy and even obesity. 

However, peanuts are a good source of fibers that facilitate quick digestion, absorption of nutrients, and removal of toxins from your dog’s body.

Health risks of dogs eating peanuts

Below are some health risks you should consider before including peanuts in your dog’s diet.


At the back of your mutt’s mouth are four molars that crush the peanuts into tiny manageable pieces. 

However, peanut shells are hardy and dry, which makes them difficult to swallow; thus, they can easily choke your dog or scratch his throat.


A dog’s digestive system breaks down excess amounts of carbohydrates into glucose.

Glucose is a sugar that a dog’s body stores in the form of fat when the dog doesn’t use it immediately as energy.

Therefore, the increased fats will make your dog obese, and obesity can cause a myriad of health problems.

Hence it would be best to limit intake of high-calorie treats like peanut butter to a few servings a week.

Also, you need to ensure your dog exercises regularly so it can get rid of the extra fat.

Sodium poisoning 

Typically salt makes your dog thirstier than usual and can lead to dehydration. 

However, large amounts of salt which are present in salted peanuts can lead to sodium poisoning.

Earlier on, we learned of the effects of sodium poisoning; hence to avoid those effects, avoid giving your pup salted peanuts.

Digestive problems 

In some instances, your dog could develop digestive issues after consuming peanuts. The signs include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

If you observe any of these symptoms, don’t offer food for a day, then slowly introduce light meats like chicken and turkey.

However, if the symptoms don’t go away, you should visit a veterinary doctor for more help.


Peanuts are full of fats, and excessive consumption of fats contributes to quick weight gain. 

When your dog becomes obese, he is more likely to develop pancreatitis.

Some of the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis include

  • Lethargy
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Hunched back

You should visit a vet doctor immediately if you notice your dog has any of these symptoms.

Allergic reaction

Even though peanuts are highly nutritious, you should introduce them to your dog slowly while monitoring for any allergic reactions.

The most common signs of allergies are swelling and difficulty breathing.

If you suspect that your dog is allergic to peanuts, consult with your doctor on the alternative treats you can use. Also, you will have to buy only nut-free dog foods.

Can all dogs eat peanuts?

There are some dogs with conditions that don’t allow them to eat peanuts.

They include:

Dogs with kidney problems

Peanuts have sodium, which could stress your dog’s already sickly kidney. 

Obese dogs

If your dog is overweight, then it’s best to avoid peanuts as they have a lot of fat.

Dogs on a diet

Some dogs are on special vet-designed diets; hence you shouldn’t offer them peanuts without first consulting the doctor.

What can you do when your dog consumes too much peanut?

If you suspect your pup has eaten a lot of peanuts, you should rush him to the nearest veterinary doctor immediately.

Final thoughts

Peanuts are an ideal snack for your dog, provided you offer them in moderation. 

There are also other components you can include in your dog’s diet that offer a lot of benefits and zero health risks.

For example, Safe Guard probiotics have healthy bacteria like lactobacillus casei and Enterococcus faecium, which improve your dog’s digestion and enhance immunity.