Why Do Dogs Love Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is one of those treats that most dogs—no matter the age, size or breed—seem to enjoy. But exactly why do dogs love peanut butter so much? We’re going to look into why peanut butter might be so attractive to dogs, as well as explore this food’s health benefits and offer tips on how to pick the right peanut butter for your pet.
The Science Behind the Obsession
Dogs, like humans, can be naturally drawn to certain foods that contain nutrients that promote their wellbeing or that are viewed as a “luxury” because they’re harder to attain in the wild, or at home, depending on the dog’s typical feeding routine.
Traditional peanut butter you’d find at a grocery store is primarily made up of salt, sugar, fat, and protein—all food groups that dogs crave.
While some people have speculated that dogs like peanut butter because of the salt, dogs don’t typically taste salt very well. In fact, most natural peanut butters don’t have added salt, yet dogs still eat them enthusiastically.
Others have suggested that the sugar in peanut butter is the cause of the love affair, especially since dogs have the ability to taste sweet flavors. However, dogs are equally as excited to devour peanut butter without added sugars as they are to snack on common sugar-inclusive brands you’d find at your grocery store.
The answer perhaps lies with protein. Peanut butter typically has more than seven grams of protein per two-tablespoon serving, which is particularly high for a plant-based food. For dogs, protein is an essential nutrient that aids in a a variety of bodily functions.
There’s a great number of benefits protein provides dogs, including:
- Supporting muscle development
- Promoting a strong immune system
- Boosting skin and coat health
- Supporting daily energy needs
Apart from meat, it can be difficult to find protein-rich food sources for your pet. That’s why peanut butter is such an attractive source of protein for dog owners. Some believe that because proteins found in peanut butter help create the roasted aroma, dogs’ hypersensitive noses may pick up scents of caramelized meat, making the gooey substance extra luring.
The reality is there is no definitive conclusion yet as to why dogs love peanut butter. The sugar, salt, fat, and protein theories are convincing, but further research is required to fully establish the pull of the tasty spread for pups.
Health Benefits of Peanut Butter For Dogs
However, we do know that peanut butter is packed with nutrients that help support your dog’s health. Fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals are some of peanut butter’s most important nutritional properties for dogs.
Most peanut butter contains one gram of dietary fiber per tablespoon. Fiber is crucial for dogs as it supports healthy digestion and helps break down fatty acids to boost colon strength. Additionally, fiber can promote regular bowel habits, helping alleviate constipation and diarrhea symptoms.
As previously mentioned, peanut butter is rich in protein. Protein provides amino acids that support the repair and maintainence of dogs’ cells, boost their immune systems, and promote processes to make vital enzymes, hormones, and antibodies in dogs.
Peanut butter is high in fat, and fortunately, the healthy kind. Polyunsaturated fats have omega-6, which supports dogs’ growth, healthy skin, immunity, and other bodily functions. These fats are advantageous in small doses, but remember that excessive amounts of fats, even the good kinds, are high in calories and can cause your pup to put on a few pounds.
Vitamins and Minerals
There’s no shortage of vitamins in peanut butter. The Vitamin E present in this nutty spread helps promote healthy muscles, offers skin and coat support, and boosts eye health for dogs, as well as supports fat metabolism and promotes healthy cell formation. Meanwhile, B vitamins such as niacin, biotin, and folic acid support skin, nails, and coat development. Niacin also supports hormone production. Folic acid aids red cell production, supports healthy fetal growth, and DNA synthesis.
In terms of minerals, peanut butter contains magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. Magnesium supports the reduction of oxidative stress which can cause joint and muscle pain in dogs. Dogs need manganese to help metabolize carbohydrates and proteins. Phosphorus boosts teeth and bone strength in dogs.
How to Choose the Right Peanut Butter For Your Dog
It‘s important to know what to look for to purchasing the right peanut butter for your dog. Aim to select brands that use all natural ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives, and no synthetic ingredients. Don’t assume that the peanut butter you like for yourself will be a good choice for your dog – and remember, peanut butter for humans can often be high in sodium, which isn’t good for dogs.
It’s also important to note that some peanut butter manufacturers have begun using xylitol as a sugar substitute. Xylitol is toxic for dogs and should be avoided completely. If you’re buying a generic brand of peanut butter, confirm that there is no xylitol listed in the ingredients before feeding it to your dog.
Since there are a number of considerations pet parents should keep in mind when choosing a treat for their pet, we suggest opting for a peanut butter that is specifically made for dogs instead of humans. Nature’s Logic peanut butter is a great option that was created specifically for dogs, and is made with just three natural ingredients: peanuts, chia seeds, and coconut oil.
Keep in mind that peanut butter is high in calories and fat, so it should be given to your dog in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Every serving of peanut butter should be factored into the total amount of calories that your dog consumes per day in order to help them maintain a healthy weight. If your dog craves the taste of peanut butter but you’re trying to keep their calories in check, take a look at our peanut butter flavored calming support treats.
Go Nuts For Peanut Butter
While we may not know exactly why peanut butter is beloved by so many dogs, we do know it can be a healthy addition to your pup’s diet (in moderation).
Interested in treating your pup to this nutritious snack? Visit our site to learn more about our all natural, dog-friendly peanut butter.